OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton men’s soccer head coach Elmar Bolowich announced the Bluejays’ 2013 schedule that features a nine-match BIG EAST conference slate as well as nine regular-season contests against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including four of the other 15 national seeds from last season.
Creighton finished last year with a 17-4-3 record, the nation's No. 6 NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) mark, and a No. 4 national ranking after competing in its second consecutive College Cup as the No. 12 national seed in December. The Jays’ quest for their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 22 seasons begins in August.
The Jays’ will host nine opponents and travel to play nine other squads in the 2013 regular season. The slate is highlighted by 10 matches against teams that finished among the top 50 of the final 2012 NCAA RPI; half of those are home contests.
Starting in late September, Creighton will face seven squads in a row that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season in a span of just under a month. The Bluejays battle three opponents that were national seeds in 2012 all on the road during the arduous stretch including fellow College Cup participant No. 3 Georgetown, No. 7 Marquette and No. 8 Saint Louis.
In mid-August CU welcomes two exhibition foes to Morrison Stadium in former 2012 NCAA top overall seed Notre Dame (Aug. 18) and crosstown rival Omaha (Aug. 23) after the annual Blue-White Scrimmage opens the action (Aug. 15).
Creighton begins the regular season against another 2012 NCAA national seed in No. 11 Tulsa at home Aug. 30. The Golden Hurricane dealt Creighton one of its four losses last year after a 2-0 victory in Tulsa and ended last season in the Sweet 16.
Two more home matches dot the Jays’ schedule before they leave Omaha for the first time. Cal Poly visits Morrison Stadium to kick off the month of September before Creighton welcomes Ivy League foe Columbia on Sept. 6.
The Bluejays’ first road contest is a rematch of the 2012 Creighton Invitational. CU faces host Old Dominion on Sept. 13 in Norfolk, Va., in the Monarchs’ Stihl Classic. ODU edged Creighton 2-1 last fall. Two days later as part of the Classic, CU battles William & Mary for the second consecutive season after knocking off the Tribe 2-1 last season.
Creighton returns home on Sept. 21 for its first BIG EAST Conference match when it hosts St. John’s as part of its annual Homecoming festivities. The Red Storm advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The contest against St. John’s begins the Jays’ seven-game stretch against opponents from the 2012 NCAA Tourney.
Michigan State of the Big Ten invades Morrison Stadium for a midweek contest on Sept. 24. The Spartans advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
The Bluejays’ first BIG EAST road match will feature two 2012 College Cup squads when Creighton visits Georgetown on Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas finished as the National Runner-Up a year ago, falling to Indiana 1-0 in the National Championship game.
Creighton travels to St. Louis to begin the month of October. The Billikens spoiled CU’s homecoming last season with a 3-1 victory. Saint Louis was awarded the No. 8 national seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
CU challenges Xavier in a conference matchup on Oct. 5 in Omaha. Like the Bluejays, the Musketeers are also new members of the BIG EAST. XU advanced to the second round of the NCAA bracket last fall.
Two road matches conclude the Jays’ run of 2012 postseason opponents. Creighton visits BIG EAST foe Marquette on Oct. 12. The Golden Eagles earned the No. 7 national seed in the tourney a season ago. Three days later the Bluejays travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on Michigan. Last year, the Wolverines advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tourney.
Creighton welcomes Villanova for a conference match on Oct. 19 at Morrison Stadium. Despite a No. 45 RPI ranking at the end of last season, the Wildcats were not selected for the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
The Bluejays then hit the road for a pair of conference meetings. Creighton visits Butler on Oct. 23 in Indianapolis before traveling to Seton Hall to battle the Pirates three days later.
Former Missouri Valley Conference rival Drake visits Morrison Stadium for a midweek tilt Oct. 30.
Creighton will celebrate the contributions of its seniors in the final home match of the season against BIG EAST rival DePaul on Nov. 2. The Jays conclude the regular-season schedule with a league contest at Providence slated for Nov. 8.
On Nov. 12, the 2013 BIG EAST quarterfinals will be played on campus sites with four squads advancing to the BIG EAST Championship beginning Nov. 15 at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa., - home to Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union and the 2013 NCAA College Cup.
The NCAA Tournament begins November 21st and concludes with the College Cup in the City of Brotherly Love on December 13th and 15th. Creighton has appeared in 20 of the last 21 NCAA Tournaments, including College Cup appearances in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2011 and 2012.
Creighton opens its 2013 campaign Aug. 15 with the Blue-White Scrimmage slated for 6 p.m. CT at Morrison Stadium.