OMAHA, Neb. – This homecoming weekend, the No. 5 Creighton men’s soccer team will entertain No. 7 St. John’s in the Bluejays’ first BIG EAST Conference match on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. CT inside Morrison Stadium.
The Bluejays are also on the cusp of the 400th victory in program history. With a win over the visiting Red Storm, Creighton would capture another milestone victory.
Following a two-match split last weekend at the Stihl Classic hosted by Old Dominion, CU is ranked at No. 5 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday. The Jays’ 2-1 double-overtime victory over Old Dominion on Sept. 13 coupled with their 3-2 double-overtime setback against William & Mary on Sept. 15 dropped the Bluejays from their perch at No. 1 in the NSCAA Top 25 after one week.
Creighton finished second overall at the Stihl Classic. Three Bluejays earned All-Tournament Team selections including juniors Jose Ribas and Eric Miller as well as sophomore Brendan Hines-Ike.
CU returns home to Morrison Stadium where the Jays are undefeated at 3-0-0 this season. The match between the Jays and the Red Storm highlights homecoming festivities at Creighton this weekend. It also will be the first BIG EAST match to be contested at Morrison Stadium.
The Bluejays’ opponent this week, BIG EAST foe St. John’s, is ranked No. 7 in the weekly rankings. Morrison Stadium will play host to a pair of top-seven nationally ranked teams in the regular season for the first time since Aug. 31, 2012 when then-No. 2 Creighton hosted then-No. 7 Akron, that contest ended in a 1-1 draw. The Bluejays are 24-12-6 all-time against teams ranked No. 7 or better.
This weekend marks the first regular-season meeting all-time between the Bluejays and Red Storm and the first visit to Omaha by St. John’s. The squads’ previous three meetings all took place in the NCAA Tournament. St. John’s leads the all-time series 2-1-0, winning the last meeting 3-2 in the 2003 NCAA quarterfinals.
The Red Storm has won four consecutive matches and posted three straight shutouts - all at home - coming into Saturday’s matchup. SJU is 0-1-0 on the road this season, a 2-0 setback at Virginia on Sept. 2.
9/13: def. Old Dominion 2-1 (2ot) (Stihl Classic) 9/15: lost to William & Mary 3-2 (2ot) (Stihl Classic)
This Week 9/21: vs. St. John’s, 7 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium
What’s at Stake
· Creighton is looking to capture win No. 400 all-time in program history.
· The Jays are also seeking their first BIG EAST Conference victory.
· St. John’s is looking for its fifth consecutive victory on the season weekend and
· The Red Storm is also seeking its first win in Omaha.
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. 5 Creighton Bluejays (4-1-0)
Creighton finished second overall at the Stihl Classic hosted by Old Dominion, following a two-match split last weekend in Norfolk, Va. The Jays’ 2-1 double-overtime victory over Old Dominion on Sept. 13 coupled with their 3-2 double-overtime setback against William & Mary on Sept. 15 dropped the Bluejays from their perch at No. 1 in the NSCAA Top 25 after one week.
CU is ranked at No. 5 in the latest NSCAA poll released Tuesday. The Bluejays dropped four spots in the poll after claiming its first No. 1 ranking in 14 seasons last week.
Senior Sean Kim led the Jays at the Classic last weekend with his second goal and second assist of the season against William & Mary on Sept. 15. He is second on the team with six points through five matches this season.
Junior Eric Miller started both matches last weekend, playing 212 minutes of the two double-overtime contests. Miller helped bolster the backline while recording his first assist of the season against William & Mary on Sept. 15.
Freshman Marvin Iskra scored his first career goal in a Creighton uniform against William & Mary on Sept. 15. In his first career start, Iskra scored in the 11th minute against the Tribe to even the score at 1-1.
In the come-from-behind victory over host Old Dominion on Sept. 13, senior Bruno Castro delivered the game-winning tally in double overtime for his first goal of the season. Earlier in the match, senior Zach Barnes blasted his PK attempt past the reach of the Monarch goalkeeper. It marked Barnes’ first goal of the season. The score was also Barnes’ first in a Creighton uniform.
Junior Alex Bolowich played more than 211 minutes in goal for the Jays in two matches at the Classic. He now boasts a 4-1-0 record with a 1.03 goals against average and 19 saves this season.
Scouting the No. 7 St. John’s Red Storm (5-1-0)
St. John’s enters this weekend’s match after claiming its fourth consecutive victory and third straight shutout at home. The Red Storm defeated both South Carolina and West Virginia by the same margin of 1-0 last weekend.
St. John’s has been ranked No. 6 or better in each of the previous three meetings with the Jays, all taking place in the NCAA Tournament. SJU leads the all-time series with CU 2-1.
SJU senior goalkeeper Rafael Diaz earned BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week honors for a second straight week after posting the shutouts against South Carolina and West Virginia last weekend. He made six saves against the Gamecocks and five against the Mountaineers. Diaz has recorded three straight shutouts and has not allowed a goal since Sept. 6 against then-No. 5 Akron.
Red Storm sophomore forward Sean Sepe scored both goals in the 1-0 victories against South Carolina and West Virginia. Despite starting two of six matches this season, Sepe leads the team with three goals and six points on the season.
Jimmy Mulligan and Danny Bedoya lead the Red Storm attack with 17 and 15 shot attempts, respectively.
The Last Meeting vs. St. John’s
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Dec. 7, 2003) – The Creighton’s men’s soccer team suffered a stunning end to a magnificent run through the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Ludwig Field on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Bluejays lost to sixth-ranked St. John’s by a 3-2 score, after holding a 2-0 lead with 25 minutes to play in the quarterfinal match.
After a scoreless first half, which saw St. John’s defender Chris Leidner receive a red card in the 12th minute, the Bluejay offense struck first in the 53rd minute. Damien Westfield scored his fifth goal of the season from six yards out. His blast was assisted by freshman Michael Kraus at 52:38.
The Bluejays found the back of the net again when Kraus set up Matt Wieland’s fourth tally of the year at 59:36. Wieland pounded it in, while St. John’s keeper Bill Gaudette was out of position.
With a 2-0 lead and playing one-man up, the Bluejays were just 25 minutes from their third College Cup appearance since 2000, when the Red Storm began to storm back.
A goal at 65:06 cut the CU lead in half and a penalty kick shot just one minute later evened the score 2-2 at 66:04. The game remained tied until Simone Salinno scored his team-leading 14th goal of the year in the 79th minute, proving to be the game-winner for SJU.
The loss ended the Bluejays’ season at 12-6-4. The match marked the first time all season the CU defense - which ranked 15th in the NCAA prior to the tournament - had allowed more than two goals in a contest. CU had only allowed an opponent to score as many as two goals in a match, three times this season.
The sixth-ranked Red Storm (16-5-3) now advance to the College Cup in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend where they’ll join Santa Clara, Indiana and Maryland.
After the Jays’ split last weekend at the Stihl Classic, Creighton is closing in on the program’s 400th all-time victory. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 399-155-58 since their first season in 1979.
The Bluejays’ 2-0 victory over then-No. 14 Tulsa in the season opener on Aug. 30 lifted Creighton’s record to 21-3-2 all-time against Top 25 opponents visiting Morrison Stadium.
Winning Over Crowds
Just over 5,100 fans witnessed Creighton’s 3-0 defeat of Columbia on Sept. 6 at Morrison Stadium. The crowd of 5,102 ranked as the sixth-largest crowd ever to attend a collegiate match at the Bluejays’ home. With the win, Creighton is now 4-7-1 in front of 5,000-plus fans since 2000.
At the Stihl Classic on Sept. 13, 2,106 fans watched CU’s double-overtime victory over host Old Dominion. It marked the largest regular-season crowd to watch Creighton play away from home since 2,167 saw the Jays win 1-0 at SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 22, 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 a pair of one-goal, double-overtime decisions last weekend against William & Mary and host Old Dominion at the Stihl Classic, the Jays are 13-3 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.
Creighton is 1-1-0 in overtime matches this season following the 3-2 setback to William & Mary and 2-1 win at Old Dominion in extra time. The Jays went undefeated at 3-0-3 in extra time last season.
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 last weekend, 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.
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 Week
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 Sunshine 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.