Article Image
No. 12 Creighton hosts Villanova in a BIG EAST battle Saturday night at the Ameritas Classic.
Courtesy: © Steven Branscombe

No. 12 Menís Soccer Battles Villanova in Ameritas Classic

OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 12 Creighton men’s soccer team returns home this weekend to battle BIG EAST foe Villanova at 7 p.m. CT Saturday inside Morrison Stadium in the Ameritas Classic.

Creighton (6-4-2, 2-1-1 BIG EAST) is happy to be home after suffering a pair of 1-0 setbacks on the road at No. 20 Marquette last weekend and at Michigan on Tuesday. CU is now 1-3-1 in true road contests this season but stands undefeated at Morrison in 2013 at 5-0-1. Creighton has yet to allow a goal to a BIG EAST team at home and has only allowed one score in its new conference this year.

Meanwhile, Villanova (6-6-1, 1-3-0 BIG EAST) is riding a two-match win streak with shutout victories over St. John’s and Lehigh at home in the past week. The Wildcats have also struggled away from home with a 2-5-0 mark.

In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday, Creighton stands No. 6 overall. The RPI is one of the primary tools utilized by the NCAA for tournament team selections and seeding.  The Jays lead seven BIG EAST squads listed among the top 50 this week. Villanova is No. 75 in the latest RPI.

Creighton dropped five spots in the latest NSCAA poll to the No. 12 position in the NSCAA rankings. The Jays dropped to No. 8 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 rankings this week, down one slot from last week. Creighton fell three spots to No. 10 in the latest College Soccer News Top 30 rankings released on Monday. The Jays slipped nine spots to No. 17 in the latest Soccer America Men's Top 25 released on Tuesday. Soccer Times pegged CU at No. 12 this week.

Saturday’s contest will be the first meeting between the Bluejays and Wildcats in men’s soccer. The Wildcats are one of six first-time foes that the Jays will face this season.

Creighton and Villanova share two common opponents so far this season in Marquette and St. John’s with similar results. Both squads shut out the Red Storm in home matches this fall and both lost 1-0 decisions to Marquette, with the Jays’ downfall coming on the road last weekend.

Padraic McCullaugh leads the Wildcat attack this season with three goals and seven points on the year. Six players have scored multiple times for VU this season.

Last Week

10/12: Lost at Marquette 1-0*

10/15: Lost at Michigan 1-0

This Week

10/19: vs. Villanova, 7 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium*

* BIG EAST conference match

What’s at Stake

·       Creighton is looking to remain undefeated at home in BIG EAST play.

·       Villanova is seeking to extend its unbeaten streak and win its first conference road match this year.

Following the Jays

Fans can follow all of the action this Saturday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.

Scouting the No. 12 Creighton Bluejays (6-4-2, 2-1-1 BIG EAST)

The No. 12 Creighton men’s soccer team returns to the friendly confines of Morrison Stadium this weekend to take on Villanova in the Ameritas Classic. CU looks to remain undefeated at home this season, boasting a 5-0-1 record.

The Jays return home after suffering a pair of 1-0 setbacks on the road last week at Marquette and at Michigan on Tuesday. The Wolverines were the last of seven consecutive CU opponents that participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. CU wrapped up that arduous stretch with a 2-3-2 mark.

Sophomore Timo Pitter leads the CU offense this year with three goals and seven points. Senior Bruno Castro and freshman Fabian Herbers are close behind with a pair of goals and six points apiece. Seven Bluejays have already scored multiple goals this season.

In net, junior Alex Bolowich claims a 0.97 goals against average this year and has accumulated 29 saves. Bolowich has started nine matches, including four double overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 5-3-1 record. Sophomore Connor Sparrow has started three matches for Creighton compiling a 1-1-1 record and making eight saves on the season.

Creighton ranks No. 23 nationally in save percentage (0.828) and at No. 27 in team goals against average (0.75) as of Thursday.

Scouting the Villanova Wildcats (6-6-1, 1-3-0 BIG EAST)

Villanova is riding a two-match win streak with shutout victories over St. John’s and Lehigh at home in the past week. The Wildcats have struggled away from home with a 2-5-0 mark.

Last Saturday Villanova blanked St. John’s 2-0 at home and then shut out intrastate rival Lehigh 1-0.

Creighton and Villanova share two common opponents so far this season in Marquette and St. John’s with similar results. Both squads shut out the Red Storm in home matches this fall and both lost 1-0 decisions to Marquette, with the Jays’ downfall coming on the road last weekend.

Villanova was picked sixth in the 10-team 2013 BIG EAST preseason poll. The Wildcats finished last season with a record of 12-6-2 overall and 3-3-2 in the BIG EAST.

Padraic McCullaugh leads the Wildcat attack this season with three goals and seven points on the year. Six players have scored multiple times for VU this season.

VU goalkeeper Andrew Weakly has started 12 of 13 matches for the Wolverines this season. He owns a 1.47 goals against average and has accumulated 59 saves this year.

Villanova ranks No. 50 nationally for total assist with 18 and No. 55 overall in total points at 54 on the year.

No Goals for You

Creighton has allowed just one goal through four BIG EAST matches this season. Prior to the 1-0 setback at Marquette on Oct. 12, CU blanked Xavier 2-0 on Oct. 5. Earlier CU tied then-No. 12 Georgetown in a scoreless draw on Sept. 28. The Jays knocked off then-No. 7 St. John’s 1-0 in double overtime a week prior on Sept. 21.

The Jays have only allowed three total goals to conference foes in the past three seasons, all occurring on the road. Missouri State scored a 1-0 victory over CU in Springfield on Oct. 12, 2011. After 10 consecutive Missouri Valley Conference shutouts, Creighton surrendered a goal at Evansville during a 2-1 Jays’ victory at UE on Nov. 3, 2012.

Following CU’s 2-0 victory over new conference mate Xavier on Oct. 5; the Bluejays have not yielded a tally to a conference foe inside Morrison Stadium since Bradley scored two goals during a match on Nov. 6, 2010.

#FortressMorrison

Creighton is undefeated in its last 12 home matches (11-0-1) dating back to last fall when the Bluejays fell 3-1 to Saint Louis on Sept. 22.

The Jays have not dropped a league match inside Morrison Stadium in almost three years, since a 2-1 loss to Bradley on Nov. 6, 2010. CU is 10-0-0 against conference foes at home during that span – all shutouts.

The Bluejays’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 21 lifted Creighton’s record to 22-3-2 all-time against Top 25 opponents visiting Morrison Stadium.

Rank You Very Much

Creighton is the No. 6 team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Tuesday. In order to rank that high, CU had to do two things: play a tough schedule and perform well against it.

The Jays have done both in early 2013. Creighton is 2-1-1 against teams ranked in the top 25 at the time of the match including wins over then-No. 14 Tulsa and then-No. 7 St. John’s to go with a tie at then-No. 12 Georgetown.

Ten of Creighton’s 12 opponents to open this season are among the top 50 in the latest RPI that ranks all 202 NCAA Division I squads.

Creighton ended a stretch that began late last month in which the Jays faced seven squads in a row that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season in a span of just under a month. CU completed that arduous span with a mark of 2-3-2.

Going the Distance

After playing a 0-0 tie at No. 12 Georgetown on Sept. 28, the Bluejays set a new program record by playing in in five consecutive double overtime contests.

 

Jays Claim Program Win No. 400

Creighton secured the program’s 400th all-time victory on Sept. 21 after a 1-0 double-overtime decision against No. 7 St. John’s. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 401-158-60 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 Sept. 21 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.

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 ranked as the sixth-largest crowd ever to attend a collegiate match at the Bluejays’ home.

The total edged out a contingent of 5,102 Bluejay faithful that 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 then-No. 22 Saint Louis on Oct. 2, 3,070 fans packed Hermann Stadium to watch the Bluejays battle the Billikens. It marked the largest crowd in a regular-season true road contest to see the Jays play since 5,648 fans saw CU visit then-No. 3 Maryland on Sept. 30, 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 six one-goal decisions this season, the Jays are 14-6 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.

Creighton is 2-1-2 in overtime matches this season following a scoreless tie at then-No. 12 Georgetown, a 2-2 tie versus Michigan State and 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 St. John’s last month.

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, both in overtime. The Jays went undefeated at 3-0-3 in extra time last season.

One Goal to Nil

Following CU’s 1-0 setback at Michigan on Tuesday, Creighton has won 13 of its previous 17 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 Sept. 13-15, 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.

Two Jays Earn Recognition from BIG EAST

Sophomore Brendan Hines-Ike claimed Defensive Player of the Week honors from the BIG EAST, the league office announced Sept. 30. Senior Bruno Castro also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.

It marks the first Defensive Player of the Week honor for Hines-Ike and third defensive accolade awarded to a Bluejay by the conference this season. Junior Eric Miller claimed recognition in two of the first four weeks for Creighton.

Hines-Ike won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping to anchor the Creighton backline against Michigan State and at No. 12 Georgetown. He played all 220 minutes in the Jays’ pair of double-overtime contests against the Spartans and Hoyas. Hines-Ike and the defense led Creighton to its second blanking of a BIG EAST foe to begin the conference slate. The Denver native has played every minute of the season on defense, helping the Jays record four shutouts through eight matches.

The honor roll achievement collected by Castro marks his first accolade from the BIG EAST. A Bluejay has claimed a spot on the conference weekly honor roll in four of the first five weeks this season.

Castro earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition after scoring his second goal of the season as part of a three-point night in a 2-2 tie against Michigan State last week. The Costa Rica native connected on a header from 15 yards out against MSU to record the final score of the match. Castro also made an assist on the Jays’ first goal against the Spartans.

Three Jays Claim BIG EAST Weekly Honors

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 Sept. 23. Junior Alex Bolowich also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.

It marks the second Defensive Player of the Week honor for Miller this season and Herbers’ first accolade from the conference. The honor roll recognition gained by Bolowich follows a Goalkeeper of the Week honor awarded earlier this season.

Herbers scored the lone goal of the match off of a free kick at 108:05 in a double overtime against No. 7 St. John’s to secure Creighton’s first BIG EAST victory and program win No. 400. It marked his second goal of the season, both game-winners. Herbers is currently tied for second on the team with two goals and six points on the season.

Herbers also earned a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week for his game-winning goal on a free kick against the Red Storm.

Miller won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after anchoring the Creighton backline against No. 7 St. John’s, helping the Bluejays record the team’s first BIG EAST victory and program win No. 400. He played all 108 minutes in the double overtime victory over St. John’s. Miller has played every minute of the season on defense, helping the Jays record four shutouts through nine matches.

Bolowich earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition after recording his third shutout of the season and second shutout of a ranked opponent. Bolowich made three saves in the victory over No. 7 St. John’s.

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 Outing

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.

California Dreaming

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 Golden 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.

CU junior Eric Miller and sophomore Timo Pitter were also named to the preseason All‐BIG EAST Team.

Jays Video
Play
(M) Soccer
UMBC vs. Creighton NCAA Quarterfinal Match
Play
(M) Soccer
Creighton Men's Soccer defeated the Xavier Musketeers 2-1 in the 3rd Round of...
Play
(M) Soccer
Creighton Men's Soccer vs. Xavier Post Game Press Conference 11-30-14.
Morrison Stadium