Creighton Clinches Top Seed at MVC Tourney with 2-1 Victory
OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 3) - The No. 16 Creighton men's soccer team claimed its second outright Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular-season title and third straight crown overall in the last three seasons after a 2-1 victory at Evansville Saturday night.
Creighton senior Brent Kallman notched the game-winner on his first goal of the season off of a header in the 44th minute to break a 1-1 tie. It marked just the second career goal for Kallman at CU, both game-winning scores. Sophomore Jose Ribas recorded his fifth assist of the season on the goal.
The Jays posted their eighth consecutive win to complete the regular season and improved to 13-3-2 overall. With the win Creighton claims the No. 1 seed at the Valley tournament next week in Peoria, Ill., hosted by Bradley.
The conference title marks the 12th regular-season MVC crown in program history after CU finished with a 5-0-1 mark in conference play. The last time the Bluejays finished the conference season without a loss was in 2008 (4-0-1).
Evansville drops to 3-2-1 in the MVC and 9-7-1 overall. The Purple Aces will be seeded fourth next week at BU. The Valley tournament host Braves managed to salvage a 1-1 tie against Central Arkansas Saturday and claim the third seed.
The Bluejays got on the scoreboard early in the eighth minute, as freshman Timo Pitter scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season put Creighton up 1-0. Pitter has scored five goals in the past five matches for the Jays. Pitter's goal gives him 18 points on the season to lead the Creighton stat sheet.
Evansville tied the match at 1-1 on a goal from Mark Gonzalez in the 21st minute. The Purple Aces' goal snapped CU's shutout streak against MVC foes at 12 consecutive matches.
Until the Gonzalez goal, the last score the Creighton defense allowed to a league opponent came in the 2011 conference opener (Oct. 12) versus Missouri State at 22:54. The Bluejays defensive shutout streak ended at a total of 1,293 minutes.
Kallman's score just over a minute before halftime proved to be the difference as neither team scored after the break.
CU freshman goalkeeper Jeff Gal improved his record to 9-0 on the year with the win. The UE goal allowed by Gal snapped his personal scoreless streak at five matches.
Creighton travels to Peoria, Ill., next week for the 2012 MVC Tournament hosted by Bradley. The Bluejays will face the winner of No. 5 seed Drake or No. 4 seed Evansville in a semifinal slated for Friday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m.