OMAHA, Neb. – After a pair of opening-weekend shutout victories, the No. 2 Creighton men’s soccer team hosts Columbia on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT inside Morrison Stadium as part of Socctoberfest.
The Bluejays opened 2013 with a 2-0 blanking of then-No. 14 Tulsa on Aug. 30 at home. Creighton closed out the weekend on Sept. 1 by shutting down a visiting Cal Poly squad, 3-0. The Jays’ pair of shutout victories last week marked the fourth time in five years that CU has held opponents without a goal over the first two matches of a season. During his three years at the helm in Omaha, CU head coach Elmar Bolowich is undefeated at 5-0-1 combined in the first pair of matches for each season.
As a result of the victories, several Bluejay players claimed conference and national awards. Creighton juniors Eric Miller and Alex Bolowich claimed Defensive Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the Week honors, respectively, from the BIG EAST on Sept. 2 - the first honors awarded to CU men’s soccer student-athletes by the conference. Sophomore Timo Pitter also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. Additionally, CU freshman Fabian Herbers claimed a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week, released Sept. 3.
Voters in national polls also rewarded the Jays for their stellar opening weekend. Creighton ranks No. 2 the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Sept. 3, jumping four spots from its preseason ranking. The Bluejays, who received five first-place votes, trail only North Carolina in the top spot in the coaches’ poll. It marks the 38th consecutive week that Creighton is ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays were unranked.
The Bluejays have never met Columbia in men’s soccer. The Lions are one of six first-time opponents that the Bluejays will face this season. Creighton is 5-1 all-time against Ivy League schools after a 3-2 overtime victory at Princeton last October.
The match is the 2013 opener for the Lions; they are 3-6-1 in season lid-lifters over the last 10 years. Columbia finished 4-8-4 overall and 2-3-2 in the Ivy League in 2012. The Lions return four All-Ivy League selections from 2012, including seniors David Najem and Henning Sauerbier as well as sophomores Kyle Jackson and Antonio Matarazzo.
8/30: def. No. 14 Tulsa, 2-0
9/1: def. Cal Poly, 3-0
9/6: vs. Columbia, 7:30 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium
What’s at Stake
- Creighton is 5-1 against Ivy League opponents all-time, having won four straight matches against conference members since 2003.
- Columbia is looking for a victory in a season opener for just the fourth time in 11 seasons.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this Friday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the No. 2 Creighton Bluejays (2-0-0)
The last time out Creighton posted a pair of shutout victories at home inside Morrison Stadium over then-No. 14 Tulsa and Cal Poly to open the 2013 season. The 2-0 start propelled the Bluejays in the national polls, including a No. 2 ranking in the NSCAA Top 25.
Sophomore Timo Pitter led the Creighton offense with the team with five points, two goals and 11 shot attempts on the opening weekend. CU freshman Fabian Herbers made a spectacular debut in a Bluejay uniform with four points including a game-winning score against Tulsa and a pair of assists versus Cal Poly.
Junior defender Eric Miller scored a rare goal, just the second of his career, off of a redirected header on a free kick by Herbers against Cal Poly. Miller helped anchor the back line on defense but also played as a midfielder last weekend. Classmate Alex Bolowich was solid in net for the Jays, not allowing a goal and making nine saves in 135 minutes of action.
All four players received weekly accolades for their efforts on the pitch last weekend.
Scouting the Columbia Lions (0-0-0)
Columbia has yet to play a match in the 2013 regular season. The Lions’ season opener will be against Creighton on Friday evening.
Columbia will feature a mix of returners and first-year players on the field this season. Four All-Ivy League selections from the 2012 season return for the Lions in 2013 including seniors David Najem and Henning Sauerbier, as well as sophomores Kyle Jackson and Antonio Matarazzo.
Matarazzo and Jackson made significant contributions as first-year players a season ago. As a defensive midfielder, Matarazzo led all players with 1,345 minutes, while goalkeeper Jackson received four Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. Najem, Sauerbier and Will Stamatis, who sat out last year due to injury, will look to provide the senior leadership for Columbia.
Among returning players, Sauerbier leads the team with five points, two goals and one assist from a year ago. Matarazzo also logged an assist last year while Jackson made 58 saves in net for the Lions in 2012.
The Last Meeting vs. an Ivy League School
PRINCETON, N.J. (Oct. 9, 2012) - The No. 24 Creighton men's soccer team won its second straight overtime thriller in a 3-2 road victory over Princeton at the Tigers' Roberts Stadium Tuesday evening, broadcast live nationally on ESPNU.
With the score tied at 2-2, Creighton goalkeeper Alex Bolowich made a crucial save on a Princeton penalty kick in the 84th minute that kept the match tied late in regulation.
In the first overtime session, the Bluejays capitalized on that effort. Junior Benito Amaral scored his first goal at CU off an assist from senior Jose Gomez, his third of the contest, in the 96th minute to help the Jays edge the Tigers in dramatic fashion.
With the win, Creighton moves to 8-3-2 overall and 3-1-1 on the road this season. After the loss Princeton dropped to 5-4-1 overall.
Princeton struck first in game to lead 1-0 as Tiger Myles McGinley scored off of a long throw-in during the ninth minute. That score halted the Bluejays' opponent scoreless streak at 320:49.
Junior Sean Kim entered the game as a substitution at 17:13 of the first half and then tied the match just over seven minutes later. Off of a pass from Gomez, Kim lifted the ball over the Tiger goalkeeper Seth MacMillan to knot the score at 1-1. The score marked Kim's fourth of the year as he took sole possession of the team's goal lead.
After halftime, the Bluejays took the lead in the 55th minute of the game. Sophomore Jose Ribas headed in his third goal of the year off of a centering pass from Gomez to give the Jays a 2-1 advantage.
The Jays' lead did not last for long as Princeton's Matt Sanner scored less than a minute later off of a penalty kick to tie the game at 2-2.
The Tigers' best chance for a third goal came late in regulation when Bolowich made a save on Sanner's second penalty kick of the game.
Gomez earned the assist on all three Creighton goals, the first Bluejay to accomplish the feat since Seth Sinovic helped on three scores at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 8, 2008.
Creighton recorded seven shots on goal while Princeton also sent in seven at the net. The Jays led in corner kicks with an 8-6 advantage.
With a pair of victories last weekend, Creighton is closing in on the program’s 400th victory. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 397-154-58 since their first season in 1979.
Miller, Bolowich Earn BIG EAST Weekly Honors
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. Sophomore Timo Pitter also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
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.
Pitter earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition after leading the Creighton attack on the opening weekend with a pair of goals and an assist. He scored one goal and assisted on the other in a 2-0 win against No. 14 Tulsa. Pitter added a goal in a 3-0 victory over Cal Poly. He currently is tied for the league lead in shot attempts and ranks in a tie for second in both points (5) and goals (2) in the conference.
Herbers Earns Team of Week Nod
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.
Jays Climb to No. 2 in NSCAA Poll
Creighton jumped four spots to No. 2 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Sept. 3 after opening the season with a pair of shutout victories over then-No. 14 Tulsa and Cal Poly last weekend.
The Bluejays, who received five first-place votes, trail only North Carolina in the top spot in the coaches’ poll. It marks the 38th consecutive week that Creighton is ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays were unranked.
Creighton was awarded the No. 1 spot in the latest College Soccer News Top 30 poll released on Sept. 2. The Bluejays moved up three spots from their preseason standing in the poll.
The Jays also rated high in the latest Soccer America Men's Top 25 released on Sept. 3. Creighton stands at No. 2 in the poll after beginning the season at No. 5 in the organization’s preseason rankings.
Creighton moved up three spots to No. 7 in the TopDrawerSoccer rankings this week. The Soccer Times poll rated the Jays at No. 2 as well up three spots from the organization’s preseason poll.
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.