MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Creighton women's soccer team led 2-1 at halftime of the NCAA Tournament first round, fell 4-2 to Minnesota. Creighton was outshot 31-7 in the match and 13 to 5 in shots on goal. The Jays finish the season 15-4-2.
Creighton continued the offensive output they had in the MVC Tournament, scoring two goals in the opening period. Both of the goals were unassisted shots from the edge of the 18 yard penalty box. Lauren Cingoranelli scored the first Bluejay goal of the match in the 24th minute, shooting to the near post, through the goalkeeper's outstretched hands. Andrea Zuniga scored the second goal of the match for the Jays when she blasted a ball up and over the goalkeeper, lacing it just inside the upper left corner. It was the eighth and ninth goal of the season, respectively.
Minnesota controlled the tempo early in the half, earning three corner kicks within the first 3:30 of the match. The Gophers scored the first goal of the match in just the ninth minute, when Molly Rouse scored her seventh goal of the season on a shot from the outside of the box to the far post. Montgomery was unable to reach it on her dive.
The Jays continued to fight on both ends of the field. Macy Mauer prevented a goal in the 15th minute, when she came in from the outside to slide kick away a ball from a Minnesota forward who had beat a Creighton defender. Zuniga found herself with a shot just 10 yards out from the near side that went right into the hands of Minnesota goalkeeper Cat Parkhill.
Creighton was outshot 16-5 in the first half, but just five to four in shots on goal through the first half. Montgomery recorded four saves through the first half, while the Gopher goalkeeper had two saves.
The second half belonged to the Gophers, as they outshot Creighton 15-2 and scored three goals, two of which were scored by Katie Bethke. The Gophers scored in the 54th minute when Bethke put in a ball that was rolling around and was blocked and put in. In the 71st minute Bethke scored her second of the half, knocking in a ball from 30 yards out that slid past Montgomery. The Gopher's final goal of the half came from Steph Brandt, who scored her seventh goal of the season.
"I am really, really proud of my team," said head coach Bruce Erickson. "It was not enough to win tonight, but we played really hard. Hats off to my team, tonight just wasn't enough."
Creighton ends the season at 15-4-2 on the year. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2007 season, but could not muster out the school's first Tournament victory. The Jays set a school record for wins in a season (15) and tied a school record with a 10 match winning streak. Creighton loses four seniors this season, Tara Bailey, Grace Kwon, Emily Orbell and Claire Zach.