Creighton Seeks Outright MVC Title at Evansville Saturday
OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 2) - The Creighton men's soccer team has already wrapped up a bye into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) tournament semifinals and could clinch the regular-season title outright at Evansville this Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
The Purple Aces are also in contention for a first-round bye in the MVC Tournament.
With a win or a tie over UE the Jays clinch the outright MVC regular-season crown and the No. 1 seed overall at next week's conference tournament hosted by Bradley in Peoria, Ill.
10/27: W, 1-0 Missouri State
11/3: at Evansville, 7 p.m.
Scouting the No. 16 Creighton Bluejays (12-3-2, 4-0-1 MVC):
The No. 16 Creighton men's soccer team extended its season-best win streak to seven matches while converting its fifth consecutive home shutout as the Jays blanked Missouri State 1-0 at Morrison Stadium Saturday, Oct. 27.
With the win, the Jays clinched at least a tie for their third straight Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season title and 12th overall with a 4-0-1 mark and improved to 12-3-2 overall.
CU also extended its shutout streak against MVC foes to 12 consecutive matches. The last score CU allowed to a league opponent came in the conference opener last season (Oct. 12) versus Missouri State at 22:54. It's been nearly 1,273 minutes since the Jays allowed a goal to an MVC team.
The Creighton shutout defense could set an MVC team record for the fewest goals allowed in a conference season. Three teams including CU's 1995 squad share the all-time low record of two goals allowed in a conference season.
In the 20th minute, Pitter made good on a pass from fellow freshman Vincent Keller, scoring on a crossing shot from 10 yards out. Pitter's goal gives him 16 points on the season to tie senior Jose Gomez atop the Creighton stat sheet. Keller's assist marked the second of his young career.
Senior Jose Gomez and Pitter continue to pace the Creighton offense in points at 16.
Freshman goalkeeper Jeff Gal posted his fifth consecutive shutout, and sixth of the season, for the Jays. Gal raised his record to 8-0 on the year. He leads the MVC in goals against average (0.25) and save percentage (.933) heading into the weekend.
Scouting the Evansville Purple Aces (9-6-1, 3-1-1 MVC):
Evansville enters the final game of the regular season with a chance to tie Creighton atop the MVC standings and claim the No. 1 overall seed at the conference tournament next week in Peoria, Ill.
With a win the Purple Aces would grab a share of their first-ever Valley regular season title. Evansville's only conference hardware came in 1996 when it won the MVC tournament.
UE lost a shot at an outright conference title last weekend with a 2-2 draw at Drake (Oct. 27). Earlier in the week the Aces fell at No. 16 Indiana (Oct. 24) 2-0.
The Aces trail the all-time series against Creighton 21-3-1 and 7-2-1 in Evansville since the teams began playing in 1994. The Bluejays have not lost in their past 10 matches against the Aces dating back to a 2-1 UE win on Sept. 29, 2004. The teams fought to a 1-1 tie in Evansville on Sept. 17, 2009.
Evansville is 6-2 at home this season including a 2-0 mark in conference matches. Those two setbacks were 2-0 losses to Kentucky (Sept. 22) and Marshall (Oct. 6).
Freshman Faik Hajderovic leads the Aces with 15 points five goals and five assists this season. UE freshman Mark Anthony Gonzalez is second on the team with nine points and four goals.
Eric Teppen has played all but 17 minutes in goal for Evansville this season. The sophomore carries a 9-6-1 record, a 1.31 GAA and a 0.753 save percentage this year.
Jays Seek Outright MVC Title
After a 1-0 defeat of Missouri State (10/27), the Jays clinched at least a tie for first place in the Valley and a bye into the MVC Tournament semifinals. CU clinches the outright crown and the No. 1 overall seed in the tourney with a win or tie at Evansville.
Two Jays Earn Academic All-District Honors
Two Creighton men's soccer players earned 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII First Team honors as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) the organization announced Nov. 1.
Junior Bruno Castro and sophomore Eric Miller were each recognized for work both on the field and in the classroom. The honor is the first for each player.
As First Team All-District members Castro and Miller will be placed on a national ballot for a chance to be Academic All-America selections while competing against student-athletes from across the country.
Jays Rank No. 17 in Latest NCAA RPI
Creighton stands at No. 17 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA on Oct. 30. The Jays dropped four spots from No. 13 last week despite winning their only match over No. 139 Missouri State. Evansville is the third-highest Valley team in the RPI at No. 75 after CU and SIUE (No. 28)
One and Done
CU has won its last 11 games that were decided by a 1-0 score, including a 6-0 record this season. The Jays are 6-0 in each of their last six home matches resulting in a 1-0 decision. Head coach Elmar Bolowich is 14-2 at CU in matches that end in a 1-0 and is 27-4 over the past four years in such contests.
Cutting It Close
After a 1-0 win over Missouri State, the Jays are 8-1 in games decided by one goal in 2012. A win over the Princeton Oct. 9 also marked CU's second overtime victory of the year. The Bluejays are 2-0-2 in extra time this season.
Creighton knocked off Missouri State 1-0 during a Cox TV broadcast (10/27) to remain undefeated in front of the cameras this season at 3-0-1. CU stunned Princeton 3-2 in front of a national television audience on ESPNU (10/9). Earlier in 2012 CU tied No. 7 Akron 1-1 on NET (8/31) and beat William & Mary 2-1 on COX (9/16).
Defense Remains Dominant vs. MVC
CU logged its 12th consecutive shutout of an MVC opponent in the 1-0 victory over Missouri State Oct. 27. The last goal surrendered to an MVC foe by the Jays came in the conference opener last season (10/12/11) to Missouri State at 22:54. It has been 1272:59 since CU allowed a goal to an MVC team.
The CU shutout defense could set an MVC team record for the fewest goals allowed in a conference season. Three teams including CU's 1995 squad share the all-time low record of two goals allowed in a conference season.
Ribeiro Collects Third MVC Honor of 2012
Senior Andrew Ribeiro MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 29 for his efforts in the Bluejays' 1-0 win over Missouri State Oct. 27.
Ribeiro's conference accolade is the third of his career and in 2012 following previous honors this season on Oct. 15 and Sept. 4.
The senior from Green Bay, Wis., attempted one shot and played every minute of the Jays' 1-0 victory over the Bears. The senior co-captain has played all but eight minutes this season for the Bluejays.
Ribas Earns Second Scholar-Athlete Award
Sophomore Jose Ribas earned MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors Oct 24.
The award is the second time he has earned the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week. He also claimed the award Sept. 19.
A sophomore from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Ribas posted his fourth assist of the year on the game-winning score in a 3-0 win over UMKC Oct. 16.
Ribas, who has a 3.60 cumulative grade point average in business, also played a vital role on defense.
Gomez Claims MVC Accolade
Senior Jose Gomez claimed Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Offensive Player of the Week honors Oct. 23.
Gomez's conference accolade is the second of his career and in 2012. The senior was also honored by the conference earlier this season on Sept. 4 after the Ameritas Classic.
One week after earning National Player of the Week honors, he continued his offensive prowess in front of Bluejay fans at Morrison Stadium. Gomez scored the game-winning goal off of a crossing pass in a 3-0 defeat of UMKC Oct. 16. He later assisted on another.
Eric Miller Makes Return After Playing for U.S. Under-20 National Team
Sophomore Eric Miller returned to the Jays after missing three matches playing for U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team in October.
U.S. National Team head coach Tab Ramos led the team in Spain's 2012 Marbella Cup.
Miller played 69 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 loss to Canada in Marbella on Oct. 10. The U.S. rebounded to beat Scotland 2-0 Oct. 12; Miller saw 63 minutes of match time.
Miller made his first start of the trip Oct. 16, playing all 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Azerbaijan.
CU extended its season-best win streak to seven matches last week and finished the month of October undefeated at 7-0.
Freshman Timo Pitter continues to rapidly tap the ball past opposing goalkeepers this season. His game-winning score against Missouri State (10/27) was his team-leading seventh of the season. His total ranks in a tie for second in the MVC. Pitter's seven scores are the most by any CU freshman since Byron Dacy tapped in nine goals in 2005.
Jays Celebrate 600th Match with a Win
Creighton posted a 1-0 win over Missouri State Oct. 27 in the program's 600th match. CU is now 390-153-57 in 30 seasons of men's soccer.
Opponents Seeking Goals
Creighton has kept seven of its last eight opponents off of the scoreboard this season after shutout wins vs. Missouri State (10/27), Bradley (10/20), UMKC (10/16), at UCA (10/13), vs. SIUE (10/6) and Loyola-Chicago (10/2) along with a scoreless draw at Drake (9/29).
Princeton's first goal Oct. 9 halted a Jays' opponent scoreless streak at 320:49. Since the Tigers' second score of that match, CU has an active shutout streak of 394:36. In 2011, CU had two shutout streaks of 700+ minutes.
Jays' goalkeepers Alex Bolowich and Jeff Gal have combined for 10 shutouts this season.
Gomez Tabbed National Player of the Week
Senior Jose Gomez claimed Men's College Soccer National Player of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com and earned a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week on Oct. 15.
The national honors for Gomez this week mark the first of his career. He is just the second CU player in the past four seasons to garner the National Player of the Week award. Departed senior Ethan Finlay claimed the honor last season on Dec. 5.
Gomez posted six points in CU's two road victories Oct. 9-13. On Oct. 13, he netted a score and an assist in a 3-0 victory at MVC foe Central Arkansas. Earlier in the week, Gomez assisted on all three Bluejay goals, including the game-winning score in overtime, in a 3-2 victory at Princeton in front of a national television audience on ESPNU Tuesday, Oct. 9.
The Santa Ana, Calif., native is the first Jay to earn an assist on three CU goals in the same game since Seth Sinovic helped on three scores at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 8, 2008.
The Jays have not suffered an overtime loss in 13 matches dating back to a 3-2 downfall in extra time to SMU on Sept. 17, 2010 at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic. During that span Creighton boasts an 8-0-5 record.
Offense Comes Alive
Creighton's 3-0 victory vs. UMKC Oct. 16 coupled with a 3-0 win at UCA Oct. 13 and the Jays' 3-2 OT win at Princeton Oct. 9 marked the first time the Jays' offense scored three or more goals in three consecutive matches since 2005.
Gomez Climbing Morrison Record Book After scoring a goal and notching an assist against UMKC Oct. 16, senior Jose Gomez tied Tim Bohnenkamp (2004-07) for No. 1 with 15 career assists inside Morrison Stadium.
Gomez's goal moved him into a tie for No. 5 all-time on the stadium list at nine scores. Currently he ranks No. 2 in shots on goal with 36 and No. 3 in points with 33 at home.
Four Jays Represented on TopDrawerSoccer's Midseason 100 to Watch
At midseason (10/3) soccer website TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked senior Jose Gomez as the No. 3 college prospect in the country. Three other Jays also made the Top 100 as sophomore Eric Miller rated No. 32, junior Zach Barnes stood No. 75 and senior Andrew Ribeiro ranked No. 98.
Alex Bolowich Named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week
Alex Bolowich of the Creighton men's soccer team was selected Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week for his performance during the period of Aug. 27-Sept. 2.
A sophomore from Chapel Hill, N.C., Bolowich was named to the Ameritas Classic Championship All-Tournament team, helping the Jays to a 1-1 draw with No. 7 Akron (8/31) and a 3-0 win over Rutgers (9/2).
Bolowich, who has a 3.43 cumulative grade point average in communications, allowed one goal in 200 combined minutes on the week. He held Akron to just one goal on 15 shots, despite the Zips being one of the top scoring teams in the NCAA over the past three seasons.
Flying in a Pack
The Jays set a single-match attendance record in their 2-1 loss to No. 14 Old Dominion (9/14) as 6,848 fans watched the match. That mark eclipsed the previous attendance record of 5,812, set in a match against UCLA on Sept. 8, 2007. Creighton has welcomed 24,029 fans at home this year.
Top 10 Creighton Home Crowds
1. 6,848 vs. Old Dominion, Sept. 14, 2012
2. 5,812 vs. UCLA, Sept. 8, 2007
3. 5,743 vs. Stanford (Exh.), Aug. 26, 2005
4. 5,609 vs. Missouri State, Sept. 19, 2009
5. 5,425 vs. Drexel, Sept. 4, 2011
6. 4,407 vs. Saint Louis, Aug. 31, 1997
7. 4,345 vs. Virginia (Exh.), Aug. 28, 1993
8. 4,242 vs. Fordham, Sept. 9, 2011
9. 4,071 vs. Gonzaga, Aug. 29, 2008
10. 4,029 vs. UMKC (Exh.), Aug. 27, 2004