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Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Jays' Women's Soccer Open BIG EAST with Marquette, then at St. John's

OMAHA, Neb. - The Bluejays' women's soccer team opens their first season as members of the BIG EAST Conference on Thursday, Sept. 26 by hosting preseason favorite Marquette, then traveling to St. John's (Sept. 29).

Last Week:
9/20:     W, 3-2 - vs. Omaha - Morrison Stadium

This Week:
9/26:     vs. Marquette - Morrison Stadium - 7:00 p.m (CT)
9/29:     at St. John’s - Belson Stadium (Queens, N.Y.) - 12:00 p.m. (CT) - ESPN3.com

Scouting Creighton (7-2-0, 0-0-0 BIG EAST):
The Bluejays begin BIG EAST play on Thursday, Sept. 26 against the conference
favorite Marquette.  Creighton is riding its second longest winning streak in school
history, seven matches.  Over those seven contests, the Jays have outscored their
opponents 26-5.  Freshman goalkeeper Danielle Rice is sporting a 0.75 goals against average (GAA) during the run.  One of the most encouraging stats during Creighton’s seven-match win streak is goal distribution, 11 different Jays have scored a goal, while 15 have notched at least one point.  Thursday’s match, however, will give the Jays a strong test as Marquette is the strongest team (No. 37 RPI) Creighton has faced in 2013.

Scouting Marquette (7-3-0, 0-0-0 BIG EAST):
The Golden Eagles have won six of their last seven matches, including a 3-2 (ot) win against Louisville on Sept. 21 and a 5-0 win at Milwaukee on  Sept. 23.  Marquette, however, is just 3-3-0 this season away from home.  

Four different players are tied for the team lead with four goals this season, but the lead is senior Maegan Kelly.  The Kansas City native has four goals and five assists on the year, including one of each in the win at Milwaukee.  Marquette’s last stumble came against a familiar for as Illinois State bested the Golden Eagles, 3-2, on Sept. 15.

Series with Marquette, 2-1-1
9/18/93    Marquette    T, 2-2 (ot)
10/17/93    at Marquette     W, 2-0
10/8/94    Marquette    W, 2-1
10/27/96    at Marquette     L, 1-2 (ot)

Scouting St. John’s (6-1-1, 0-0-0 BIG EAST)
The Red Storm opened 2013 with six straight wins, but have suffered a loss and a tie in their last two outings.  Picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST, the Red Storm and Bluejays have faced one common opponent in 2013, North Dakota State. The Bluejays claimed a 2-1 exhibition contest from the Bison, while St. John’s defeated NDSU 5-0.  

St. John’s offense is based on the play of Rachel Daly, who leads the BIG EAST and is second in the NCAA with 11 goals this season.  Daly also boasts two assists to lead the NCAA in points per game (3.0).  Typically it has been Amy
Marron setting up Daly as she leads St. John’s with seven assists.  

Series with St. John’s, 1-0-0
10/21/91    St. John’s    W, 2-0

And So it Begins
For the first time since in school history the Creighton women’s soccer will open conference play on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the BIG EAST Conference by hosting Marquette.  Creighton’s first BIG EAST road match is Sunday, Sept. 29 at St. John’s.  The Jays have called the Missouri Valley Conference home since 1997, prior to that Creighton women’s soccer did not have a conference affiliation.

Seventh Heaven
The Bluejays extended their current win streak to seven matches with a 3-2 win over Omaha on Sept. 20.  Creighton has outscored opponents 26-5.  It is the second longest win streak in school history, just three short of the Jays’ 10-match stream from Sept. 9 - Oct. 16, 2010.

If You Build it, They Will Come
Riding a six-match winning streak and facing local rival Omaha, the Bluejays expected a solid fan-base.  What the Jays received, however, was overwhelming as a program record 1,678 fans were treated to a 3-2 Creighton win.  The previous attendance record for a women’s soccer match was 1,547 against Iowa on Sept. 21, 2007.  

Home Cooking
Creighton has enjoyed playing in Morrison Stadium this season,  scoring 25 goals in six home matches.  Creighton tallied just 18 goals throughout the 2012 season.

O’Donnell Claims Second BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week (POTW) Honor
Senior Kelsey O'Donnell earned her second BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday, Sept. 23.

Despite playing center back, O’Donnell has made herself an offensive weapon at every turn for the Bluejays this season. She placed an exclamation on the point Friday night, tying a career-high with two goals in Creighton’s 3-2 win over local rival Omaha.

O’Donnell scored Creighton’s second and third goals, giving the Jays the lead each time.  Just 40 seconds after the Mavericks pulled even in the first half, O’Donnell teamed with fellow defender Jill Richgels to give the Jays back the lead.  Richgels lofted a free kick 30+ yards from near midfield, then O’Donnell headed the ball into the net from just inside the box.

Tied 2-2 in the second period the tandem repeated their feet.  This time, however, Richgels sent a ground pass from the corner to a streaking O’Donnell for a one-touch goal.  

Horseshoes & Handgrenades
Over the past five seasons, Creighton has made a habit of playing & winning close matches at Morrison Stadium.  Since the start of the 2009 season, the Jays have played 51 matches at home, posting a 29-13-9 mark.  During that stretch the Jays have lost by more than one goal only once, 3-1 to Arizona on Sept. 2, 2012. 

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