Oct. 22, 2010
Contact: Brian McCann
VALPARAISO, Ind. - The Cleveland State women's soccer team's historic season continued on Friday (Oct. 22), as the Vikings won at Valparaiso, 2-0, to ensure CSU of its first winning season in program history.
The Vikings earned their ninth win of the season, improving to 9-6-2 overall and 5-2 in Horizon League play. The nine wins are a school record, breaking the old mark of eight set in 2008.
On the topic of school records, Natalie Daniels broke the marks for goals and points scored in a season when she recorded her ninth goal of the season in the 43rd minute to get Cleveland State on the scoreboard.
Daniels, who was already CSU's career leader in goals (16), assists (11) and points (43), entered the week tied with Jennifer Wieand with eight goals and 19 points on the year. She broke both marks when Jess Bound fired a pass her direction and Daniels headed it into the net.
"That score by Natalie was just opportunistic, something I'd been hoping to see more of this season," head coach Derrek Falor said. "It was a smart, heady play. She took advantage of an opening and that gave us a nice lead and the confidence that we were going to win this game."
The Vikings added an insurance goal in the second half. Taylor Vidovic found Sylvia Olsby directly in front of the net at the 75:08 mark, and Olsby sent a shot past the goalkeeper to assure CSU of the victory.
Olsby's goal was the Vikings' 23rd of the season, tying the school record for goals in a year set in 2007.
Cleveland State also recorded its seventh shutout of the season, another school record. Every conference match the Vikings have played this year has been a shutout, with CSU holding Green Bay, Youngstown State, Loyola, Wright State and now Valparaiso scoreless, while they failed to score against Milwaukee and Detroit.
"This game followed a similar pattern to what we've been doing all year," Falor said. "We bent but didn't break, we didn't give up the ball in front of our own net, and we've been able to play lock-down defense against some good teams."
While Valparaiso didn't get on the scoreboard on Friday, it was not from a lack of trying. The Crusaders outshot the Vikings, 13-8, and held a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal.
"This wasn't the most aesthetically-pleasing performance," Falor said. "I have to give credit to Valparaiso. They knew they had to win, and they did a good job of playing aggressively and challenging us all over the field. "
Valparaiso (5-8-4, 1-5-1) needed a win to have any chance of making the Horizon League tournament. The Vikings, on the other hand, are now in the unfamiliar position of being among the conference leaders.
With 15 points, the Vikings are tied with Butler (who beat Youngstown State today, 2-1) for second place in the conference. The two teams will play each other on Sunday (Oct. 24) to determine the final seeding for the Horizon League Championship.
Should the Vikings win that match, they will earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the league championship. If CSU loses, it will be the No. 3 seed and host either Wright State or Detroit in a first round playoff game on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Falor is focusing on trying to get the first round bye.
"We're in a position that our team has never been in before," Falor said. "We just need to have the confidence and the swagger to go into the Butler match with the belief that, yes, we can win. We will need to keep the ball better, and create more opportunities while limiting theirs. We will also need to have another lockdown defensive day. But I know we can go there and win, and it will be my job to make sure the players know that as well."