OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s soccer team concludes its regular-season home slate against BIG EAST rival DePaul as the Bluejays celebrate Senior Day inside Morrison Stadium at 4 p.m. CT Saturday.
The contest will be the second match of a doubleheader with the women’s team that begins at 1 p.m. CT. Creighton will honor its six seniors in a pre-match ceremony approximately 10 minutes before kickoff against the Blue Demons.
Creighton (8-6-2, 3-3-1 BIG EAST) closed out its non-conference schedule with a 2-0 victory at home over Drake on Wednesday. CU stands alone at fifth in the BIG EAST standings after a two-match conference road split last week. As a result of the split, the Jays dropped out of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the first time since the 2010 preseason poll - a span of 45 weeks.
With just two conference matches remaining the Jays have a chance to move up in the standings. 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 controls its own destiny to make the conference tournament. If the Bluejays defeat DePaul and win at Providence on Nov. 8, the Jays are in with seeding to be determined. Three teams trail CU by just a point in the standings this week.
The Bluejays are 6-1-1 in home contests this season including a 2-1-0 mark in conference. The Bluejays have only allowed one goal to visiting BIG EAST opponents in Morrison Stadium this year.
In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday, Creighton moved up one slot No. 16 overall despite a conference road split. 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 60 this week.
DePaul (4-10-2, 0-6-1 BIG EAST) enters the weekend on a six-match losing streak where the Blue Demons have scored just one goal over that three-week span. Last weekend DePaul dropped a 1-0 contest at home to Villanova. The Blue Demons are out of contention for the BIG EAST Soccer Championship in tenth place. DePaul is 2-4-1 in true road matches this year including a 0-3-0 mark in conference. DePaul is No. 108 in the RPI this week.
DU’s Michael Stankiewicz and Art Garza lead the Blue Demon attack this season with two goals and six points apiece on the year. Goalie Eric Sorby has played in 15 matches for DePaul this season compiling a record of 4-9-2 and a goals against average of 1.46.
10/23: Won at Butler 3-2*
10/26: Lost at Seton Hall 3-2*
10/30: Won vs. Drake 2-0
11/2: vs. DePaul, 4 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium*
* BIG EAST conference match
What’s at Stake
· Creighton looks to remain undefeated all-time against DePaul (3-0-0).
· DePaul seeks its first goal against CU in the fourth meeting of the series.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this Saturday by clicking on the live stats and live video links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays (8-6-2, 3-3-1 BIG EAST)
The Creighton men’s soccer team closed out its 2013 non-conference slate with a 2-0 victory over Drake at Morrison Stadium on Wednesday. Last week the Jays split a two-match conference road trip with a 3-2 victory at Butler on Oct. 23 before a 3-2 defeat at Seton Hall three days later.
CU stands alone in fifth place in the conference standings with 10 points and controls its own destiny in making the conference tourney with just two matches remaining in BIG EAST play. The Jays host last-place DePaul for Senior Day before traveling to fourth-place Providence for the regular season finale on Nov. 8. With two wins the Bluejays are in with seeding to be determined.
Earlier this month the Bluejays finished a grueling stretch of seven consecutive CU opponents that participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. CU wrapped up that arduous couple of weeks with a 2-3-2 mark.
After a CU scoreless streak of over 367 minutes, the Bluejay offense found a spark in their pair of road matches last week. Creighton posted five goals in the split and have posted multiple scores in each of the past three contests.
Pitter leads the CU offense this year with five goals and 14 points. Freshman Fabian Herbers is second on the squad with eight points and a pair of goals. Junior Eric Miller is third with three goals and seven points. Eight Bluejays have already scored multiple goals this season.
In net, junior Alex Bolowich continues to keep the Jays in tight matches with a 1.21 goals against average this year and 49 saves. Bolowich has started 12 matches, including five overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 6-5-1 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 DePaul Blue Demons (4-10-2, 0-6-1 BIG EAST)
DePaul enters the weekend on a six-match losing streak where the Blue Demons have scored just one goal over that three-week span. Last weekend DePaul dropped a 1-0 contest at home to Villanova.
The Blue Demons are out of contention for the BIG EAST Soccer Championship in tenth place. DePaul is 2-4-1 in true road matches this year including a 0-3-0 mark in conference. DePaul is No. 108 in the RPI this week.
DePaul’s lone point in conference this season came in its conference opener against then-No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 28, a 2-2 draw in Chicago.
The Blue Demons were picked tenth in the 10-team 2013 BIG EAST preseason poll. DePaul finished last season at 4-10-3 overall and 1-6-1 in the BIG EAST.
DU’s Michael Stankiewicz and Art Garza lead the Blue Demon attack this season with two goals and six points apiece on the year.
Goalie Eric Sorby has played in 15 matches for DePaul this season compiling a record of 4-9-2 and a goals against average of 1.46. Sorby’s 77 saves this season ranks No. 13 nationally.
Creighton is the No. 16 team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday, as the Jays continue through the gauntlet of an extremely tough schedule this season.
Thirteen of Creighton’s 16 opponents to open this year are among the top 60 in the latest RPI that ranks all 203 NCAA Division I squads. In other words the Bluejays’ schedule has consisted of over one-fifth of the top 60 teams in the nation. Seven of those 16 foes also received votes in the latest NSCAA Top 25 released Tuesday.
Nine of the 10 programs in the BIG EAST conference rank among the top 72 in the RPI this week. DePaul is No. 108 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.
After a CU scoreless streak of over 367 minutes, the Bluejay offense found a spark in their pair of road matches last week. Creighton posted five goals in the split.
The Jays scored three goals after halftime to knock off Butler, the most since the second stanza of the Bluejays’ 4-2 victory over Washington in an NCAA Second Round match in Omaha last Nov. 18.
Three days later the Bluejays surrendered three first-half goals at Seton Hall the first such occurrence in at least 15 years of Creighton men’s soccer.
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 last Saturday and a 1-0 setback at Marquette on Oct. 12.
CU also 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 11 total goals to conference foes in the past three seasons, with 10 of the 11 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. As a result, Creighton is now 11-1-1 in its last 13 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 10-1-0 against conference foes at home during that span – 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 402-160-60 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.
Winning Over Crowds
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.
Cutting It Close
Creighton’s 3-2 loss at Seton Hall on Saturday 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 last month.
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 Saturday, 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.
Before this week, 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 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.
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 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.