OMAHA, Neb. (Oct. 19) - The Creighton men's soccer team hosts Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) rival Bradley in a battle for first place in the conference at 7 p.m. Saturday inside Morrison Stadium.
10/9: W, 3-2 (OT) at Princeton [ESPNU]
10/13: W, 3-0 Central Arkansas
10/16: W, 3-0 UMKC
10/20: vs. Bradley, 7 p.m.
Scouting the No. 22 Creighton Bluejays (10-3-2, 2-0-1 MVC):
The No. 22 Creighton men's soccer team extended its season-best win streak to five matches while converting its third consecutive home shutout as the Jays blanked UMKC 3-0 at Morrison Stadium Tuesday Oct. 16.
The victory combined with the Jays' 3-0 win at Central Arkansas (Oct. 13) and their 3-2 overtime victory at Princeton (Oct. 9) marked the first time since 2005 that the Jays' offense scored three or more goals in three consecutive matches.
With the 3-0 win, Creighton extended its shutout streak to three consecutive home matches. The last score allowed by CU in Morrison came Sept. 22 versus St. Louis in the 83rd minute. It's been over 293 minutes since Creighton allowed a goal at home.
This weekend Creighton looks to extend its shutout streak against MVC foes to 11 consecutive matches. The last score CU allowed to a league opponent came in the conference opener last season (Oct. 12) versus Missouri State at 22:54. It's been nearly 1,093 minutes since the Jays allowed a goal to an MVC team.
Creighton senior Jose Gomez, the reigning National Player of the Week, got the Jays' offense off to an early start against UMKC Tuesday. He scored his fourth goal and second game-winner of the season in the third minute of the contest.
CU freshman Timo Pitter netted his third score in two matches in the 14th minute of the first half, marking his team-high sixth goal of the season.
Jays' freshman Vincent Keller scored his first career goal in the 60th minute. Gomez got on the stat sheet again with his fifth assist in three games and eighth of the season to lead the team.
Gomez and Pitter continue to pace the Creighton offense in points with 16 and 14, respectively.
Freshman goalkeeper Jeff Gal posted his third consecutive shutout, and fourth of the season, for the Jays. Gal raised his unblemished record to 6-0 on the year. He leads the MVC in goals against average (0.33) and save percentage (.913) heading into the weekend.
Scouting the Bradley Braves (9-4-2, 3-1-0 MVC):
Bradley enters the weekend atop the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings with nine points at 3-1 following a 3-2 overtime win over Drake in Peoria Wednesday night.
The Braves make their first return trip to Morrison Stadium since a 1-0 loss to the Jays in the MVC Tournament semifinals last November. Despite the loss, Bradley advanced to their second-straight NCAA Tournament in 2011 with an at-large bid.
BU enters the game with an all-time record of 241-241-46. With a win Saturday the Braves would move above .500 for the first time in the program's 26-year history.
Bradley trails the all-time series with Creighton 24-7-1 and 10-2-1 in Omaha since the teams began playing in 1990. However, the Braves are 2-2-1 in the last five matches in Morrison dating back to 2007.
The Braves are 3-3-1 on the road this season. They are 1-3 in their last four games away from home including a 4-1 MVC loss at SIUE Oct. 10.
Bradley and Creighton share just two common opponents this season in Drake, and SIUE. The Jays knocked off SIUE 1-0 in double overtime Oct. 6 five days after the Cougars dealt the Braves their only league loss of the year. Both teams went to overtime against Drake with different outcomes. BU beat the Bulldogs 3-2 Wednesday while Creighton ended up with a 0-0 draw in Des Moines Sept. 29.
Junior Keegan Balle leads the Braves with 14 points. Senior Jochen Graf boasts a team best six goals this season. BU junior Ross Williams leads the squad with six assists.
Preseason All-MVC selection Brian Billingsley has played all but five minutes in goal for Bradley this season. The junior carries a 9-4-2 record, a 1.22 GAA and a 0.74 save percentage this year.
First Place in the Valley on the Line
The Jays clinched a spot in the MVC tourney with Missouri State's 1-0 loss at UCA Oct. 17. But Bradley's 3-2 OT victory over Drake moved BU into first place over the Jays. Saturday's winner gains the inside track to the regular-season MVC title and No. 1 seed.
Eric Miller Makes Return After Playing for U.S. Under-20 National Team
Sophomore Eric Miller returns to the Jays after missing three matches playing for U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team in October.
U.S. National Team head coach Tab Ramos led the team in a trio of international friendlies at the 2012 Marbella Cup in Spain.
Miller played 69 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 loss to Canada in Marbella on Oct. 10.
The U.S. bounced back to beat Scotland 2-0 Oct. 12; Miller saw 63 minutes of match time.
Miller made his first start of the trip Oct. 16, playing all 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Azerbaijan.
Gomez Tabbed National Player of the Week
Senior Jose Gomez claimed Men's College Soccer National Player of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com and earned a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week on Monday.
The national honors for Gomez this week mark the first of his career. He is just the second CU player in the past four seasons to garner the National Player of the Week award. Departed senior Ethan Finlay claimed the honor last season on Dec. 5.
Gomez posted six points in CU's two road victories last week. On Oct. 13, he netted a score and an assist in a 3-0 victory at MVC foe Central Arkansas. Earlier in the week, Gomez assisted on all three Bluejay goals, including the game-winning score in overtime, in a 3-2 victory at Princeton in front of a national television audience on ESPNU Tuesday, Oct. 9.
The Santa Ana, Calif., native is the first Jay to earn an assist on three CU goals in the same game since Seth Sinovic helped on three scores at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 8, 2008.
Gomez added another goal and assist to his season totals Tuesday night against UMKC. He now leads the conference in points (16), assists (8) and shot attempts (44).
Ribeiro Garners MVC Honor
Senior Andrew Ribeiro garnered MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday. The conference accolade is the second of his career and in 2012.
Ribeiro played every minute of the Jays' pair of road wins last week. The senior captain anchored a back line that has now held CU's opponents scoreless in four of the last five games dating back to Sept. 25. The last score allowed to an MVC opponent by Ribeiro and the CU defense came in the conference opener last season on Oct. 12, 2011 versus Missouri State - accounting for 1,092 minutes.
The Green Bay, Wis., native has started every match for the Jays this season and leads the team with 1,300 minutes played in 2012.
Jays Rank No. 17 in First NCAA RPI
Creighton stands at No. 17 in the initial Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA on Monday, Oct. 15.
The highest-rated opponent left on the Jays' regular-season schedule is No. 76 Bradley.
Offense Comes Alive
Creighton's 3-0 victory vs. UMKC Oct. 16 coupled with a 3-0 win at UCA Oct. 13 and the Jays' 3-2 OT win at Princeton Oct. 9 marked the first time the Jays' offense scored three or more goals in three consecutive matches since 2005.
Defense Remains Dominant vs. MVC
CU logged its 10th consecutive shutout of an MVC opponent in the 3-0 victory at UCA Oct. 13. The last goal surrendered to an MVC foe by the Jays came in the conference opener last season (10/12/11) to Missouri State at 22:54. It has been 1092:59 since CU allowed a goal to an MVC team.
Opponents Seeking Goals
Creighton has kept five of its last six opponents off of the scoreboard this season after shutout wins vs. UMKC (10/16), at UCA (10/13), vs. SIUE (10/6) and Loyola-Chicago (10/2) along with a scoreless draw at Drake (9/29).
Princeton's first goal Oct. 9 halted the Jays' opponent scoreless streak at 320:49. In 2011, CU had two shutout streaks of 700+ minutes.
Jays' goalkeepers Alex Bolowich and Jeff Gal have combined for eight shutouts this season
Cutting It Close
After a 3-2 overtime victory at Princeton Oct. 9, the Jays are 6-1 in games decided by one goal in 2012. The win over the Tigers also marked CU's second straight overtime victory. The Bluejays are 2-0-2 in extra time this season.
The Jays have not suffered an overtime loss in 13 matches dating back to a 3-2 downfall in extra time to SMU on Sept. 17, 2010 at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic. During that span Creighton boasts a 8-0-5 record.
Creighton stunned Princeton 3-2 in front of a national television audience Oct. 9 on ESPNU. With the overtime win, the Jays remain undefeated in televised broadcasts this season at 2-0-1. CU tied No. 7 Akron 1-1 on NET (8/31) and beat William & Mary 2-1 on COX (9/16) earlier this year.
One and Done
CU has won its last nine games that were decided by a 1-0 score, including a 4-0 record this season. The Jays are 5-0 in each of their last five road wins resulting in a 1-0 decision.
Four Jays Represented on TopDrawerSoccer's Midseason 100 to Watch
At midseason (10/3) soccer website TopDrawerSoccer.com
ranked senior Jose Gomez as the No. 3 college
prospect in the country. Three other Jays also made the Top 100 as sophomore Eric Miller rated No. 32, junior Zach Barnes stood No. 75 and senior Andrew Ribeiro ranked No. 98.
Gomez Climbing Morrison Record Book
After scoring a goal and notching an assist against UMKC Oct. 16, senior Jose Gomez tied Tim Bohnenkamp (2004-07) for No. 1 with 15 career assists inside Morrison Stadium.
Gomez's goal moved him into a tie for No. 5 all-time on the stadium list at nine scores. Currently he ranks No. 2 in shots on goal with 36 and No. 3 in points with 33 at home.
The Shots Stop Here
Redshirt freshman Jeff Gal and sophomore Alex Bolowich have split time in net during Creighton's first 15 contests. Bolowich is 4-3-2 with four shutouts, a 1.03 GAA, 38 saves and a .792 save percentage. Gal, meanwhile, is 6-0-0 with four shutouts, a 0.33 GAA, 21 saves and a .913 save percentage.
Gal's GAA and save percentage tops the MVC while Bolowich is No. 4 in both categories.
The duo is battling to replace record-setting goalkeeper Brian Holt. Holt started 79-of-80 games from 2008-11, including the final 67.
The last man other than Holt to start a game in goal for the Jays was Nick Goldreich, who blanked Missouri State on Oct. 21, 2008 in Springfield, Mo. Creighton had not had multiple players make multiple starts in goal in one season since 2004, when Andrew Brown, Matt Allen and Zac Gibbens shared the goalie role.
Ribas Earns MVC Scholar-Athlete Award
Jose Ribas was selected Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week. Ribas was honored for his performance during the period of September 10-16.
A sophomore from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Ribas was the most consistent Jays' offensive threat at the Creighton Invitational, as the Jays fell 2-1 to No. 14 Old Dominion (9/14) but defeated William & Mary 2-1 (9/16).
Ribas, who has a 3.60 cumulative grade point average in business, set up teammate Jose Gomez in the opening minutes against Old Dominion to give the Bluejays 1-0 lead. He finished the two matches with an assist and three shots to earn Creighton Invitational all-tournament team honors.
Alex Bolowich Named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week
Alex Bolowich of the Creighton men's soccer team was selected Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week for his performance during the period of Aug. 27-Sept. 2.
A sophomore from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Bolowich was named to the Ameritas Classic Championship All-Tournament team, while backstopping the Bluejays to a 1-1 draw with No. 7 Akron (8/31) and a 3-0 victory over Rutgers (9/2).
Bolowich, who has a 3.43 cumulative grade point average in communications, allowed one goal in 200 combined minutes against Akron and Rutgers. In fact, he held Akron to just one goal on 15 shots, despite the Zips being one of the top scoring teams in the NCAA over the past three seasons.
Flying in a Pack
The Jays set a single-match attendance record in their 2-1 loss to No. 14 Old Dominion (9/14) as 6,848 fans watched the match. That mark eclipsed the previous attendance record of 5,812, set in a match against UCLA on Sept. 8, 2007. Creighton has welcomed 24,029 fans at home this year.
Top 10 Creighton Home Crowds
1. 6,848 vs. Old Dominion, Sept. 14, 2012
2. 5,812 vs. UCLA, Sept. 8, 2007
3. 5,743 vs. Stanford (Exh.), Aug. 26, 2005
4. 5,609 vs. Missouri State, Sept. 19, 2009
5. 5,425 vs. Drexel, Sept. 4, 2011
6. 4,407 vs. Saint Louis, Aug. 31, 1997
7. 4,345 vs. Virginia (Exh.), Aug. 28, 1993
8. 4,242 vs. Fordham, Sept. 9, 2011
9. 4,071 vs. Gonzaga, Aug. 29, 2008
10. 4,029 vs. UMKC (Exh.), Aug. 27, 2004
CU vs. Top 25
Creighton was 6-1-0 against top 25 teams in 2011, including five wins at Morrison Stadium. Through 14 matches this season the Jays at 0-1-1 against the top 25 vs. Akron (8/31) and vs. Old Dominion (9/14). The Bluejays are an impressive 20-3-2 (.840) against the NSCAA Top 25 at Morrison Stadium, including victories over No. 22 Kentucky, No. 7 UC Irvine, No. 22 Bradley, No. 13 UC Santa Barbara and at No. 10 Indiana in 2011. Creighton's lone loss to a ranked team in 2011 was at No. 3 Maryland. CU is 61-43-12 (.578) all-time against the NSCAA top 25.
Newcomers Score First for Creighton
A newcomer scored the first goal of the season in 2012 for the third consecutive season.
This year newcomer Sean Kim scored Creighton's first goal to pull the Jays even against Northern Illinois. Carlos McCrary also notched his first goal as a Jay in the win over the Huskies.
Jose Gomez notched a goal in 2010 as the Bluejays defeated Loyola 2-0. In 2011 it was Guido Pena helping Creighton down Denver, 1-0.