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Senior Kelsey O'Donnell leads Creighton back out on the road, this time to Villanova.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Bluejays' Women's Soccer Battles Villanova In Critical BIG EAST Match

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton women's soccer team returns to the road for a match at Villanova on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 3 pm (CT).

Last Week:
10/12:     L, 1-2 (ot) vs. DePaul - Morrison Stadium

This Week:
10/17:     at Villanova - Villanova Soccer Stadium  - 3:00 p.m. (CT)
10/20:     at Georgetown - Shaw Field  - 12:00 p.m. (CT)

Scouting Creighton (9-4-1, 2-2-1 BIG EAST):
Playing another pivotal BIG EAST game, the Bluejay may be happy to hit the road to face Villanova.  Creighton is 0-2-0 in BIG EAST play at home, but 2-0-1 in three conference road contests.  The Wildcats and Bluejays are presently tied for fourth place with four conference matches remaining for both squads.

Sophomore Kirstyn Corder has been the driving force for the Creighton offense,
scoring a team-high seven goals.  She delivered the game-winning goal in both road matches two weeks ago and has four game winners in 2013.

Defensively the Bluejays have gotten everything they hoped for from goalkeeper
Danielle Rice.  The freshman has four shutouts this season, including two in BIG EAST play.  Rice has a 1.14 goals against average (GAA) on the season.     

Scouting Villanova (5-6-3, 2-2-1 BIG EAST)
Villanova’s 5-6-3 record may be a bit misleading as the Wildcats are 4-2-1 at home in 2013.  An interesting quick of Villanova this season has been the Wildcats pension for avoiding the same result in consecutive matches.  Villanova has not posted consecutive wins, losses or ties this season.  Coming off a 1-1 tie at St. John’s it seems certain that the Bluejays and Wildcats will offer a decisive outcome.

Senior Jami Kranich has played every minute in goal for Villanova this season, recording 60 saves and posting a 1.23 GAA.  She has tallied three shutouts and has allowed just five goals in BIG EAST play (0.96 GAA).  

Offensively it has been the Katie Martin show for the Wildcats.  The freshman leads the team with five goals, nine assists and 19 points.  Martin has played a role in 14 of Villanova’s 19 goals this season.
At Home on the Road
With two home losses in BIG EAST play, Creighton is excited to get back on the road this week. The Bluejays are 2-0-1 in BIG EAST road contests this season, with their final two road matches coming this week at Villanova (10/17) &
at Georgetown (10/20).  In 360 minutes of road soccer in the BIG EAST, Creighton has trailed for 4:33 in 2013, allowing Providence to take a brief lead.

Chasing Double Digits
At nine victories in 2013, the Bluejays are just one win away from giving head coach Bruce Erickson his ninth season with at least 10 wins.  If Creighton can record one more win, it would be the first time since 2010 that the Bluejays have reached double digits in victories.

NCAA Tournament Recipe?
During the eight seasons that Erickson has led Creighton to 10 or more wins, the Bluejays have reached the NCAA Tournament four times.  Creighton also reached the NCAA Bracket with nine wins in 2004.  

NCAA Tournament Appearances
Creighton has reached the NCAA Tournament five times, all under Erickson.  Since he took the reigns of the Bluejays in 1999, Creighton has not made it to the Dance in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2010.

BIG EAST RPI Rankings
Team    RPI    Record
Marquette    4    12-3-0    
Georgetown    6    11-1-2    
St. John’s    55    7-3-3    
DePaul    56    9-2-2    
Villanova    70    5-6-3    
Butler    82    9-4-2    
Creighton    97    9-4-1    
Xavier    98    8-5-1    
Seton Hall    114    4-8-2    
Providence    150    4-7-3

Missouri Valley RPI Rankings
Team    RPI    Record
Illinois State    103    8-6-0   
Evansville    189    9-2-2    
Loyola Chicago    193    4-7-4    
Missouri State    203    5-7-2    
Indiana State    219    5-8-0    
Drake    288    2-9-3    
Northern Iowa    314    2-12-0

Now That’s a Jump!
Comparing the final RPI of 2012 to the current 2013 RPI, Creighton has made the greatest improvement of any team in the NCAA.  The Bluejays finished 2012 at 268 and are presently 97.  

Top 10 Improvements in RPI Since 2012
Team    2012    2013    Change
Creighton    268    97    +171
UAB    281    112    +169
Nicholls State    291    124    +167
Xavier    240    98    +142
Cornell    284    146    +138
Monmouth    204    66    +138
James Madison    171    36    +135
Weber State    244    109    +135
Elon    226    107    +119
Cincinnati    227    110    +117
Presbyterian    297    181    +116

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