OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s soccer team concludes its regular-season slate when it visits BIG EAST rival Providence at 1 p.m. CT Friday.
The contest will be a battle for seeding in next week’s BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship. Entering the match, Providence is in fourth place in the standings at 15 points while Creighton stands in fifth place with 13. Both teams secured a spot in the tournament with conference wins on Saturday.
Only the top six teams make the BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship that begins at campus sites on Nov. 12. The No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed in the opening round. The top two seeds will receive byes to the semifinals.
Creighton (9-6-2, 4-3-1 BIG EAST) could finish as high as No. 3 with some help and would secure the No. 4 seed with a victory on Friday. A loss or a tie would lock the Bluejays into the fifth seed of the Championship. Similar scenarios are true for Providence (5-3-0, 10-4-2 BIG EAST). A win or tie by the Friars secures at least the No. 4 seed, a loss puts PC at No. 5.
To finish as the No. 3 seed the Jays would need a win, a Marquette loss or tie, a Xavier win and a Georgetown loss. CU and GU would tie for third in that scenario at 18 points. Since the teams tied in the regular season the next tiebreaker procedure is head-to-head against the top team, which is XU in this case. Creighton defeated Xavier while the Hoyas fell to the Musketeers this season, giving CU the third seed.
The Bluejays closed out their regular-season home schedule Saturday with a convincing 5-1 win over DePaul. CU blanked Drake 2-0 earlier in the week. With the pair of wins, the Jays re-entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) at No. 25 this week. Creighton is 2-4-1 in true road contests this season including a 1-2-1 mark in conference.
In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday, Creighton moved up one slot to No. 15 overall after a pair of wins. The RPI is one of the primary tools utilized by the NCAA for tournament team selections and seeding. The Jays are one of eight BIG EAST teams ranked among the top 64 this week. Providence is No. 36 in this week’s RPI.
The Friars enter the weekend with a 4-2-2 record at home. Providence defeated Butler 3-2 at home on Saturday. PC started the 2013 campaign undefeated (5-0-2) before a loss to Virginia in late September. Since then the Friars are 5-4-0 and have toggled between a win and a loss in each of their last seven matches.
PC’s Julian Gressel leads the Friar attack this season with four goals and 12 points on the year. Anthony Baumann is second with three goals and eight points. Goalie Keasel Broome has played in all 16 matches for Providence this season compiling a record of 10-4-2 and a goals against average of 1.07.
10/30: Won vs. Drake 2-0
11/2: Won vs. DePaul 5-1*
11/8: at Providence, 1 p.m. CT – Providence, R.I.*
*BIG EAST conference match
What’s at Stake
· Creighton looks to host BIG EAST quarterfinal with a victory.
· Providence seeks to host BIG EAST quarterfinal with a win or tie.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this Friday by clicking on the live stats links at GoCreighton.com or follow @GoCreighton on Twitter. Live video is unavailable at Providence this weekend.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays (9-6-2, 4-3-1 BIG EAST)
Creighton secured a spot in the 2013 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship with a convincing 5-1 victory over DePaul last Saturday. Currently in fifth place, the Jays would move into fourth place with a victory in Providence on Friday.
While there is a slim chance for CU to move into a third seed with a victory and some help, the likelihood of a rematch with the Friars on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in a BIG EAST quarterfinal match is a strong possibility. With a win the Jays would host PC as the No. 4 seed in Omaha. A tie or loss by Creighton would lock it into the No. 5 slot and potentially a second consecutive match at Providence in four days.
After dropping out of the poll last week for the first time since 2010, the Creighton men's soccer team returns at No. 25 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday, following home victories over Drake and DePaul.
In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released on Monday, Creighton ranks No. 15 overall, up one spot from a week ago. The RPI is one of the primary tools utilized by the NCAA for tournament team selections and seeding. Providence is ranked at No. 36 in the RPI.
After a scoreless streak of over 367 minutes the Bluejay offense has since found a spark, scoring 13 goals over the last four matches.
CU sophomore Timo Pitter has been a big part of the offense for the Jays. He claimed BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after tallying six points last week with two goals and a pair of assists. Meanwhile, sophomore Eric DeJulio claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll after scoring his first goal of the season versus Drake.
Pitter leads the CU offense this year with seven goals and 18 points. Freshman Fabian Herbers is second on the squad with 10 points and a trio of goals. Eight Bluejays have already scored multiple goals this season.
In net, junior Alex Bolowich continues to keep the Jays in tight matches with a 1.20 goals against average this year and 52 saves. Bolowich has started 13 matches, including five overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 7-5-1 record. Sophomore Connor Sparrow has started four matches for Creighton compiling a 2-1-1 record and making 10 saves on the season.
Scouting the Providence Friars (10-4-2, 5-3-0 BIG EAST)
Providence enters the final weekend after defeating Butler 3-2 at home last Saturday to secure a spot in the BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship. A win or tie by the Friars on Saturday secures at least the No. 4 seed, a loss puts PC at No. 5.
PC started the 2013 campaign undefeated (5-0-2) before a loss to Virginia in late September. Since then the Friars are 5-4-0 and have toggled between a win and a loss in each of their last seven matches.
The Friars own a 4-2-2 record at home this season, including a 2-2-0 mark in conference. Providence is No. 36 in the RPI this week.
Like Creighton, Providence has played several overtime matches this season resulting in a 2-0-2 record.
The Friars were picked seventh in the 10-team 2013 BIG EAST preseason poll. Providence finished last season at 4-10-2 overall and 2-6-0 in the BIG EAST.
PC’s Julian Gressel leads the Friar attack this season with four goals and 12 points on the year. Anthony Baumann is second with three goals and eight points.
Goalie Keasel Broome has played in all 16 matches for Providence this season compiling a record of 10-4-2 and a goals against average of 1.07.
Pitter Claims BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week Honors
Creighton sophomore Timo Pitter claimed Offensive Player of the Week honors from the BIG EAST, the league office announced Monday. Sophomore Eric DeJulio also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
The Oberschwarzach, Germany native tallied six points last week en route to the honor. Pitter scored two goals, including the game winner, in a 5-1 victory over DePaul on Saturday. Earlier in the week Pitter assisted on both Bluejay goals in a 2-0 win over Drake. He currently leads the team with seven goals and 18 points this season.
Pitter’s accolade marks the first Offensive Player of the Week honor by any Bluejay this season. The weekly conference award is his first since he claimed Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors last November. He has appeared on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll for his efforts on three previous times this year in weeks one, two and nine.
The honor roll achievement collected by DeJulio marks his first accolade from the BIG EAST. A Bluejay has claimed a spot on the conference weekly honor roll in seven of ten weeks this season.
DeJulio scored his first goal of the season versus Drake, the second of his career, for the game-winning score. He played all 180 minutes on defense for the Jays. DeJulio and his fellow defenders combined to allow just one goal over two matches last week.
Creighton is the No. 15 team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday, as the Jays conclude an extremely tough schedule this season. In fact the NCAA rates the Jays’ strength of schedule at No. 8 this week.
Fourteen of Creighton’s 17 opponents this year are among the top 64 in the latest RPI that ranks all 203 NCAA Division I squads. In other words the Bluejays’ schedule has consisted of almost one-fourth of the top 64 teams in the nation. Seven of those 16 foes also received votes in the latest NSCAA Top 25 released Tuesday.
Eight of the 10 programs in the BIG EAST conference rank among the top 64 in the RPI this week.
Creighton recently ended a stretch that began in late September in which the Jays faced seven squads in a row that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season in a span of just under a month. CU completed that arduous stretch with a mark of 2-3-2.
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. CU fell at No. 22 Saint Louis 1-0 on Oct. 2.
Since a CU scoreless streak of over 367 minutes last month, the Bluejays’ offense has found a spark by scoring 13 goals over the last four matches. The thirteen tallies account for slightly less than half of CU’s offensive scoring this season of 29 total goals.
In a convincing 5-1 victory over DePaul on Saturday, the Bluejays’ five tallies marked the most scored by CU since a 5-0 victory at UMKC on Aug. 31, 2011. CU scored three first-half goals to roll over the Blue Demons.
The week prior the Jays scored three goals after halftime to knock off Butler, the most tallies since the second stanza of the Bluejays’ 4-2 victory over Washington in an NCAA Second Round match in Omaha last Nov. 18.
Jays Rank Fifth in Attendance
With 26,752 fans attending matches this season, Creighton ranks fifth nationally in raw attendance according to latest numbers from the NCAA on Monday. The Jays move up to second in average attendance at 2,952 only behind Maryland (3,100).
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.
CU Defense vs. the BIG EAST
Prior to last week,Creighton had allowed just four goals through its first five BIG EAST matches this season.
On Oct. 23, Butler was the first BIG EAST squad to score multiple goals on the Bluejays this season. Then three days later, Seton Hall became the first BIG EAST squad to post three goals against CU.
That slew of five goals followed just one score against CU in each of its prior two league contests - a 1-0 overtime loss to Villanova on Oct. 19 and a 1-0 setback at Marquette on Oct. 12. DePaul also converted a single score on a controversial penalty kick on Nov. 2.
CU blanked its first three league foes including 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 allowed only 12 total goals to conference foes in the past three seasons, with 10 of the 12 occurring on the road.
Creighton’s 1-0 overtime loss to Villanova Oct. 19 snapped a 12-match CU unbeaten streak at Morrison Stadium dating back to last fall when the Bluejays fell 3-1 to Saint Louis on Sept. 22. After two home victories last week, Creighton is now 13-1-1 in its last 15 home matches.
The downfall to VU marked the first home loss in a conference match inside Morrison Stadium in almost three years - since a 2-1 loss to Bradley on Nov. 6, 2010.
CU is 11-1-0 against conference foes at home since then – including 10 consecutive shutout victories before the loss to the Wildcats.
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.
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 404-160-60 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.
Cutting It Close
Creighton’s 3-2 loss at Seton Hall on Oct. 26 marked the Jays’ ninth one-goal decision to go along with two ties this season. CU is 15-8 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.
Creighton is 2-2-2 in overtime matches this season following a 1-0 downfall to Villanova on Oct. 19, a scoreless tie at then-No. 12 Georgetown, a 2-2 tie versus Michigan State and 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 St. John’s in September.
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 against Villanova on Oct. 19, Creighton has won 13 of its previous 18 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.
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 second on the team with two goals and eight 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.
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.