The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team fell 3-0 to Loyola in the regular-season finale at Brown Field on Saturday. Senior goalkeeper Jorn-Jan van de Beld (Balkburg, The Netherlands/ University of Twente) made seven saves on Senior Night.
Van de Beld, Adan Garcia (Dallas, Texas/ Episcopal School of Dallas), Demar Rose (Kingston, Jamaica/ Wolmer’s Boys School), Julien Bertho (Plumelec, France / Richland CC), Chris Villalobos (Richardson, Texas / J.J. Pearce) and Dylan Waugaman (Houston, Texas / Friendswood [Oregon State]) were all honored before their final home game in a Valpo kit.
How It Happened
- After controlling possession in the early going, the Ramblers had the game’s first shot, a 30-yard kick from Aidan Megally at 14th minute. Van de Baldmade a diving stop to keep the game scoreless.
- Valpo’s best chance of the first half came in the 28th minute. After Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C./ Charlotte Christian [Radford]) saw his free-kick defended well by Loyola, Rose sent one just high of the crossbar from 25 yards out.
- With just over three minutes left in the half, Loyola’s Justin Sukow saw his third shot of the half find the net. He took a centering pass inside the box from Chase Wright and side-footed the ball past the Valpo goalkeeper to give the Ramblers a 1-0 lead.
- In the 44th minute, Loyola’s Fabian Becerra took the ball from the defender and sent a 28-yard kick over the head of van de Bald to take a 2-0 lead into half.
- Valpo opened the second half with a strong attack. Garcia had a good look for Valpo in the 54th minute, but his pass was broken up in the box. The Valpo senior had another chance in the 62nd minute and registered Valpo’s first shot on goal, but the attempt was stopped by the Loyola keeper Marcel Kampman.
- Sukow knocked in his second goal of the game in the 77th minute when he took advantage of a misplay in the Valpo backfield. After getting around van de Beld, Sukow beat the Valpo defender on the goal line to make the score 3-0.
Inside the Game
- Sukow’s two-goal night gave him eight scores on the year to go along with three assists. His 19 points are good for third in the Valley. Becerra scored his third goal in just his 10th game of the season for the Ramblers, while Wright recorded his first assist of the season on Sukow’s first-half goal.
- Valpo was outshot in the match 15-7. Marcey and Garcia had two shots apiece, with one each landing on net.
Thoughts From Head Coach Mike Avery
“It's disappointing to end the regular season with a result like this, but you have to give credit to Loyola. Loyola had a lot on the line tonight and our seed was set no matter how tonight's game turned out, and the first half looked like that. Loyola started with more energy than we did, and by the time we finally found the game, we were chasing.”
“I was pleased with our play in the second half and I thought we played very well. A fluke turf bounce gave them the goal that really sealed the game against the run of play in the second half, but other than that I thought it was a good period and one that we can build on heading into the postseason.”
“Outside of the game itself, it is always bittersweet to watch guys play their last time on Brown Field. Our seniors have given a lot of themselves to the program, and I am proud of them all. I remember exactly where I was when I first saw them play as recruits, or the first conversation on the phone we had, and to see the kind of men they have become during their time here makes me very happy. They are such an impressive group of young men. I will miss them all very much when it is all over and I hope they have a long run through the postseason to cap off their careers. We are all very committed to making sure that happens.”
Valpo (4-12-1, 3-7-0 MVC) will see its next action in the opening round of the MVC Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Loyola Soccer Complex. Fifth-seeded Valpo will face off against the fourth-seeded Drake Bulldogs in a game that begins at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+. Note that the start time has been moved up from the original bracket due to cold temperatures. The winner will face Missouri State on Friday afternoon in a semifinal showdown.