Men’s Soccer Defends Home Pitch with Comeback Win Over Evansville
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team rallied from a goal down on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice in the final 15 minutes to top Evansville 2-1 at Brown Field. The victory allowed Valpo to move to 2-0-0 at home and register its first Missouri Valley Conference win of the year.
How It Happened
- Valpo controlled the majority of the possession in the opening half, but found itself trailing 1-0 at the break after an own goal in the 39th minute. A Valpo player attempted to pass it back to the keeper, but inadvertently booted it out of his reach and into the goal.
- Valpo outshot Evansville 9-4 in the opening half, but the own goal was the difference through 45 minutes.
- A one-on-one with the keeper by Joe Kouadio (London, England / Moorland School) in the 56th minute was saved, then Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Christian [Radford]) headed one on goal that was also saved by Frederik Reimer in the 61st minute. Reimer tacked on another save in the 75th minute to keep it 1-0.
- Cole Rainwater (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) took a corner kick in the 77th minute that was headed by Jack Eaton (Valparaiso, Ind. / Chesterton) toward the top of the net. It deflected off the crossbar and landed a foot outside the goal, where a left-footed rebound strike by Dylan Waugaman (Houston, Texas / Friendswood [Oregon State]) provided the equalizer.
- It didn’t take long for Valpo to jump in front as Adan Garcia (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal School of Dallas) navigated around several defenders to create a point-blank chance that he finished lower right in the 81st minute. The 2-1 lead stood for the game’s duration.
Inside the Game
- The Waugaman goal was the first of his three-year Valpo career. By virtue of the initial shot, Eaton received the assist, the first of his freshman campaign.
- Garcia picked up his first two points of the year while recording the first goal of his senior season. He is up to 11 goals and 30 points for his career. He had the match-winning goal for the second time in his career and first since Oct. 30, 2017 against Eastern Illinois.
- Valpo is unbeaten (3-0-2) in its last five matches at Brown Field dating back to last season.
- The last time Valpo won after permitting the first goal of a match was Oct. 10 of last season, when a two-goal second half led to a 2-1 victory over Eastern Illinois.
- Although Valpo has made numerous comebacks during Mike Avery’s tenure, this was unique as it marked the first time in Avery’s 13-year stint as Valpo head coach that his side trailed as late as the 77th minute and battled back to win the match in regulation.
- Garcia and Kouadio struck four shots apiece to help Valpo outshoot Evansville (2-4-1, 0-2-0 MVC) 19-9. Valpo also created five corner kicks to Evansville’s one.
- Valpo goalkeeper Edvin Holst (Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Ryberg Gymnasium Jaraplan) picked up the first win of his collegiate career while notching six saves.
- Valpo moved to 2-0-1 against the Purple Aces since joining the Missouri Valley Conference and evened the all-time series at 3-3-2. The Brown & Gold remained undefeated when hosting their instate foes at 3-0-1.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a really important result for us today, and even though it wasn’t our cleanest soccer, it was a gritty performance. That was exactly what we needed. We missed a few players today who are regulars in the rotation due to some small injuries that they’ve picked up in this heavy stretch of games, so to get through this with a win while also getting those players some rest is very important.”
“It’s a quick turnaround again to face a good Drake side on Wednesday night, so we will enjoy this tonight and then get right back to work tomorrow.”
Valpo (2-4-1, 1-1-0) will continue a home week on Wednesday, when Drake comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Brown Field. It’s the program’s annual TOCO Benefit Night to raise awareness and funds for at-risk children in the Caribbean and the United States.