Men's Soccer Advances Past Akron on Penalty Kicks, 5-4
AKRON, Ohio (Nov. 25) - The No. 8 Creighton men's soccer team upset No. 1 Akron on the road 5-4 on penalty kicks, after the Jays and Zips finished in a 1-1 draw for the second time this season, at UA's FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field Sunday evening to advance to an NCAA Quarterfinal for a second straight year.
CU freshman Timo Pitter played a starring role in the Bluejays' victory. The team's leading scorer tapped in the game-tying goal and then clinched the match with the final successful penalty kick.
As a result the Jays moved to 16-3-3 on the year while Akron ended its season at 18-1-3. Creighton advances to face No. 4 seed Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 2 at noon CT in Storrs, Conn., in the Elite Eight.
Creighton, the No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, showed resolve against the No. 5 seed Akron who had not lost at home all season. After the Zips scored a goal in the 12th minute, the Bluejays continued to battle throughout the contest.
It was not until the 83rd minute that Creighton tied the match at 1-1 as senior co-captain Andrew Ribeiro fed Pitter. The first-year player from Germany beat Akron's goalkeeper David Meves one-on-one to net his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Creighton freshman goalkeeper Jeff Gal kept his record unblemished at 12-0-1 this season after making eight saves on the evening including a crucial one on a penalty kick early in the first overtime.
At the same time, CU sophomore Jose Ribas was sent to the sideline with a red card in the 91st minute, as the Bluejays played a man down for 19 minutes of the overtime periods.
After weathering Akron's storm early in the first overtime, the Jays settled in and maintained their composure to claim a 1-1 draw and force penalty kicks.
Each team made their first three penalty kick attempts, but Akron missed its fourth try against Creighton's Alex Bolowich who came into the net just for the penalty kicks. Each team succeeded once more to knot the PK count at 4-4 leading up to Pitter's decisive winning shot on CU's fifth attempt.
The Jays are now 18-6-4 in their last nine NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the quarterfinals in six of their last 10 trips to the tourney.
Creighton will play at No. 4-seeded UConn for an NCAA Quarterfinal match on Sunday, Dec. 2 at noon CT. Links to a live video stream and live stats will be made available on GoCreighton.com on the men's soccer schedule page prior to the match.