OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 8) - The Creighton men's soccer team claimed three specialty awards and placed six student-athletes on Missouri Valley All-Conference teams, the league announced Thursday evening at the Men's Soccer Championship banquet hosted by Bradley.
Senior co-captain Jose Gomez became the 11th player in program history to take home MVC Player of the Year Honors. The Bluejays have won the award on 12 occasions as Ethan Finlay earned the accolade for a second time last season.
Fellow senior co-captain Andrew Ribeiro claimed MVC Defensive Player of the Year recognition. It marks the ninth time that a CU player won claimed the award.
The MVC recognized CU's Timo Pitter as the Freshman of the Year. Creighton first-year players have claimed four of the last five freshman honors in the league. Pitter is the seventh Bluejay to earn the laurel.
Sophomore midfielder Eric Miller joined Gomez, Ribeiro and Pitter on the MVC First Team. Sophomore Jose Ribas was the only CU member of the MVC Second Team. Freshman defender Brendan Hines-Ike joined Pitter on the MVC All-Freshman team this year.
Gomez, a senior midfielder, has started each game for Jays this season. He claims three all-conference honors in his career at Creighton earning first team honors in 2010 as well as this season after making the All-MVC second team last year. On Oct. 15 Gomez earned Men's College Soccer National Player of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com after posting six points in road victories at Princeton (Oct. 9) and at UCA ( Oct. 13).
He currently leads MVC with eight assists and 44 total shots. Gomez ranks second in conference with 50 total shots. He is second on the team and tied for fourth in MVC with 16 points (four goals and eight assists) this season. Gomez has posted at least one shot in each game this season and notched a shot on goal in 13 contests.
Ribeiro, a senior defender, has started each contest for CU this year. He was named MVC Defensive Player of the Week on three occasions this season. Ribeiro earned All-MVC Honorable Mention honors a year ago.
Ribeiro is also a threat on offense. He scored the game-winning goal off a header from 10 yards out vs. SIUE on Oct. 6. His first goal of the season and each of his last five goals have been game-winning tallies. This season he was named to Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team and was also recognized as part of the Creighton Invitational All-Tournament Team. Ribeiro leads team with 1,660 minutes played this season while logging 77 minutes or more in each match.
Pitter, who has tallied five goals in the last five matches, leads the Jays eight goals and 26 shots on goal this year. His 54 total shots top the MVC rankings and he ranks first in the conference at 3.00 shots per game. Pitter leads the MVC with 18 points (eight goals, two assists).
His eighth goal helped CU clinch its 12th regular season MVC Championship at Evansville on Nov. 3.
Pitter won his first MVC offensive Player of the Week honor for his efforts at UE. He recorded his first two-goal match of career with two scores at Central Arkansas (Oct. 13).
Miller claimed his second career honor from the MVC this season after recognition on the 2011 MVC All-Freshman team. He has started all 15 contests for the Jays this season in which he has played.
He was one of 19 players selected to play for the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team. He made his first start of the trip (Oct. 16), playing all 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Azerbaijan. He played 69 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 loss to Canada (Oct. 10) and logged 63 minutes in a 2-0 win over Scotland (Oct. 12) at Marbella Cup in Spain.
Miller has logged at least one shot on goal in each of the last six matches. Off the field he was selected as 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII First Team selection by CoSIDA in early November.
Sophomore defender Jose Ribas has started all 18 games for the Jays this season. He is second on the team with five assists and ranks third on the squad with 14 shots on goal.
Ribas is third on the team this season with nine points (two goals, five assists) and has posted at least one shot attempt in 15 of 18 games played.
Last week Ribas assisted on the game-winning goal at Evansville on a corner entry. He has been honored a conference high of three occasions this fall as the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week.
Freshman defender Hines-Ike has played in each game this year and claims 12 starts. Despite playing primarily on the defensive end he posted first career shot on goal vs. St. Louis (Sept. 22). He kicked another shot on goal at Drake (Sept. 29)
Hines-Ike has logged 90 minutes or more on the pitch six times this season including each of the last three matches. His 1,214 minutes played this season ranks second in the freshman class behind fellow honoree Pitter.
The Bluejays enter this week's conference tournament seeking their 13th Valley tourney crown. CU has won 12 titles in 21 tournament appearances and is 31-8-1 all-time in tourney matches after claiming the postseason championship last season.
Creighton will face No. 5 Drake in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 in Peoria, Ill., and will be streamed live, free of charge, by the MVC at Valley-Live.TV. Live stats and video links are provided at GoCreighton.com.
The Bulldogs upset No. 4 Evansville in a Wednesday quarterfinal 2-1 to advance. CU traveled to Drake to open the 2012 conference regular season on Sept. 29 and came away with a 0-0 draw in Des Moines. The Jays are 5-1 against DU in the MVC tournament and hold a 22-3-8 advantage in the all-time series with the Bulldogs.
2012 Missouri Valley All-Conference Honors
MVC Player of the Year
Jose Gomez, Creighton
MVC Defensive Player of the Year
Andrew Ribeiro, Creighton
MVC Goalkeeper of the Year
John Berner, SIUE
MVC Freshman of the Year
Timo Pitter, Creighton
MVC Coaching Staff of the Year
SIUE (Kevin Kalish, Scott Donnelly, Jon Boyer and Brian Jones)
First Team All-MVC
John Berner, GK, SIUE
Jose Gomez, MF, Creighton
Jochen Graf, F, Bradley
Benny Jeffery, D, SIUE
Tapiwa Machingauta, D, Bradley
Eric Miller, MF, Creighton
Timo Pitter, MF, Creighton
Matt Polster, D, SIUE
Andrew Ribeiro, D, Creighton
Michael Thaden, MF, Drake
Christian Volesky, F, SIUE
Second Team All-MVC
Keegan Balle, MF, Bradley
Ryan Bauer, MF, SIUE
Brian Billings, GK, Bradley
Zac Burns, D, Central Arkansas
James Fawke, D, Missouri State
Brian Groark, MF, SIUE
Peter Kelly, F, SIUE
Aaron Lantz, D, SIUE
Jose Ribas, D, Creighton
Nick Schroeder, F, Evansville
Kevin Stoll, MF, SIUE
Honorable Mention All-MVC
Addison Eck, MF, Drake
Rich Gallagher, GK, Drake
Ben Griffiths, D, Missouri State
Faik Hajderovic, MF, Evansville
Taylor Hart, F, Central Arkansas
Patrick Hodges, D, Evansville
Charlie Macias, D, Evansville
Manuel Montal, MF, Central Arkansas
Luis Romero, MF, Evansville
Jesse Sharp, F, Evansville
Matt Taphorn, D, Central Arkansas
Eric Teppen, GK, Evansville
MVC All-Freshman Team
Alec Bartlett, Drake
Grant Bell, Bradley
Jacob Campbell, Central Arkansas
Mark Anthony Gonzalez, Evansville
Faik Hajderovic, Evansville
Brendan Hines-Ike, Creighton
Brett Lane, SIUE
Jason Lesch, Bradley
Nate Opperman, Evansville
Timo Pitter, Creighton
James Thomas, Missouri State