ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 7 Creighton men’s soccer team visits Michigan early this week for a non-conference battle. The Bluejays and Wolverines will play at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday in Ann Arbor. The match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
Creighton (6-3-2, 2-1-1 BIG EAST) is coming off of a 1-0 downfall at Marquette on Saturday. The goal scored by the Golden Eagles was the first surrendered by the Jays’ defense in a BIG EAST match, following three shutouts earlier this year. Creighton is 1-2-1 in true road contests this season.
Meanwhile, Michigan (4-4-3, 1-2-0 Big Ten) returns home to host CU after a conference road loss at Penn State last weekend. The setback snapped a two-match win streak by the Wolverines. Michigan is 2-2-1 at home this season.
In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released today, 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. Michigan is No. 58 in the latest RPI.
Last week the Jays dropped to No. 7 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 rankings, down four places from the week before. Creighton fell three spots to No. 7 in the latest College Soccer News Top 30 rankings released last week. CU also tumbled three places to No. 7 in the Soccer Times Top 25. The Jays slipped two spots to No. 8 in the latest Soccer America Men's Top 25 released last Tuesday.
The trip to Ann Arbor marks the Jays’ final non-conference road trip of the season. CU is 1-1-0 in the previous two stops with a 2-1 double overtime win at Old Dominion on Sept. 13 and a 1-0 setback at then-No. 22 Saint Louis on Oct. 2.
Tuesday’s contest will be the first meeting between the Bluejays and Wolverines in men’s soccer. CU is 16-9-2 all-time against Big Ten schools after a 2-2 tie against Michigan State in Omaha on Sept. 24 and a 1-0 setback to Indiana at the College Cup semifinals last December.
Creighton and Michigan share one common opponent so far this season in Marquette. UM also dropped a 1-0 decision to the Golden Eagles in Ann Arbor on Sept. 13.
James Murphy leads the Wolverine attack this season with three goals and eight points on the year.
10/12: Lost at Marquette 1-0*
10/15: at Michigan, 6 p.m. CT – Ann Arbor, Mich.
10/19: vs. Villanova, 7 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium*
* BIG EAST conference match
What’s at Stake
· Creighton is seeking its second road win of the season.
· Michigan is looking to open a five-match homestand with a victory.
Watch Party to Follow the Jays
Fans are invited to catch the Jays on the road tomorrow night at The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill when the Bluejays visit Michigan. The match will be televised live on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. CT. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Fans can also follow all of the action this Tuesday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the No. 7 Creighton Bluejays (6-3-2, 2-1-1 BIG EAST)
The No. 7 Creighton men’s soccer team makes its final non-conference road trip of the season. Last time out Creighton dropped a 1-0 decision at Marquette on Saturday in its only match last week. A week prior to that Creighton defeated BIG EAST foe Xavier 2-0 in Omaha.
Michigan is the last of seven consecutive CU opponents that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. CU is currently 2-2-2 through the first six matches of that arduous stretch.
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 eight matches, including four double overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 5-2-1 record. Sophomore Connor Sparrow has started the three matches for Creighton compiling a 1-1-1 record and making eight saves on the season.
Creighton ranks No. 27 nationally in shutout percentage (0.45) and team goals against average (0.75) as of Sunday.
Scouting the Michigan Wolverines (4-4-3, 1-2-0 BIG EAST)
Michigan returns home to host CU after a conference road loss at Penn State last weekend. The setback snapped a two-match win streak by the Wolverines. Michigan is 2-2-1 at home this season.
Last Friday UM fell 3-1 at Penn State. The weekend prior, the Wolverines earned a 1-0 victory at Ohio State.
Tuesday’s contest will be the first meeting between the Bluejays and Wolverines in men’s soccer. Creighton and Michigan share one common opponent so far this season in Marquette. UM also dropped a 1-0 decision to the Golden Eagles in Ann Arbor on Sept. 13.
Michigan was picked fourth in the seven-team 2013 Big Ten preseason poll. The Wolverines advanced to the 2012 NCAA Tournament second round last season. UM dropped a 2-1 decision at No. 5 seed Akron after a 3-1 victory over Niagara at home.
James Murphy leads the UM attack with three goals and eight points this season. T.J. Van Slooten is second on the squad with seven points and a trio of goals. Eight other Wolverines have accounted for a single goal this season.
UM goalkeeper Adam Grinwis has started all 11 matches for the Wolverines this season. He owns a 1.28 goals against average and has accumulated 45 saves this year.
Michigan ranks No. 32 nationally for assists per game at 1.73 and No. 37 overall in total assists with 37 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, 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.
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 today. 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 11 opponents to open this season are among the top 50 in the latest RPI that ranks all 202 NCAA Division I squads. Michigan is No. 58.
Creighton is at the end of a stretch that began late last month in which the Jays will face seven squads in a row that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season in a span of just under a month. CU is currently 2-2-2 through six games of that arduous span.
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 401-157-60 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 five one-goal decisions this season against Marquette, then-No. 22 SLU, then-No. 7 St. John’s, William & Mary and Old Dominion, the Jays are 14-5 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 the Red Storm 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 Marquette on Saturday, a 1-0 downfall at then-No. 22 Saint Louis on Oct. 2, and the Jays’ 1-0 double overtime victory against No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 21, Creighton has now won 13 of its previous 16 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.
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.