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Creighton entertains No. 21 Wisconsin at Morrison Stadium Friday night in the Jays' final exhibition match of 2014.
Courtesy: © Steven Branscombe

Menís Soccer Hosts No. 21 Wisconsin in Final Exhibition Match

OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s soccer team hosts No. 21 Wisconsin for its final exhibition match inside Morrison Stadium at 7 p.m. CT Friday.

The match marks the second exhibition contest for both Creighton and Wisconsin on the 2014 slate. Both squads played their exhibition openers in the Badger state on Sunday. The Jays tied 0-0 at Milwaukee while Wisconsin edged UIC 1-0 in Madison.

The Bluejays and the Badgers claimed NCAA Tournament bids in 2013. UW opened this year at No. 21 while CU received votes in the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Preseason Top 25 Poll.

The scoreless draw at Milwaukee was CU’s first exhibition on the road since 2011. The Jays are undefeated in exhibition matches under head coach Elmar Bolowich at 2-0-5. CU is unbeaten in its last 10 preseason contests with a 5-0-5 record. Creighton has not dropped an exhibition match since a 4-2 setback at the Kansas City Wizards in 2009.

The Bluejays are 8-2-1 all-time against the Badgers in regular-season contests. Creighton is unbeaten in its last eight regular-season matches against Wisconsin at 7-0-1. The last three CU-UW matches have been decided in overtime as Bluejay victories.

Last Week

8/15: Blue-White Scrimmage, T, 2-2

This Week

8/17: at Milwaukee (Ex.), T, 0-0
8/22: No. 21 Wisconsin (Ex.), 7 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium

What’s at Stake
·      Creighton looks to remain undefeated in its last 11 exhibition matches.
·      Wisconsin seeks its first win of any kind at Creighton after five previous regular-season appearances.

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 stream link can also be found on GoCreighton.com.

Scouting the Creighton Bluejays (2013 record: 9-8-2, 4-4-1 BIG EAST)
Creighton enters its second exhibition match of the season after a scoreless draw at Milwaukee on Sunday.

The Bluejays controlled most of the match outshooting Milwaukee 16-8 including nine shots on goal to just three by the Panthers. The teams decided not to play an overtime session in the preseason match.

Junior Timo Pitter led CU with three shots on goal while sophomore Fabian Herbers added two.

Four Bluejays played every minute of the match at UWM including senior Jose Ribas, juniors Eric DeJulio and Connor Sparrow as well as freshman Lucas Stauffer. Overall, 16 Jays saw time on the pitch.

Creighton returns its top four scorers from last season in Pitter, Herbers, Ribas and junior Christian 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.

Scouting the No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers (2013 Record: 14-5-2, 4-2-0 Big Ten)
Wisconsin enters the weekend following a 1-0 shutout of UIC in their exhibition opener in Madison on Sunday. A total of 19 Badgers saw action in the team’s first exhibition against the Flames, including nine freshmen. One of those freshmen, Tom Barlow, scored the deciding goal in the 28th minute.

UW registered a banner season in 2013. The Badgers lost just five matches last year. Wisconsin finished the regular season at second in the Big Ten standings with a 4-2-0 record along with a final NCAA RPI ranking of 27.

The Badgers achieved their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995 a year ago. Wisconsin edged Milwaukee 1-0 at Madison in an NCAA Tournament First Round match. But the Badgers fell in the second round at eventual national champion Notre Dame 4-0.

Senior midfielder Jacob Brindle is the Badgers’ leading scorer from last season posting eight goals and 17 points. He tied for fourth in game-winning goals (3) in the Big Ten last year.

Junior Drew Conner played in 20 games last season, recording nine points on seven assists and one goal. He returns as the Badgers’ top returning assist specialist.

Senior David Caban led a defensive unit that was crucial in UW wins over three ranked teams in 2013, shutting out all three opponents.

Freshman goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk saw the majority of minutes in the 1-0 shutout of UIC on Sunday. Redshirt sophomore Casey Beyers returns with the most saves (33) in front of the net in 2013, posting a 1.37 goals against average.

Creighton-Wisconsin Series
The Bluejays are 8-2-1 all-time against the Badgers in regular-season contests. Creighton is unbeaten in its last eight regular-season matches against Wisconsin at 7-0-1 and owns a 5-0-0 all-time home record against the Badgers. The last three CU-UW games have been decided in overtime as Bluejay victories.

The teams last met in Madison on Oct. 5, 2011. During CU head coach Elmar Bolowich’s first season, Greg Jordan scored from 30 yards out for the Jays just 3:36 into overtime as No. 5 Creighton came from behind to top Wisconsin 2-1.

A year earlier in Omaha it was Wisconsin native Ethan Finlay scoring the game-winning goal for the Jays in the 96th minute to lead No. 16 Creighton to a 1-0 win over the Badgers.

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.

Despite finishing last season in second, the Big Ten coaches slotted No. 21 Wisconsin to finish seventh in the nine-team conference. Newcomer No. 2 Maryland claimed the top spot in the league followed by No. 10 Michigan State.

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 hosts 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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