BUIES CREEK - Campbell (4-3) will travel to Valparaiso, Ind. this weekend for the final non-conference matches before the team enters Big South Conference play. The Camels will take part in the Crusader Classic, facing off against Valparaiso on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. and IUPUI on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. (both times are Eastern).
Head coach Todd Clark talked about the opportunities the trip will provide. "We are excited to make the trip to Chicago to play two opponents from the Midwest. We have long enjoyed recruiting players from the Midwest and it is vital that we get them back "home" during their career. This trip will enable us to not only get several of our players back in front of family and friends, but also is a trip that will continue to help us to prepare for the difficult road schedule the Big South Conference has given us for 2011."
Valpo (5-3-1, 1-0 Horizon) has already taken on two Big South teams at the Liberty Invitational over Labor Day weekend. The Crusaders defeated Coastal Carolina in a 1-0 decision and fell to Liberty 3-1 to earn a split against the BSC opponents. Valpo comes into Friday night's contest with Campbell riding a three-match winning streak, during which the Crusaders have not yielded an opposing goal.
"Valparaiso is a fine team that is well coached and is very dangerous as they're coming into the match on home turf on a nice winning streak," Clark said about his opening opponent. "I've known their coach for over a decade and we know a number of their players so we have a lot of respect for them. They have some fine soccer players who if we give them the chance can certainly make us regret it."
IUPUI is currently 1-5-2 overall, with two losses coming by a single goal. The Jaguars battled Valpo to a 1-1 tie earlier this season in Indianapolis. "IUPUI is probably dangerous for the opposite reason (as Valpo) but every bit as concerning," Clark said. "They are struggling a bit to get the results they may deserve and nobody wants to take on a team who is fighting for success because they have everything to gain from the match while rightly feeling they can accomplish the task. I think they are far better than their record and we need to be wary of them if we want to enjoy the weekend at all."
Fans can follow Friday night's contest with the live stats and video links provided.