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Sophomore Timo Pitter leads the team with three goals and seven points this season.
Courtesy: © Steven Branscombe

No. 7 Menís Soccer Battles Marquette for First Place in the BIG EAST

OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 7 Creighton men’s soccer team will travel to BIG EAST rival Marquette this weekend looking to regain its hold on first place in the conference. The Jays and Golden Eagles will play at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Milwaukee.

Creighton (6-2-2, 2-0-1 BIG EAST) was the only team in the conference to not play on Wednesday as four BIG EAST matches took center stage. Marquette (7-3-1, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) remained undefeated in the league after a 3-2 double overtime victory at home over No. 21 Butler.

As a result of that win, MU took over sole possession of first place in the conference at nine points. The Bluejays and No. 9 Georgetown are tied for second behind the Golden Eagles at seven points.

CU is coming off a 2-0 victory at home last Saturday over fellow BIG EAST newcomer Xavier.  The Jays have yet to surrender a goal through three conference matches. The win marked CU’s fifth shutout of the season, the fourth at home, resulting in a 4-0-1 record in those contests.

Creighton suffered its second setback of the season at No. 22 Saint Louis on Oct. 1. Previous to that downfall, Creighton played in a program-record five consecutive double-overtime matches The Jays recorded a 2-1-2 mark in those contests.

In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released on Monday, Creighton stands No. 4 overall. The RPI is one of the primary tools utilized by the NCAA for tournament team selections and seeding.  The Jays lead five BIG EAST squads listed among the top 31.

Marquette is ranked at No. 28 in the RPI.

The Jays dropped to No. 7 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 rankings this week, down four places from last week. Creighton fell three spots to No. 7 in the latest College Soccer News Top 30 rankings released on Monday. 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 on Tuesday.

The trip to Marquette marks the Jays’ second conference road trip of the season. The Jays battled then-No. 12 Georgetown to a scoreless tie on Sept. 28. After the setback at SLU, CU is 1-1-1 in true road matches overall this year.

Saturday’s contest will be the ninth meeting between the Bluejays and Golden Eagles in men’s soccer. The teams have not played in almost 10 years. Creighton won the last meeting 2-1 on Sept. 19, 2004 in Omaha. CU is 1-2-0 all-time in Milwaukee. Marquette leads the all-time series 5-3 dating back to the teams’ first meeting in 1983.

Marquette is coming off of two overtime contests including a 1-0 overtime win at Villanova last Saturday.  MU’s golden goal came on their 23rd shot of the match.

C. Nortey may be the Golden Eagle to watch this weekend. He has scored the game winner for Marquette in each of its last three victories including golden goals in the past two overtime wins at Villanova and against No. 21 Butler.

Last Week

10/2: Lost at No. 22 Saint Louis 1-0

10/5: Defeated Xavier 2-0*

This Week

10/12: at Marquette, 7 p.m. CT – Milwaukee, Wis.*

* BIG EAST conference match

What’s at Stake

·       Creighton is looking to remain undefeated in the BIG EAST through four matches.

·       Marquette is seeking its first win over CU since September 2000.

Following the Jays

Fans can follow all of the action this Saturday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.

Scouting the No. 7 Creighton Bluejays (6-2-2, 2-0-1 BIG EAST)

The No. 7 Creighton men’s soccer team visits Marquette this for a BIG EAST conference battle. MU is the sixth consecutive CU opponent that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Last time out Creighton blanked Xavier 2-0 to remain undefeated in the BIG EAST standings. Creighton currently is tied for second in the BIG EAST Conference behind Marquette at seven points with all conference teams having completed three league matches.

CU dropped a 1-0 decision at No. 22 Saint Louis on Oct. 2. The setback snapped the Jays’ program record of playing in five consecutive double overtime contests.

CU junior Eric Miller earned a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. He scored the game-winning goal in the 2-0 decision over XU and helped the defense post its third BIG EAST shutout of the season.

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 0.96 goals against average this year and has accumulated 24 saves. Bolowich has started seven matches, including four double overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 5-1-1 record. Sophomore Connor Sparrow has started the last three matches for Creighton compiling a 1-1-1 record and making eight saves on the season.

Scouting the Marquette Golden Eagles (7-3-1, 3-0-0 BIG EAST)

Marquette is coming off of a 3-2 double overtime victory at home over No. 21 Butler to take sole possession of first place in the BIG EAST.

Last Saturday, Marquette scored a 1-0 overtime conference road victory at Villanova on. The Golden Eagles have posted four shutouts in their last seven matches. MU is 2-1-1 at home this season. For comparison this weekend, Marquette also shutout Xavier this season 1-0 on the road in Cincinnati.

Saturday’s contest will be the ninth meeting between the Bluejays and Golden Eagles in men’s soccer. The teams have not played in almost 10 years. Creighton won the last meeting 2-1 on Sept. 19, 2004 in Omaha. CU is 1-2-0 all-time in Milwaukee. Marquette leads the all-time series 5-3 dating back to the teams first meeting in 1983.

Marquette was picked third in the 2013 BIG EAST preseason coaches poll one spot behind Creighton. The Golden Eagles advanced to the 2012 NCAA Tournament last season as the No. 7 overall seed. Marquette was upset 1-0 by Northwestern in a second round match.

C. Nortey leads the MU attack with six goals - including the team’s last three game winners - two assists and 14 points on the season. He scored the golden goal versus Butler in the 107th minute on Wednesday and at Villanova last weekend. Coco Navarro is second on the squad with nine points and a pair of goals.

MU goalkeeper Charlie Lyon has started all 11 matches for the Golden Eagles this season. He owns a 0.96 goals against average and has accumulated 32 saves this year.

No Goals for You

Creighton has yet to allow a goal in through three BIG EAST matches spanning 308:05 minutes of action this season. 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 two total goals to conference foes in the past three seasons, each 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 last Saturday; 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.

#FortressMorrison

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. 4 team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) this week. 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. Saint Louis was the third team in the last five matches to be ranked on the CU slate. Creighton is now 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.

Eight of Creighton’s 10 opponents to open this season are among the top 63 in the latest RPI that ranks all 202 NCAA Division I squads. Five of the last six foes that CU faced all rank among the top 43 nationally. Marquette is No. 28.

Creighton is in the middle 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 2-1-2 through five games of that arduous span.

The Bluejays battle three opponents that were national seeds in 2012 all on the road during the arduous stretch including fellow College Cup participant No. 3 seed Georgetown, No. 7 seed Marquette and No. 8 seed Saint Louis.

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 401-156-60 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 four one-goal decisions this season against No. 22 SLU, then-No. 7 St. John’s, William & Mary and Old Dominion, the Jays are 14-4 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.

Creighton is 2-1-2 in overtime matches this season following the 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. The Jays went undefeated at 3-0-3 in extra time last season.

One Goal to Nil

Following CU’s 1-0 setback at 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 15 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 (810) 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.

California Dreaming

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.

CU junior Eric Miller and sophomore Timo Pitter were also named to the preseason All‐BIG EAST Team.

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