Both men’s and women’s soccer teams have put themselves in tough situations.
With the lost against UIC at home on Wednesday, men’s soccer stays in fifth place in the Horizon League. The biggest game of the year will be on Saturday. Valpo will travel to Rochester, Michigan to face off with Oakland, which is above the Crusaders in the standings by one point.
Meanwhile, the entire women’s soccer season comes down to one game against Cleveland State on Friday. If the Crusaders win, they are in the conference tournament. A tie and a Detroit loss to Wright State also guarantees Valparaiso a spot. However, if the Crusaders lose, they will miss the league tournament.
Both teams are limping toward their possible playoff berths, which should be a concern for Crusader soccer fans.
The men’s soccer team only earned one point in its homestand against bottom-feeder Belmont and UIC.
Women’s soccer has dropped two straight Horizon League games to Milwaukee and Detroit.
It is clear that women’s soccer team has had a bit of a drop-off after winning the Horizon League title last season, which is understandable.
The Crusaders won every conference game last season, including tournament games, which is unprecedented in the Horizon League.
It is almost impossible to repeat their performance from last season. However, many didn’t expect the Crusaders to be one loss away from being out of postseason play.
The men’s team seems to be one year away from being a top team in the Horizon League. The Crusaders will be losing Jordan Aidoud and Jacob Gandarilla to graduation after this season. However, the Crusaders will keep Isaiah Madrid next year with other guys like Stian Sandbekkhaug waiting for their chance.
Mike Avery has done everything he possibly can to put his team on the map nationally. The only major milestone that the ninth-year coach hasn’t achieved is advancing his team to the NCAA tournament.
This year may not be the year, but it seems like his team can make a serious run in the future. Next year and beyond may define Avery’s legacy depending on if they can make it to the Big Dance or not.
As for right now, both soccer teams are in trouble, and it doesn’t look like they will represent Valpo on a national stage this fall.
The views expressed are those of the editor and not necessarily of The Torch. Contact Tom Mantice at firstname.lastname@example.org.