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Tonight's Men's Soccer Match Moved to 6 PM Start

OMAHA, Neb. -- The start time of tonight's Creighton men's soccer match vs. Santa Clara has been moved up an hour and will now start at 6 p.m. Central.

The decision was made on Sunday morning in an attempt to avoid inclement weather in the forecast on Sunday evening.

Gates to Morrison Stadium will now open at 5 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Hosts Santa Clara Sunday Night

OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s soccer team hosts Santa Clara to conclude its season-opening weekend inside Morrison Stadium at 6 p.m. CT Friday.

The match marks the second game of the season for both Creighton and Santa Clara on the 2014 slate.  Both teams enter the match undefeated. The Bluejays blanked No. 20 Stanford 2-0 at home while the Broncos won a tight one at Omaha 3-2 in double overtime.

Creighton leads Santa Clara 1-0-2 all-time. The teams last played at SCU as the Bluejays earned the first win of the series, a 1-0 shutout Sept. 7, 2012. Christian Blandon scored the game-winning tally in the 69th minute against the Broncos off an assist from current co-captain Vincent Keller. It marked Keller’s first career point at CU.

Last Week

8/17: at Milwaukee (Ex.), T, 0-0

8/22: vs. No. 21 Wisconsin (Ex.), W, 4-2

This Week

8/29: vs. No. 20 Stanford, W, 2-0

8/31: vs. Santa Clara, 6 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium

What’s at Stake

·      Creighton looks to remain unbeaten through two games for 19th consecutive season.

·      Santa Clara seeks its first win against Creighton.

Following the Jays

Fans can follow all of the action Friday by clicking on the live stats button at GoCreighton.com or follow @GoCreighton on Twitter. A live (pay-per-view) video stream link can also be found on GoCreighton.com.

Scouting the Creighton Bluejays (1-0-0)

Creighton defeated a ranked team for the second year in a row when it defeated No. 20 Stanford 2-0 Friday.

CU freshman Ricky Lopez-Espin scored the game winner and his first career goal in the 11th minute. Sophomore Fabian Herbers tallied the second goal for the Jays in the 53rd minute. Lopez-Espin and juniors Timo Pitter and Christian Blandon earned assists.

Creighton placed third in the 2014 BIG EAST preseason poll as CU senior Jose Ribas and junior Timo Pitter earned recognition on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Ribas was also listed at No. 41 in the TopDrawerSoccer Preseason National Top 100 released earlier this week.

Overall Creighton returns its top four scorers from last season in Pitter, Herbers, Ribas and Blandon. Redshirt senior Sean Kim also returns after an injury in 2013. Kim scored six points over five matches last season.

The Jays also return both goalkeepers from last year in redshirt senior Alex Bolowich and junior Connor Sparrow. The goalies combined for a 1.09 goals against average and six shutouts in 2013.

Five 2013 All-BIG EAST selections return for the Jays including Pitter, Ribas, Herbers, Hines-Ike and sophomore Ricardo Perez. The Bluejays welcome 11 newcomers to the squad but lose the services of 2014 MLS Draft selections Eric Miller and Zach Barnes.

Bolowich and Keller will captain this year’s squad.

Scouting the Santa Clara Broncos (1-0-0)

The Broncos enter the match after a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory at Omaha on Friday evening.

Santa Clara came back from a 2-0 deficit to take the match. Santa Clara answered back in the 45th as Carlos Delgadillo fired it home, making the score 2-1. It marked Delgadillo's first collegiate goal.

Former Bluejay Ben Kucera found the back of the net to tie the match with a man down in the 89th minute. The Broncos found the golden opportunity in the 108th minute when sophomore Edson Cardona successfully converted the penalty kick to cap the win.

Santa Clara posted an 11-9-0 overall record last season. The Broncos finished second in the West Coast Conference with an 8-4-0 record last year. SCU won five of its final six matches in 2013, including four one-goal decisions.

Cardona is the Broncos’ top returning scorer from last year, scoring seven points on three goals as a freshman. Jared Hegardt and James Huffer each posted a pair of assists for the Broncos a year ago.

In goal, Kendall McIntosh made 87 saves and posted a 1.19 goals against average in 2013.

Creighton-Santa Clara Series

The Bluejays are 1-0-2 all-time against the Broncos; the Jays won the last meeting between the schools.

The Jays won the last meeting between the schools, claiming a 1-0 decision at SCU on Sept. 7, 2012. Christian Blandon scored that game-winning goal in the 69th minute.

The Broncos’ only previous visit to Creighton ended in a 1-1 draw on Sept. 4, 1994. The teams played to a scoreless draw on Sept. 5, 2003 at the LMU Fall Classic in Los Angeles.

Last Time Out

The Creighton men's soccer team upset No. 20 Stanford 2-0 in the 2014 season opener at Morrison Stadium Friday night.

With the win the Bluejays move to 1-0-0 while the Cardinal fall to 0-1-0 to begin the 2014 season.

Creighton freshman Ricky Lopez-Espin scored the game winner and his first career goal in the 11th minute on a feed from junior Timo Pitter to give the Bluejays an early 1-0 lead. Lopez-Espin scored his first career goal from the right side beating the Stanford goalkeeper to the left.

In the second half, CU sophomore Fabian Herbers tallied the second goal for the Jays in the 53rd minute on an assist from Lopez-Espin. Herbers received a long touch pass from Lopez-Espin on the left side, on a play started by junior Christian Blandon, and chipped it in over the goalie to yield the final score.

Creighton junior Connor Sparrow posted his first shutout of the season while playing a full 90 minutes in net. CU outshot Stanford 7-6 and tied in corners at 3-3.

Poll Positions

The BIG EAST men's soccer coaches selected Creighton to place third in the 2014 preseason poll. CU garnered one of the 10 first-place votes to help total 63 overall points. The league’s two ranked teams, No. 9 Georgetown and No. 12 Marquette, were tied atop the poll for first place with 75 points apiece. The Hoyas edged the Golden Eagles 5-4 in first-place votes.

Santa Clara received the two first-place votes, collecting 43 points to place second in the 2014 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll. Regular-season champion Loyola Marymount placed atop the standings with 48 points and six first-place votes.

Tough 2014 Slate

The Bluejays’ 2014 schedule features five regular-season contests against 2013 NCAA Tournament teams, including four from the Jays’ nine-match BIG EAST conference slate. CU also hosted No. 21 Wisconsin in an exhibition match.

The Jays’ will host 12 opponents and travel to play six other squads in the 2014 regular season. The slate is highlighted by nine matches against teams that finished among the top 50 in the final 2013 NCAA RPI; six of those are home contests.

Starting in mid-October, Creighton will face the other four BIG EAST squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year in a span of just under a month to close out the regular season. The Bluejays battle three opponents that advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2013 including No. 9 Georgetown, No. 12 Marquette and No. 20 Stanford.

Ranked Foes in 2014

Creighton is one of four BIG EAST programs to receive votes from the NSCAA in the 2014 preseason poll. The other conference schools in the poll include No. 9 Georgetown and No. 12 Marquette. St. John's received 10 votes in the rankings while the Jays netted 14 votes.

In addition to the trio of contests against BIG EAST foes that received votes, Creighton's schedule involves three other teams that earned votes in the poll. The Jays open the regular season at home against No. 20 Stanford on Aug. 29. Two other 2014 non-conference foes also claimed votes in Saint Louis (10) and Tulsa (5).

2013 in Review

Creighton finished last year unranked on a three-game skid after compiling a 9-9-2 overall mark following an NCAA Tournament First Round setback against Seattle.

CU played a lot of tight matches in 2013 as each of the Jays’ nine losses came by a single goal. The Bluejays completed their first season in the BIG EAST Conference with a 4-4-1 mark and a fifth-place finish.

The Jays climbed as high as No. 1 in the 2013 rankings on September 10 – the first time since 1999 that CU held the top spot. Overall, the Bluejays found themselves ranked in nine NSCAA weekly polls during the last regular season.

Fourth-year head coach Elmar Bolowich leads the Jays in their quest for the program’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 23 seasons in 2014. Creighton returns 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team.

Inaugural BIG EAST Season Review

Creighton ended its conference season in Providence with a pair of 2-1 setbacks to the Friars in the regular-season finale and a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match.

CU never dipped below the .500 mark in conference and toggled between wins and losses over its last five league matches. Overall, Creighton won three of its last five regular-season matches after a three-game scoreless drought in mid-October.

The Jays were 3-1 at home in BIG EAST matches beginning with a 1-0 overtime defeat of St. John’s in its conference debut (Sept. 21), a 2-0 win over Xavier (Oct. 5) a 1-0 overtime setback to Villanova (Oct. 19) and a 5-1 victory over DePaul (Nov. 2) on Senior Day.

The Bluejays’ road record in conference was deceiving at 1-3-1 last season. All three losses were settled by a single goal. In fact the only two league matches not decided by a single goal or less last year were CU victories over Xavier (2-0) and DePaul (5-1) at home.

Creighton finished 2-2-1 against the fellow 2013 BIG EAST tournament teams. The Jays tied No. 1 seed Georgetown in Washington D.C., lost at No. 2 Marquette and at No. 4 Providence while defeating No. 3 Xavier 2-0 at home and No. 6 Butler 3-2 on the road.

CU was 2-6-1 in true road contests in 2013 including a 1-3-1 mark in conference.

Jays Rank Among the Top 10 in Home Attendance for 11th Straight Season

With 27,156 fans attending matches last season, Creighton ranked sixth nationally in total home attendance. The Jays finished fourth in average home attendance in 2013 at 2,716 fans per contest.

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 match also ranked No. 10 in single-game attendance nationally last season.

The total edged out a contingent of 5,102 Bluejay faithful that witnessed CU defeat Columbia 3-1 earlier in the season on Sept. 6. That crowd ranks No. 7 all-time in the Creighton record books for single-match home attendance.

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 last season. 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.

In 2012, then-No. 2 Creighton fell 2-1 to then-No. 14 Old Dominion on Sept. 14 in front of 6,848 fans – the top home crowd all-time at Morrison Stadium.

Jays Achieve No. 1 Ranking for the First Time in 14 Years

Following a 3-1 victory over Columbia on Sept. 6, 2013, Creighton became the top squad in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released four days later.

It marked the Jays’ first time back in the top spot since September 1999. Creighton was ranked as high as No. 2 in each of the last three seasons including last fall.

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Morrison Stadium