VALPARAISO | A late-arriving Highland squad and mandatory water breaks did little to slow the Valparaiso offense on Monday night.
The Vikings scored less than four minutes into the match and added seven more goals throughout the night as Times No. 2 Valparaiso knocked off No. 7 Highland 8-2 at Viking Arena.
"We played a very difficult match against Penn on Saturday and I wasn't sure how the boys would respond tonight," Valparaiso coach Danny Jeftich said. "We played well and all 22 players got a chance to get in the match. I'm proud of how we came out."
Cory Fox took an assist from Bennet Van Schouwen in the opening minutes of the game and drilled a shot past diving Highland keeper Josh Bertossi to open the scoring.
The Trojans arrived to Viking Arena late on Monday afternoon, delaying the start of the junior varsity match which was further delayed because of water breaks and six Valparaiso goals. The varsity match didn't begin until after 7 p.m., nearly 40 minutes past the scheduled start.
The match was played in front of a boisterous crowd that came out for the annual "Meet the Vikes" night. The crowd had plenty to cheer about before getting the chance to meet the team and get autographs after the match.
Brenden Sutherland and Thomas Walsh each had two goals to lead the Vikings. Walsh scored his second goal in the 68th minute on a header after he received a pass from Caleb Neal. Jose Apollo added another header goal in the 76th minute off a corner kick. Neal finished the evening with three assists.
"I'd classify that as a hat trick," Neal said. "I love watching my teammates score. I know what it's like to score and it's great knowing I can help guys have that feeling."
The win puts Valparaiso back in the win column after the Vikings (4-0-1) earned a hard-fought draw with the Kingsmen on Saturday.
"We weren't going to take (Highland) lightly" Sutherland said. "We knew they'd beat some good teams. We needed to come out strong and we finally scored our first goal in the second half tonight."
Max Young registered both goals for the Trojans while Bertossi added four saves.