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Sophomore Timo Pitter leads the BIG EAST Conference with seven points through three matches this season.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Top-Ranked Jays Play First Road Matches at Old Dominion

OMAHA, Neb. – After securing the No. 1 ranking in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll earlier this week, the top-ranked Creighton men’s soccer team travels to Old Dominion this weekend to battle the host Monarchs and William & Mary.

The Bluejays remained undefeated on the season after a 3-1 home victory over Columbia on Sept. 6 inside Morrison Stadium. With the win, Creighton improved to 6-1 against Ivy League opponents all-time and have won five straight matches against conference members since 2003.

As a result of the victory, voters in national polls rewarded the Jays for their efforts through the first two weeks of the season. Creighton slid into the No. 1 spot in the latest NSCAA poll released Sept. 10. CU leapfrogged previous No. 1 North Carolina who tied at No. 4 Notre Dame last week 1-1.

The Bluejays, who received six more first-place votes (11) than last week, edged out the Tar Heels for the top slot by just four total points in the coaches’ poll. It marks the 39th consecutive week that Creighton is ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays were unranked.

For a second consecutive week, CU sophomore Timo Pitter claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. Pitter continues to lead Creighton in scoring after posting his third goal of the year on the Jays’ game-winning score over Columbia. He leads team with three goals, seven points, 15 shots and 8 SOG.

This weekend marks the second meeting all-time between the Bluejays and Old Dominion. In 2012, Creighton suffered one of its four losses on the season to ODU in a 2-1 setback on Sept. 14. As a result the Monarchs lead the all-time series 1-0-0.

Creighton defeated William & Mary 2-1 last season in Omaha to even the all-time series with the Tribe at 1-1-0.

CU’s opponents this weekend have already played each other as William & Mary defeated Old Dominion 4-0 last Saturday in Norfolk, Va.

Last Week

9/6: def. Columbia, 3-1

 

This Week

9/13: vs. Old Dominion, 6 p.m. CT – Norfolk, Va. (Stihl Classic)

9/15: vs. William & Mary, 11 a.m. CT – Norfolk, Va. (Stihl Classic)

What’s at Stake

·       Creighton is looking to even the series against Old Dominion and take a series lead against William & Mary while maintaining its No. 1 ranking.

·       Old Dominion is seeking to upset a top-two Creighton squad for a second straight season.

·       William & Mary is looking to score a victory over Creighton for the first time since a 2-1 four-overtime victory over the Jays during the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 18, 1995.

Following the Jays

Fans can follow all of the action this weekend by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.

Scouting the No. 1 Creighton Bluejays (3-0-0)

The last time out Creighton remained undefeated through its first three matches of 2013 with a 3-1 home victory over Columbia on Sept. 6.

As a result of the victory, Creighton earned the top ranking in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday. It marks the Jays’ first time back in the top spot since September 1999. Creighton has ranked as high as No. 2 in each of the past three seasons, including last week’s poll position.

Sophomore Timo Pitter led the Creighton offense after posting his third goal of the year on the Jays’ game-winning score over the Lions last weekend. For a second straight week, Pitter claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. He currently leads the BIG EAST with three goals and seven points.

CU freshman Ricardo Perez scored the second goal of his career after just three matches in a Creighton uniform. In his first career start, Perez scored in the 87th minute against Columbia to conclude CU’s 3-1 win. He is second on the team with two goals and four points this season.

Junior Alex Bolowich played all 90 minutes in a 3-1 victory over Columbia. He now boasts three wins, a 0.40 goals against average and .909 save percentage this season.

Scouting the Old Dominion Monarchs (1-1-0)

Old Dominion is coming off of a 4-0 loss to William & Mary last Saturday in the Monarchs’ home opener. During the 2013 opening weekend, ODU claimed a season-opening 3-2 victory over High Point.

ODU head coach Alan Dawson served as an assistant for CU head coach Elmar Bolowich when they were together at the University of North Carolina.

Preseason All-Conference USA team member Tim Hopkinson leads the Monarchs in scoring with a goal and an assist, followed by freshman Jesse Miralrio and junior Ivan Militar with a goal each, and sophomore Ryan Condotta has an assist.   

Redshirt senior Sean Stowe and freshman Matthew Sanchez have split time in net for the Monarchs this season. Stowe gave up two goals in the win against High Point while Sanchez surrendered four scores against William & Mary.

The Last Meeting vs. Old Dominion

OMAHA (Sept. 14, 2012) - In front of a single-match record crowd of 6,848, the No. 2 Creighton men's soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 14 Old Dominion in the opening round of the Creighton Invitational on Friday.

The loss dropped the Jays to 4-1-1 on the season, while Old Dominion moved to 5-0-0.

Senior Jose Gomez got the Jays out to an early 1-0 lead, as he struck for his second goal of the season in just the second minute of the match. Gomez took a pass straight up field from sophomore Jose Ribas at the top of the box, striking the ball from 18 yards away past Monarch keeper Victor Francoz to make it a 1-0 game.

The Monarchs tied the match in the 26th minute. Tim Hopkinson delivered his sixth goal of the season off a cross from Yannick Smith to knot the match at 1-1.

The score remained knotted at 1-1 into the half, Creighton held an 8-7 edge in shots in the opening period, while the Monarchs created more corner kicks, 2-1.

The match broke in Old Dominion's favor in the 71st minute. Hopkinson and Chris Harmon broke free towards Creighton keeper Alex Bolowich two steps in front the any Bluejay defenders.  Hopkinson fired a shot that Bolowich was able to deflect.  But Harmon gathered the ball and fired an attempt of his own, this time Creighton senior Andrew Ribeiro made a team save.  The deflection caromed right to Hopkinson, who fired the third shot of the series into the back of the net.

It was Hopkinson's seventh goal of 2012, while Harmon picked up the assist.

In the match the Jays finished with a 20-18 shot advantage and a six to three edge in corners.

Bolowich closed the match with a career-high nine saves, while Francoz recorded eight saves.

Scouting the William & Mary Tribe (1-2-0)

William & Mary is coming off of a 2-1 double overtime home loss to North Carolina State on Tuesday night. Last weekend the Tribe blanked Old Dominion 4-0 on the road for its first victory of the season.

Sophomore Jackson Eskay, who has registered two goals and an assist in 2013, leads the Tribe offensively with five points. Junior Chris Albiston, who has a goal and two assists, is second on the club with four points. In goal, Mac Phillips, who is the reigning Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Week, boasts a 0.94 goals against average, with .812 save percentage, and a shutout.

Eskay has already equaled his point total from the entire 2012 season. His goal against NC State in the 66th minute on Tuesday was the first goal surrendered by the Wolfpack in 2013.

Phillips garnered CAA Rookie of the Week honors on Sept. 9, following a shutout against Old Dominion. He recorded a then-career-high five saves against the Monarchs. On Tuesday, Phillips posted a new career-high of eight saves against NC State.

The Last Meeting vs. William & Mary

OMAHA (Sept. 16, 2012) - The No. 2 Creighton men's soccer team rallied for two second-half goals to defeat William & Mary, 2-1, at the Creighton Invitational on Sunday.

The Jays moved to 5-1-1 on the season following the win, while William & Mary dropped to 2-3-1.

In the 23rd minute the Jays defense attempted to play the ball back to keeper Jeff Gal, but the Tribe's Chris Perez rushed in and stole the ball. Perez took possession, and then found Patrick O'Brien along the left side of the goal. O'Brien sent a crossing shot from left to right past Gal at 22:02, giving William & Mary a 1-0 lead.

The match went to the half with the Bluejays trailing 1-0. Creighton held an 8-5 edge in shots in the opening period and had a 2-0 edge in corners.

In the 55th minute Brent Kallman found freshman Timo Pitter along the left side of the goal just beyond eight yards out. Pitter took one step toward the goal to draw Tribe keeper Bennett Jones, then bounced a shot over Jones' head to tie the match at 1-1. It was Pitter's first career goal.

Off of a a corner kick, senior Jose Ribas inserted the ball to the left side of the goal, where freshman Eric DeJulio headed it in for his first career goal.

Staked to a 2-1 lead, the Jays defense held the Tribe to just one shot the rest of the way to help claim the win.

Chasing 400

After the Jays’ 3-1 win over Columbia last weekend, Creighton is closing in on the program’s 400th victory. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 398-154-58 since their first season in 1979.

Jays Ranked No. 1 in NSCAA Rankings for the First Time in 14 Years

Creighton is the top squad in the nation according to the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday, following a 3-1 victory over Columbia last weekend.

It marks the Jays’ first time back in the top spot since September 1999. Creighton has ranked as high as No. 2 in each of the past three seasons, including last week’s poll position.

The Bluejays, who received six more first-place votes (11) than last week, edged out North Carolina for the top slot by just four total points in the coaches’ poll. It marks the 39th consecutive week that Creighton is ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays were unranked.

For the second straight week, Creighton was awarded the No. 1 spot in the latest College Soccer News Top 30 poll released on Monday.

The Jays also maintained their No. 2 standing in the latest Soccer America Men's Top 25 released on Tuesday for a second consecutive week. Creighton moved up five spots to No. 2 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 rankings this week. CU trails Connecticut in both of those polls.

Jays’ History When Perched at No. 1

Creighton boasts an 8-1-1 record all-time as the top-ranked team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.

The Bluejays went 1-0-1 after achieving the top ranking in the Sept. 15, 1999 poll. CU defeated Harvard 6-0 before tying Boston University 1-1 a day later. The tie dropped the Jays to No. 3 the following week.

Creighton’s longest run at No. 1 occurred in 1993 when the Bluejays spent the final five weeks of the regular season in the top spot. CU finished the regular season undefeated at 19-0 including seven consecutive victories while ranked No. 1. The Jays suffered a heart-breaking four-overtime 2-1 loss to Air Force in the first round of the NCAA Tournament that season to halt the streak.

Pitter Claims Spot on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for Second Straight Week

Sophomore Timo Pitter led the Creighton offense after posting his third goal of the year on the Jays’ game-winning score over the Lions last weekend. For a second straight week, Pitter claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. He currently leads the BIG EAST with three goals and seven points.

Miller, Bolowich Earn BIG EAST Weekly Honors after Opening Weekend

Creighton juniors Eric Miller and Alex Bolowich claimed Defensive Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the Week honors from the BIG EAST, respectively, the league announced on Sept. 2.

The weekly conference honor bestowed solely on athletic performance is a career first for both Miller and Bolowich. The classmates each claimed a scholar-athlete weekly award a season ago. The weekly awards are the first given to Creighton men’s soccer student-athletes by the BIG EAST.

Miller won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after anchoring the Creighton backline on the opening weekend, helping the Bluejays record a pair of shutout wins over No. 14 Tulsa (2-0) and Cal Poly (3-0). He also scored a rare goal, just the second of his career in Omaha, against Cal Poly on a redirected header from freshman Fabian Herbers.

Bolowich shined for Creighton in the pair of shutouts to open the 2013 season to claim BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week accolades. Bolowich blanked No. 14 Tulsa in the Jays’ opener with seven saves. He played only the first half against Cal Poly, making two stops. Bolowich currently leads the conference in goals against average (0.00), save percentage (1.000), saves (9) and shutouts (1) in 135 minutes of action this season.

Herbers Earns Team of Week Nod in First Week

CU freshman Fabian Herbers claimed a spot on TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week, released Tuesday, after posting four points for the Jays on the opening weekend. He helped Creighton record a pair of wins with a goal and two assists. Herbers’ first career goal as a Bluejay was the game winner against No. 14 Tulsa. He also made two assists against Cal Poly.

California Dreaming

After blanking Cal Poly 3-0 on Sept. 1, Creighton improved its record to 16-0-3 against California-based schools in its last 19 meetings. The Jays won both matches against teams from the Sunshine State in 2012 defeating both Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s by 1-0 margins. Creighton’s last loss to a team from California came on Sept. 7, 2003, a 2-1 double overtime loss at Loyola Marymount.

Starting the Season Off Right

• After a 2-0 shutout of Tulsa, Creighton is unbeaten in its last seven season-opening matches, going 5-0-2 in those contests.

• Creighton has allowed one total goal to its last five season-opening opponents. Northern Illinois scored the lone goal last year after three years of shutouts.

BIG EAST Preseason Honors

The BIG EAST men’s soccer coaches selected No. 2 Creighton to place second in the 2013 preseason poll the behind fellow 2012 College Cup participant, No. 11 Georgetown.

CU junior Eric Miller and sophomore Timo Pitter were also named to the preseason All‐BIG EAST Team.

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