Men’s Soccer Wins Regular Season Finale, Locks Up No. 3 Seed for MVC Tournament
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team ended its Brown Field portion of the season on a high note, securing a 1-0 victory on Saturday night against Missouri Valley Conference foe Drake to nail down the No. 3 seed for next week’s conference tournament.
How It Happened
- Valpo (5-7-4, 2-1-3) continued its strong run of form in its final regular season conference matchup, defeating the Bulldogs (5-7-4, 2-1-3) thanks in part to some great contributions off the bench from sophomore Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian), and some late-game heroics between the sticks from redshirt junior goalkeeper Nacho Miras (Ubeda, Spain/Nuestra Semora del Pilar).
- Marcey broke the deadlock and opened the scoring for Valpo at the 29:38 mark, keeping composed in a one-on-one opportunity and slotting the ball into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0. The goal was Marcey’s first on the season, as well as his first as a member of the Brown & Gold.
- Marcey was also tied for the team lead in shots on goal. He, junior Adan Garcia (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas and redshirt junior Demar Rose (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer’s Boys School) each had a pair of shots on goal for the match.
- But it was Miras who managed to stave off the Bulldog attack, coming up with some huge saves down the stretch, highlighted by a dramatic 84th minute penalty kick save.
- He then recorded another save off a Steven Enna shot in the dying minutes of the match, as the defense was able to hold off any more real chances and run the clock out to secure the win.
- Miras recorded six total saves in the game, three in the first half and three in the second half. The victory gave him his third clean sheet of the season as well.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a very good team win for us tonight as we were down a few of our regular players. The guys that came in did a great job, and it’s satisfying for me to watch them because I know how hard the whole squad has worked all season long. Drake really pushed us, especially in the last 10 minutes, and it turns out to be another valuable experience for us as we keep building the team into the postseason.”
“It’s been an interesting season. We have faced a lot of adversity with untimely injuries, and yet the guys have kept battling all year long. On Oct. 1, we fell to 2-7-1, and you look now—a month later—and we are 3-0-3 since that date. We head into the MVC Tournament in good form, we should have the majority of the guys who could not play tonight back and available for the tournament, and we are excited to see what we can take out of the next week in Evansville.”
Valpo will now turn around and play Drake once again on Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT in Evansville, with the winner of that match advancing to the semifinals against second seed Loyola on Friday afternoon. Wednesday’s match will be available for streaming on ESPN+.