Women's Soccer Honors Seniors in Final Home Match Saturday

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Kelly Connolly
Courtesy: Eric Francis
Match 16 • Saturday, Oct. 22 • 7:00 p.m.
Creighton (8-5-2, 3-0-1)
vs. Indiana State (4-12-0, 1-4-0)
Morrison Stadium • Omaha, Neb.
Series: CU leads 13-0-0
Senior Day 2011

 Scouting the Jays
    The Jays finished the 2010 season with a 15-4-2 overall record, finishing 5-1-0 in the MVC.  They won both the regular season crown and tournament title for the first time since 2002, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. 
    The Jays return their top four scorers from a season ago, with the quartet combining for 34 of the 50 total goals last season.  That group is led by 2010 MVC Player of the Year Brittney Neumann, MVC Tournament MVP Lauren Cingoranelli and all-MVC picks Andrea Zuniga and Erin Gunther.  Also back for the Jays are both Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson, who combined for a 0.83 goals against average a season ago, posting 10 shutouts in net for the Jays.
    Creighton started the 2011 with shutouts in three of the first four matches, putting together a 0.24 goals against average in that time frame.  Creighton’s goals against average now sits at 0.89, a number that is still leading the MVC.    Brittney Neumann leads the Jays with eight goals this season, including notching multiple-goal matches in three of five straight matches (Boise State, Evansville and Wright State) and Andrea Zuniga recorded her first multi-goal match of the season in the 4-2 win over Wright State to giver her three goals on the year.  Lauren Cingoranelli has six of the team’s 16 assists this season, while Alicia Montgomery leads the team in goal with a 0.89 goals against averages, dropping her already chart topping career goals against average to 0.79.  Montgomery has  posted five shutouts of her own, which put her in third place on the Creighton all-time charts in career shutouts (20).  The defense, led by seniors Kelly Connolly and Macy Mauer and freshman Madelyn Buckner, has allowed just 13 goals in 15 matches this season.   Creighton now sits at 8-5-2 on the year and 3-0-1 in MVC play following the 1-0 win over Drake on Tuesday.  After Saturday’s match, the Jays will travel to Illinois State to finish out the MVC regular season.  Win’s in both matches would put the Jays in position to earn another regular season title.

Following the Jays
    Creighton’s match on Saturday against Indiana State will be available through live stats and live video at www.gocreighton.com.  Throughout the season, live stats as well as live video will be available at www.gocreighton.com.  You can also follow the Jays on Twitter (gocreighton) and on Facebook (search Creighton Athletics).

Meet the Opponent
Indiana State Sycamores
    Indiana State is coming off a tie for fifth place in 2010, one of the best season’s in program history.  They finished with an 8-10-1 record overall, 2-4-0 in the MVC.  The team has struggled this season, posting a 4-12-0 overall record (1-4-0 in the MVC).  The Sycamores have back third year head coach Erika True, as well as returning eight seniors.  The team also has seen playing time from 11 freshman.
    Leading the Sycamores offensively this season has been Natalie Vaught, Seyma Erenli and Jessica Rosenberg, who each have netted two goals this season.  The Sycamores have nine different players who have at least one goal this season, combining for 12 as a team.  Vaught leads the team with four assists, tallying eight total points.
    Defensively, Emily Lahay has taken primary responsibility of the goal, allowing 23 goals in the 13 matches she has played in.  She holds a 1.86 goals against average and has posted two shutouts on the season. 
    The Sycamores picked up their first conference win on Wednesday, defeating Evansville 1-0 at home.

Vs. Indiana State
     Creighton is undefeated all-time over the Sycamores, holding a 13-0-0 mark.  The two teams have met up in Morrison Stadium eight times, including a 1-0 Bluejay win on a Kelly Connolly goal in the only meeting between the two teams in 2009.  Creighton has outscored Indiana State 34-6 in the 12 overall meetings.  Last season, Creighton walked away from Terre Haute with a 2-0 win in the conference opener.  Lauren Cingoranelli and Brittney Neumann netted their fourth and fifth goals of the season, respectively.

Senior Success
    Creighton will honor nine seniors on Saturday, one of the largest classes under the Bruce Erickson tenure.  The Jays will honor Kelly Connolly, Beth Fyles, Erin Gunther, Rachelle Holt, Macy Mauer, Tessa McKeone, Alicia Montgomery, Kat Wright and Andrea Zuniga.  Collectively, this group of seniors has put together a 48-21-7 overall record in the last four seasons, including a record 15 wins during the 2010 season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.  The group has posted 35 shutouts in the 76 matches, the most of any four year group in Creighton history.

Battle at the Top
    For the second straight season, Creighton and Missouri State met as two of the top teams in The Valley.  The Bears came into the match without a conference loss, sitting at 3-0-0, while the Jays were also undefeated with a 2-0-0 mark.  After a 1-1, double overtime tie, the two teams still are without a blemish, as MSU holds a 3-0-1 record and the Jays have a 2-0-1 mark.  Illinois State is the only other team in the league with more wins in conference play, holding a 4-1-0 mark.

First-Timer
    Bluejay freshman Stephanie Anasi notched her first collegiate goal for the Jays in the 1-1 tie against Missouri State.  The newcomer found herself with an open shot in front of the goal after a cross from Lauren Cingoranelli and the Texas native buried the ball in the back of the net.  Anasi has started each of the last five matches, taking just four shots on the season.

Iowa Struggles
    The Jays are just 1-4-0 when playing matches in Des Moines, Iowa during the regular season.  The last time the Jays won in Des Moines was a 2-1 win in 2007.  Drake has outscored the Jays 9-2 in those matches, including two 1-0 overtime wins at Cownie Sports Complex.

Title Chase
    The Jays are entering the final stretch of the regular season, playing Indiana State at home before the season finale at Illinois State.  The Redbirds, who are also at the top of the league, could prove to be a title match - just like the final match of the regular season a year ago.  After a loss to Missouri State, the Jays needed a win to clinch the regular season crown and stole one in overtime against the Redbirds.

Blemish Free
    Creighton and Missouri State remain the only two teams without a loss in Valley play, as they played to a 1-1, double overtime draw last Saturday.  Creighton (2-0-1) and Missouri State (3-0-1) will look to close out conference play without any losses.  Creighton has only gone through conference play without a blemish one other season, a 6-0-1 mark in 2002 when they won the regular season and tournament.  Last year, Creighton was 4-0-0 going into their match at Missouri State but dropped an overtime 2-1 loss there.  The Jays still won the regular season with a 2-1 overtime win against Illinois State.

Next Up:
    Creighton will close out the regular season at Illinois State on October 27.  The match appears it could set up as the battle at the top, as it is the final match in regular season play, and Creighton, Illinois State and Missouri State all have bids to be among the top team in the league.  The first round of the MVC Tournament will be on October 30 at school sites. 

It’s Tournament Time
    The Jays have clinched a spot in the MVC Tournament for the 15th straight season with their 3-0-1 start.  The question now... What seed will the Jays get?  If Creighton wins the final two matches of the season, they will set themselves up for at least a share of the title with Missouri State.  A loss in either of the final two matches could also keep the Jays in the top two, but could drop them to the third seed as well.  The top two seeds will get an opening round bye in the MVC Tournament, while seeds three through six will play in the opening round, played at individual school sites.  The semifinals and final match will be played in Springfield, Mo., November 4th and 6th.

Bluejay Quick Facts
• Creighton finished the non-conference portion of its schedule at  5-5-1 against non-conference opponents, including 3-3-0 mark at home this season. 

• The Jays sit at  4-3-1 at home this season.  The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons.  Creighton has just one more home match this season, The match against Indiana State marks the final regular season home match of the season.

Brittney Neumann again led the Jays to another victory, notching two goals in the 4-2 win.  That marks the sixth time in her Bluejay career the Omaha native has notched multiple-goal matches, including in three of the last five matches.  She currently leads the team and with eight goals on the season.  Neumann has 24 career goals, placing her in fifth on the top-five all-time Creighton charts.

• The 1-0 win over Northern Iowa on September 23 marked the fifth win of the season, all five to that point, had been shutouts.  Add to it the 0-0 scoreless draw at Wyoming, and the Jays have six shutouts on the season. The current group of Bluejay seniors have recorded at least seven shutouts in each season they have been on campus, including the record setting 11 shutouts in 2009.

• The Jays still hold the best goals against average in the MVC, posting a combined 0.89 gaa.  The duo of Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson have given up 13 goals in the 15 matches.  They have also combined for seven shutouts this season, including five by Montgomery.

•  Creighton fell to Sacramento State 2-1 in overtime on Sunday, Sept. 11, the second overtime match in the first six matches of the season.  That trend has been consistent, as Creighton has played at least two overtime matches in the first six matches of the season in three of the last four seasons.  Creighton has now played five overtime matches this season, holding a 1-2-2 record.

Creighton’s Leaders
Category    Leader    Number
Goals    Neumann    8
Assists    Cingoranelli    6
Points    Neumann    17
Saves    Montgomery    66
GAA    Montgomery    0.89

Strong Valley Starts
    The Jays are one of just two teams this season who opened Valley play a perfect 2-0-0 after two matches.  Creighton has opened 2-0-0 in five different seasons since joining the MVC in 1997, but has started 3-0-0 just two times (2002 and 2010, both seasons they won the conference regular season crown).  The 2002 team finished with a 6-0-1 record, while last year the Jays went 5-1-0.

Offensive Eruption
    After not scoring more than two goals in a match all season, and not combining with an opponent to score more than four, the Jays and Wright State scored six total goals, four of which came in the opening half, in fact, in a 20 minute span.  Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga each scored twice on the night for Creighton.

Must be in the Water
    After notching just 11 goals in the first 11 matches of the season, and just five at home (just eight when combined with opponents), the Jays broke free on Wednesday, October 5 vs. Wright State and scored four goals, two each by Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga

Another Accolade
    Senior goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery picked up her second MVC Defensive Player of the Week award, following Creighton’s 2-1 win over Evansville, improving the Jays to 2-0-0 in MVC play.  Montgomery has allowed just five goals on the season, posting four shutouts, good for a 0.82 goals against average.

On the Charts
    Creighton’s Brittney Neumann and Alicia Montgomery have both put their names on the Creighton all-time charts, helped out by outstanding play on each of their parts this season.  Neumann, a junior from Omaha, sits in fifth in goals scored in a career (24), while Montgomery, a senior from California, is in third place for career shutouts (19) and sits atop the list for career goals against average (0.73).

Non-Conference Dominance
    Creighton has had great success against non-conference teams since moving into Morrison Stadium, holding a 70-36-14 overall record (.625).  The Jays have won at least six non-conference matches each of the last eight seasons, and sit at 5-4-1 going into the match Sunday, the final non-conference regular season match.

Happy at Home
    The Jays hold a 4-3-1 record when playing at home this season.  Ten of Creighton’s 16 goals on the season have come while playing at Morrison Stadium, and the defense has given up just seven goals at home.  Brittney Neumann has five goals and an assist at home, good for 11 points.  The record for goals at Morrison Stadium in a single-season is 10, while 23 points sit atop the charts as well.

Saving the Day
    Creighton knocked on the door early in the game against Evansville, as Brittney Neumann notched another two-goal game, scoring both in the first 16 minutes of play, to give the Jays a clean slate in MVC play at 2-0-0.  As equally important in the match, however, was the play of the defense and Alicia Montgomery, who held off an aggressive Evansville attack.  Montgomery finished with seven saves, surrendering one goal in the 2-1 win.  She has now lowered her goals against average to 0.82 on the season.

Homefield Advantage
    Creighton opened its final three-match homestand Wednesday, Oct. 5, against Wright State with a 4-2 win, and then welcomed Kansas on Sunday and Missouri State on Saturday, October 15.  The Jays sit at  4-3-1 at home this season, including winning the last three at home.  The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons.  The streak will come to an end this season, as Saturday marks Creighton’s final regular season home match.

We Play Defense
    Creighton has posted six shutouts this season, including three straight from September 18 through September 25.  The current group of Bluejay seniors have recorded at least seven shutouts in each season they have been on campus, including the record setting 11 shutouts in 2009.  They hold 35 career shutouts, led by goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery, who has 20 shutouts in goal, a number that sits 3rd on the Creighton all-time charts and 6th in MVC history.

Last Week
    Creighton defeated Drake in their only mid-week match last week, scoring late for a 1-0 win in Des. Moines.  Creighton’s Andrea Zuniga netted  her fourth goal of the season in the 69th minute, while Alicia Montgomery denied 11 shots to hold on for her fifth shutout of the season and another Bluejay win.

Defensive POW
    For the second straight week a Bluejay picked up an MVC Player of the Week award, as this time sophomore Shonna Fraser picked up defensive accolades on September 27.  Fraser scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over Northern Iowa last Friday, scoring on a shot from the top of the penalty box.  Fraser has also been a key cog in the defensive backline that has posted six shutouts this season, including two last week.

Fans in the Stands
    A record number of fans showed up on Friday, Sept. 23, to see the Jays open the MVC with Northern Iowa, as 1,289 fans witnessed the Jays’ first win of the conference season.  That number is the second highest amount to see a women’s soccer match at Morrison Stadium.

Brick Wall
    Alicia Montgomery had a busy day in the goal against Wyoming on Sept. 25, making 13 saves in the 0-0 shutout against the Cowgirls.   That is the second most in school history and the most in one match since 2000.  Katie Jo Swanson posted 10 saves in the match against the Cowgirls last season, a match in which the Jays won 6-2.

She’s Baaaack
    After suffering a season-ending knee injury last season, and rehabbing it over the summer, Brittney Neumann showed everyone she is back in her true form in the Sept. 16-18 weekend, netting all three goals over the weekend.  Neumann was named the Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week for her performance.

Out of the Net
    The Jays have posted six shutouts in the first  13 matches this season, tying for first in the MVC with Missouri State.  Alicia Montgomery has posted four of the six, moving her career total to 19, placing her in third on the Creighton women’s soccer all-time top-five charts.  The senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., posted a career high eight in 2009, the season the Jays set a school record with 11 total shutouts.

Sharing is Caring
    As a team, Creighton has dished out 15 assists on the season, with six coming from sophomore Lauren Cingoranelli.  The Aurora, Colo., native dished out six assists total last season.  Cingoranelli assisted a goal at UMKC, before assisting Brittney Neumann in her single goal against Northern Colorado and her first goal against Boise State.

Three-Peat
    Creighton’s three losses in a row earlier this season marked the first time since 2000 the Jays have fallen in three straight.  In that season, Wright State, Wyoming and Nebraska each shutout the Jays for a 6-0 advantage in goals.  From 2001 until 2008, however, the Jays lost two in a row at least once each season, including three two-game skids in 2004. 

Playing for Free
    Creighton has continued its streak of playing overtime matches, as they have now played at least two overtime matches in the first six matches of the season in three of the last four seasons (2011, 2010, 2008).  The Jays hold a 14-10-23 overall record when the match goes more than 90 minutes.  In single overtime, Creighton is 7-6-1, while they hold a 7-4-22 mark in double overtime matches.  So far on this season, the Jays are 1-2-1 in overtime matches, defeating South Dakota 1-0 in double overtime, falling 2-1 at Sacramento State in a single overtime match and then playing to a scoreless draw with Wyoming.  The Jays fell in their last overtime match - a 2-1 loss to Kansas on October 9.

Just a Slip
    Creighton has gotten off to a 7-5-2 season, dropping from the top spot in the Valley after the sixth match for the first time since that time last season.  After six matches last season, the Jays were 2-2-2.  Creighton then went on a 10 match winning streak, snapped by Missouri State in the second to last MVC regular season match. 

Slowly but Surely
    After back-to-back seasons of record setting numbers on offense, including a squad that scored 50 goals last season, finishing ninth in the NCAA with 2.38 goals per match, the Jays offense has been slow to start this time around.  Creighton returned its top four scorers from a season ago, but started off the season slow offensively.  They have moved up in the numbers, scoring seven goals in the last three matches, as they started last in many of the columns.  Below is a list of where the Jays sit in the Valley in offensive statistical categories:
    Shots    189    4th
    Points    51    3rd
    Goals    18    T-3rd
    Assists    15    4th

    Neumann - Shots    45    4th
    Neumann - Points    17    2nd
    Neumann - Goals    8    2nd
    Neumann - GW Goals    3    2nd
    Cingoranelli - Assists    6    2nd
    Zuniga - Shots     46    T-2nd
   
Stifling Defense
    While the offense has been slow to start, Creighton’s defense is right on track to continue down the path they have been the last two years.  The defense has a combined 28 shutouts over the last 54 matches, including 11 in 2009 and seven in the first 15 matches this season.  Katie Jo Swanson picked up two shutouts in her first two appearances in goal this season, while Alicia Montgomery holds a 0.86 goals against average and a .881 save percentage.  Below is where the defense ranks in the Valley:
    Goals Allowed    13    1st
    Goals Against Average    0.89    1st
    Saves    89    4th
    Shutouts    7    T-1st

    Swanson - Save %    0.773    5th
    Swanson - Shutouts    2    T-3rd
    Swanson - GAA    0.96    2nd
    Montgomery - GAA    0.96    3rd
    Montgomery - Save %    0.873    1st
    Montgomery - Saves    55    5th
    Montgomery - Shutouts    5    2nd

Connolly’s Card
    Creighton senior Kelly Connolly picked up the game-winning goal in the 1-0 win over South Dakota last week, scoring in the 109th minute of play.  It marked the sixth goal of the defender’s career, with four of the five being game winners.  Connolly is fourth on the team with seven shots this season, second with six shots on goal and tied for the lead with a single goal.

Fresh Faces
    Head coach Bruce Erickson knew he came into the 2011 season with a veteran squad, nine seniors, but also knew there were key spots to replace.  One of the new faces to step into an immediate role has been Madelyn Buckner, a true freshman from Overland Park, Kan.  The defender, who sees time primarily in the middle of the back four, has played every minute of every match this season for the Jays, contributing to the six shutouts and overall success of the defense this season.

Keep it on Their Half
    Just one game after losing a corner kick battle 8-0 (against OSU), the Jays controlled the tempo and offensive pressure against South Dakota (Sept. 4).  Creighton took a season high 11 corner kicks, all 11 of which came before the Coyotes took a single one.    The Jays have now taken 50 corner kicks on the season, giving up 71 to opponents.

Fast Starters
    The Creighton offense has scored 17 goals this season, nine of which have come in the first period of play.   Creighton started quick last season, as well, scoring 29 of the 50 goals in the opening frame.

That Was Rare
    The Jays were shutout against Oklahoma State, 1-0.  In the last three seasons, since 2008 when the current senior class came in as freshmen at Creighton, the Jays have only been shutout 15 times, five of which were 0-0, double overtime draws, while six of the matches were 1-0 losses.

Home Openers
    Creighton opened up at home on Friday, Sept. 2, falling 1-0 to then #5 Oklahoma State.  In 23 seasons of Bluejay soccer, the Jays now hold a 13-6-4 overall record in the first match at home.  The Jays are 6-4-3 in home-openers under head coach Bruce Erickson, and hold a 4-2-3 record since moving into Morrison Stadium in 2003. 
    The only other time the Jays have faced a ranked team in the home opener was in 2005, when they lost 2-0 to #25 Wisconsin.

Against the Numbers
    Creighton played then #5 Oklahoma State on Friday, September 2, just the second ranked women’s team to play at Morrison Stadium (#25 Wisconsin defeated the Jays 2-0 in 2005).  The Cowgirls are one of just six ranked teams the Jays have played in the 23 year history of the program.  Creighton is 0-5-1 against ranked opponents.  Below is a list of those matches:

9-20-02    at #19 Nebraska    T, 1-1 (2ot)
11-15-02    at #6 Santa Clara *    L, 5-1
11-12-04    at #8 Kansas *    L, 3-1
8-26-05    vs. #25 Wisconsin    L, 2-0
11-16-07    vs. #9 USC *    L, 3-0
9-2-11    vs. #5 Oklahoma State    L, 1-0
* - denotes a match played in the NCAA Tournament.
   
    The Jays faced Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling 4-2.  The Gophers were receiving votes at the time.

Winning Ways
    This group of seniors has put together one of the best overall records thus far in their first three years, holding a 47-21-6 overall record.  In those three seasons, the team has put together four winning streaks of at least four wins, including the 10-match win streak a season ago.  This team has started out 2-0-0 twice now, during their freshman campaigns in 2008 and this season.  In both 2008 and 2009, however, it wasn’t until the fifth match that they lost, going 4-0-0 in the first four in 2008 and 3-0-1 in 2009. 
    The senior class has recently been ranked as the 31st winningest senior class in the nation by www.CollegeSoccer360.com.  The site recently compiled a list of current senior class records, and Creighton’s 47 wins place them 31st. 

On the Charts
    Junior forward Brittney Neumann will look to move up on the all-time lists at Creighton.  The Omaha native inched a step closer over the weekend, netting both of Creighton’s goals.  That puts her at 24 career goals, putting her at number five on the top five all-time charts.  Neumann, named both the MVC Freshman of the Year in 2009 and the MVC Player of the Year in 2010, missed the MVC Tournament and NCAA Tournament last season after a season-ending knee injury sidelined her following the Jays’ victory in the regular season championship match.

Valley’s Best
    For the third time in her Bluejay career, senior goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery was tabbed the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week on August 23, following play in the opening week of games.  The Walnut Creek, Calif., native helped the Jays secure their first win of the season, posting a 1-0 win over South Dakota State.
    Montgomery started off the 2011 season right where she ended the 2010 season, picking up her 16th career shutout, just one shy of the number five spot on the all-time Creighton charts.  Montgomery recorded seven saves, all in the second half, playing all 90 minutes in the 1-0 win.  It helped Creighton remain unbeaten in openers in the last five seasons, as they now hold a 3-0-2 record on opening day.
    Montgomery finished last season with a 0.88 goals against average, allowing just 13 goals in 16 matches, which put her second in the MVC in goals against average.  She also finished with a .851 save percentage, also good enough for second in the league.  Her 0.73 career goals against average is at the top of the charts in Creighton history, as second place holds a 0.96.

Smarty Pants
    Just a day after earning the MVC Defensive Player of the Week, Alicia Montgomery earned the fourth MVC Scholar-Athlete award of her Bluejay career.  The senior goalkeeper holds a 3.792 grade point average in mathematics and secondary education.

Opening Day Numbers
    Creighton is now 12-9-2 all-time in season openers and are 5-6-0 when opening on the road.  Creighton is 5-6-2 on opening day under head coach Bruce Erickson.  The Jays played scoreless matches the last two opening day games, with a scoreless draw in 2009 against Iowa State and last years 0-0 tie against South Dakota State, before winning 1-0 against South Dakota State Aug. 19.  Both of the scoreless matches were played at home.  The Jays have not lost an opener at Morrison Stadium since 2006, going 3-0-2 in that span.

Picked by the Coaches
    Creighton is picked to repeat as the top team in the MVC this season, receiving 45 points and edging out Illinois State, who picked up 39.  The Jays will face the Redbirds in the final match of the regular season conference schedule in Normal, Ill.  Missouri State, the league runner-up from a season ago, sits at number three with 38 points and Indiana State was picked fourth earning 24 points.  Drake, Evansville and UNI round out the seven teams with 21, 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Pre-season Honors
    Creighton was picked to finish atop the MVC this season, returning nine starters from the 2010 season that  won both the regular season and tournament titles a season ago.  Three Jays were named to the MVC women’s soccer pre-season team, while three more Jays landed on the honorable mention list.  Brittney Neumann (junior forward), Lauren Cingoranelli (sophomore forward), and Andrea Zuniga (senior forward) were all voted to the pre-season All-MVC team, while Alicia Montgomery (senior goalkeeper), Erin Gunther (senior defender/midfielder) and Macy Mauer (senior defender) each picked up honorable mention pre-season accolades.

Leadership
    Head coach Bruce Erickson returns one of the most balanced squads for the 2011 campaign that he has put together in his 13-year reign at Creighton.  It is also one of the most experienced, with nine seniors on the 2011 Bluejay roster, seven of which started at least seven matches for the Jays a season ago.  Erickson stresses that while the Jays may be experienced, they will still need to stay healthy throughout the line-up when the conference portion of the season hits.

Snipers
    Creighton finished the 2010 season with 50 total goals, placing them second on the all-time charts in school history.  They finished with 2.38 goals per game, which put them ninth in the NCAA a season ago.  The Jays return the top four scorers from last season, which combined for 34 of the 50 goals.  Leading the group from a season ago are Andrea Zuniga and Brittney Neumann, who each drove in nine goals.  Lauren Cingoranelli and Erin Gunther each added eight goals of their own to the mix.  Bruce Erickson expects each of those players to have a better season than the year before, while also throwing out Emma Auld and Beth Fyles as scoring threats to knock out the other teams’ defense.

Newcomers
    Creighton has just three new faces to meet this season, while returning one red shirt.  Becca Spinar (midfield/defense) redshirted a season ago and now is ready to throw her name in the hat for a starting spot, while freshman Stephanie Anasi (forward/midfield) and Madelyn Buckner (defender) will make an immediate impact in the Bluejay lineup.  Highly touted recruit Kelsey O’Donnell, an all-conference player at Sacramento State in her first two collegiate seasons, will sit out a season due to transfer rules, but will be ready to learn the Bluejay offense in the spring.

All Fixed
    2010 MVC Player of the Year Brittney Neumann might have been the most excited player on the Bluejay roster to get things started on Aug. 19, the 2011 season opener.  The junior, who is a two-time all-MVC player as well as a first-team All-Region player, hasn’t played for the Bluejays since scoring the match-winning goal against Illinois State in overtime last fall.  The goal gave the Jays the MVC regular season crown, but Neumann was injured in practice the next day.  She missed out on the MVC Tournament as well as NCAA Tournament last season, but is back and ready to strike again this season.

Morrison Stadium is Tops:
    This summer CollegeSoccerNews.com made a top-12 list of the most exciting venues to watch a college soccer match and Creighton’s Morrison Stadium topped the list.  Creighton ranked eighth in the NCAA in attendance in 2010 and has ranked in the NCAA top-10 in attendance in each of the last eight years.
    1. Morrison Stadium - Creighton
    2. Harder Stadium - UC Santa Barbara
    3. Ludwig Field - Maryland
    4. Cub Cadet Field - Akron
    5. Morrone Stadium - Connecticut
    6. Armstrong Stadium - Indiana
    7. UNM Soccer Complex - New Mexico
    8. Spry Stadium - Wake Forest
    9. Spanos Stadium - Cal Poly
    10. Merlo Field - Portland
    11. Hermann Stadium -  Saint Louis
    12. Belson Soccer Stadium - St. John’s


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