OMAHA, Neb. - An unassisted goal from senior Jose Gomez midway through the second-half opened the floodgates as the Jays bested Rutgers, 3-0, on Sunday, Sept. 2 to claim the Ameritas Classis Championship.
The win lifted No. 2 Creighton to 2-0-1 in 2012, while Rutgers fell to 1-2-0 on the season and 0-2-0 in the tournament.
The Jays claimed the Ameritas Classic Championship via the first tiebreaker, goal differential. Both Creighton and Akron finished the Ameritas Classic with a 1-0-1 record, the Jays finished +3 (4 goals scored, 1 allowed) and Akron finished +1 (3 goals scored, 2 allowed).
Creighton started to take control of the match in the final 10-15 of the first half, controlling possession. Unfortunately the Jays were unable to take advantage, managing just two shots in the opening period. The Bluejays' defense held Rutgers to just three shots in the opening period and the match went to the break, scoreless.
Following a lackluster first half, the Jays overpowered Rutgers in half number two.
Creighton continued to dominate possession as the second period open, but Rutgers continued to frustrate the Jays offense. This pattern continued through the opening 15 minutes of the second frame, when a Rutgers foul gave the Jays an opening.
In the 63rd minute, Gomez lined up his shot from just over 20 yards out. Gomez fired the shot directly into the upper right corner of the net to take a 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 into the 85th minute, when Creighton sealed the game with two goals in 34 seconds. Freshman Christian Blandon struck first for Creighton as he dribbled the ball past two defenders from the left side of the field to the right, then nailed his first goal as a Bluejay from just over 25 yards out.
Just 34 seconds later the Jays sealed the win as Creighton quickly regained possession and found Blandon streaking up the left side. Once more the freshman beat his defender and fired towards the goal, however this time Rutgers goalkeeper, Kevin McMullen, deflected Blandon's shot toward the right. Junior Bruno Castro collected the deflection and fired a crossing shot into the open net to extend Creighton's lead to 3-0.
For the game, Creighton outshot Rutgers 12-8. Rutgers, however, held an 8-2 edge in corner opportunities.
Sophomore Alex Bolowich sparkled in goal for Creighton, finishing with three saves, while McMullen posted three saves in the loss.
Creighton returns to the pitch next weekend as the Jays venture on their first road trip of 2012. The Jays travel to California to face Santa Clara on Friday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. and Saint Mary's College on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.
Final Ameritas Classic Standings
Creighton won the Ameritas Classic Tournament Championship via goal differential.
1. Creighton 1-0-1 (+3, four goals scored, one allowed)
2. Akron 1-0-1 (+1, three goals scored, two allowed)
3. SIUE 1-1-0
4. Rutgers 0-2-0
MVP: Andrew Ribeiro, Creighton
Zach Barnes, Creighton
Alex Bolowich, Creighton
Sean Kim, Creighton
Bryan Gallego, Akron
Alfred Koroma, Akron
Eric Stevenson, Akron
Peter Kelly, SIU Edwardsville
Benny Jeffery, SIU Edwardsville
Drew Morgan, Rutgers
Mitchell Taintor, Rutgers