OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 5 Creighton men’s soccer team welcomes Michigan State of the Big Ten to Omaha for the first time in the Bluejays’ Blue-Out match on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT inside Morrison Stadium.
Fans attending Tuesday’s match are encouraged to wear blue apparel to create a blue-out in support of prostate and testicular cancer awareness. The Bluejays will wear blue tops, shorts and socks while the Spartans will wear all white in support of the cause which is an event co-sponsored by Creighton Athletics and the Creighton student chapter of Colleges Against Cancer.
With a thrilling double-overtime victory over No. 7 St. John’s on Saturday, the Bluejays captured the program’s 400th all-time win. Creighton also claimed its first conference victory as a member of the BIG EAST in its debut match against the Red Storm.
CU junior Eric Miller and freshman Fabian Herbers claimed Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors from the BIG EAST, respectively, the league announced Monday. Junior Alex Bolowich also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
Two of the major men’s soccer polls were released on Monday and the Jays either gained ground or maintained their position. CU moved up to No. 2 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll and held its No. 3 standing in the College Soccer News Top 30.
Creighton has been difficult to beat at home in Morrison Stadium this season. The Jays are undefeated at 4-0-0 with a pair of top-25 victories in front of the Bluejay faithful. Creighton has surrendered just one score in those four matches while notching nine goals.
The Bluejays’ midweek opponent, Michigan State of the Big Ten, ranks second in the nation in shutout percentage after blanking four of its five foes to begin the 2013 season. As a result, the Spartans also rank among the top five in the country for team goals against average (0.4 - 3rd) and save percentage (0.9 - 5th). MSU was picked second in the Big Ten preseason poll after winning the 2012 conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA Second Round.
This weekend marks the first meeting all-time between the Bluejays and Spartans. CU is 16-9-1 all-time against Big Ten schools after a 1-0 setback to Indiana at the College Cup semifinals last December.
MSU has posted two consecutive shutouts coming into the match, including a 2-0 victory at BIG EAST contender Marquette on Sept. 15.
Last Week 9/21: def. No. 7 St. John’s 1-0 (2ot)*
This Week 9/24: vs. Michigan State, 7 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium 9/28: at Georgetown, 12 noon CT – Washington D.C.*
* BIG EAST conference match
What’s at Stake
· Creighton is looking to remain undefeated at home in 2013.
· Michigan State is seeking its fifth shutout victory of the season and second win against a BIG EAST opponent this year.
· Both teams are pursuing their first victory in the series.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this Tuesday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the No. 5 Creighton Bluejays (5-1-0, 1-0-0 BIG EAST)
The No. 5 Creighton men’s soccer team claimed program win No. 400 all-time as well as its first victory in the Jays’ BIG EAST Conference opener in dramatic fashion Saturday night over No. 7 St. John’s at Morrison Stadium.
CU freshman Fabian Herbers scored the lone goal of the match off of a free kick at 108:05 to give the Jays a thrilling 1-0 decision over the Red Storm. The goal was Herbers’ second score of the season, both game-winning tallies.
Herbers earned recognition from the BIG EAST on Monday as did juniors Eric Miller and Alex Bolowich for their performance in the milestone victory. Miller claimed Defensive Player of the Week honors while Herbers claimed Rookie of the Week accolades from the conference. Bolowich also gained a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
Miller won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after anchoring the Creighton backline against No. 7 St. John’s playing all 108 minutes in the double overtime. Miller has played every minute of the season on defense, helping the Jays record three shutouts through six matches.
Herbers scored the lone goal of the match off of a free kick at 108:05 in a double overtime win against No. 7 St. John’s. It marked his second goal of the season, both game-winners. He is currently tied for second on the team with two goals and six points on the season.
Bolowich earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition after recording his third shutout of the season and second shutout of a ranked opponent last weekend. Bolowich currently boasts a 0.83 goals against average while allowing just five goals through six matches this season
Scouting the Michigan State Spartans (4-1-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten)
Michigan State enters this week’s match after claiming its second consecutive shutout victory – part of four shutouts through five matches this season. The Spartans knocked off Marquette of the BIG EAST 2-0 on the road in Milwaukee Sept. 15 before recording a 1-0 decision over Bowling Green at home Sept. 18.
MSU ranks second in the nation in shutout percentage after blanking four of its five opponents to begin the 2013 season. As a result, the Spartans also rank among the top five in the country for team goals against average (0.4 - 3rd) and save percentage (0.9 - 5th).
The Spartans were picked second in the Big Ten in the preseason poll after winning the 2012 conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA Second Round. Michigan State received votes in the two major polls released on Monday by TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News.
For a second consecutive week, MSU goalkeeper Zach Bennett was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week the conference announced Monday. Bennett’s career-high eight saves helped the Spartans to their second-straight shutout this past Tuesday with a 1-0 home win against Bowling Green. Bennett currently leads the Big Ten in goals against average with 0.40, save percentage at .895 and shutouts per game with a 0.80 average.
Three Spartans have knocked in a pair of goals this season including Tim Kreutz, Sean Conerty and Kevin Cope. Kreutz leads MSU with five points this season after scoring in back-to-back matches.
The Last Meeting vs. a Big Ten Team
HOOVER, Ala. (Dec. 7, 2012) - The No. 8 Creighton men's soccer team had its 14-match unbeaten streak snapped in the College Cup semifinals, falling 1-0 to Indiana at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., Friday evening. Indiana (15-5-3) scored in the 27th minute as reserve Femi Hollinger-Janzen notched his fourth goal of the fall. Patrick Doody crossed a ball from the top of the box to the right side of the box. It bounced through a pair of Bluejay defenders before Hollinger-Janzen buried it to the back of the net for an IU goal.
Despite Creighton (17-4-3) out-shooting IU 10-9 on the evening, that score would hold up. The IU goal was the first surrendered by Creighton in 215:03 when Akron scored early in the 12th minute of a 1-1 tie in an NCAA Third Round match in Akron on Nov. 25. CU blanked the Zips for the rest of the double overtime contest and advanced on PKs before posting a 1-0 shutout at Connecticut in an NCAA quarterfinal Dec. 2.
Indiana had the game's first scoring opportunity in the 10th minute. Eriq Zavaleta lofted a pass to A.J. Corrado over the Bluejay back line, but CU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jeff Gal stopped Corrado’s shot. The Hoosiers argued for a goal in the waning seconds of the half, only to have a Hollinger-Janzen score nullified when it was deemed after the period had ended.
Creighton's best scoring chance in the opening period came in the 40th minute. After a corner kick was initially deflected to the back of the box, Brent Kallman would cross a ball to the center of the box, but Andrew Ribeiro could not connect on a volley amid heavy traffic. Creighton outshot the Hoosiers 5-3 in the opening stanza. Creighton had a strong chance in the 73rd minute when Benito Amaral found Vincent Keller down the right sideline, but Keller's shot went wide.
Christian Blandon, the hero in Creighton's 1-0 win at Connecticut in the quarterfinals, had CU's best chance of the night in the 87th minute. A diving Hoosier keeper Luis Soffner turned his right-footed blast into the upper 90 away. Brendan Hines-Ike fired a rocket in the final minute from the top of the box as well, only to have Soffner make the save on a knuckling shot.
Creighton recorded its fifth College Cup appearance in school history and second consecutive trip. CU's only national title game appearance came in 2000, after defeating Indiana in triple-overtime that year.
Jays Claim Program Win No. 400
Creighton secured the program’s 400th all-time victory on Saturday after a 1-0 double-overtime decision against No. 7 St. John’s. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 400-155-58 since their first season in 1979.
Thrilling BIG EAST Debut
The Bluejays claimed a 1-0 double overtime victory in their BIG EAST conference debut against No. 7 St. John’s on Saturday night inside Morrison Stadium. Creighton stands at 2-0 all-time in conference debuts; the Jays edged Bradley 2-1 in their Missouri Valley Conference opener on Oct. 18, 1991.
The Bluejays’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over No. 7 St. John’s last weekend lifted Creighton’s record to 22-3-2 all-time against Top 25 opponents visiting Morrison Stadium.
Winning Over Crowds
Over 5,200 fans witnessed Creighton’s 1-0 double-overtime defeat of No. 7 St. John’s in the Jays’ BIG EAST debut on Sept. 21 at Morrison Stadium. The crowd of 5,282 ranks as the sixth-largest crowd ever to attend a collegiate match at the Bluejays’ home, edging out a contingent of 5,102 Bluejay faithful who witnessed CU defeat Columbia 3-1 earlier this season on Sept. 6. With the win, Creighton is now 5-7-1 in front of 5,000-plus fans since 2000.
At the Stihl Classic on Sept. 13, 2,106 fans watched CU’s double-overtime victory over host Old Dominion. It marked the largest regular-season crowd to watch Creighton play away from home since 2,167 saw the Jays win 1-0 at SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 22, 2011.
Last year on Sept. 14, then-No. 2 Creighton fell 2-1 to then-No. 14 Old Dominion in front of 6,848 fans – the top home crowd all-time at Morrison Stadium.
Cutting It Close
After three consecutive double-overtime decisions this season against No. 7 St. John’s, William & Mary and Old Dominion, the Jays are 14-3 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.
Creighton is 2-1-0 in overtime matches this season following the 1-0 victory over the Red Storm. CU suffered a 3-2 setback to William & Mary and clinched a 2-1 win at Old Dominion earlier this season at the Stihl Classic. The Jays went undefeated at 3-0-3 in extra time last season.
One Goal to Nil
With the 1-0 double overtime victory against No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 21, Creighton has won 13 of its previous 14 matches ending in a 1-0 score, including a 7-1 ledger in 2012 contests.
Recent Overtime Perfection Halted
Prior to the 3-2 setback to William & Mary on Sept. 15, the Jays had not suffered an overtime loss in 16 matches dating back to a 3-2 setback in extra time to SMU on Sept. 17, 2010, at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic.
Before the overtime loss to William & Mary, Creighton boasted a 10-0-6 overtime record since that 2010 match, including the victory over Old Dominion on Sept. 13. The Jays had kept opponents scoreless in overtime for over 234 straight minutes before the Tribe scored its game-winner.
Jays Achieve No. 1 Ranking for the First Time in 14 Years
Following a 3-1 victory over Columbia on Sept. 6, Creighton became the top squad in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Sept. 10.
It marked the Jays’ first time back in the top spot since September 1999. Creighton ranked as high as No. 2 in each of the past three seasons, including earlier this fall.
The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays went unranked.
Jays’ History When Perched at No. 1
After a 1-1 split against host Old Dominion and William & Mary at the Stihl Classic last weekend, Creighton now boasts a 9-2-1 record all-time as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll. After a double-overtime setback to the Tribe, the Bluejays dropped four spots to No. 5 in the rankings.
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 Sept. 6. For a second straight week, Pitter claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. He currently leads the Jays 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.
Herbers Earns Team of Week Nod in First Week
CU freshman Fabian Herbers claimed a spot on TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week, released Sept. 3, 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.
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.