OMAHA, Neb. - The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) ranked Creighton at No. 6 nationally in the organization’s Preseason Top 25 Poll Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon.
CU finished last year with a 17-4-3 record, the nation's No. 6 NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) mark, and a No. 4 national ranking from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after competing in its second consecutive College Cup as the No. 12 national seed in December.
Third-year head coach Elmar Bolowich leads the Jays in their quest for the program’s 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 22 seasons in 2013. Creighton returns 16 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team.
Four 2012 All-Conference selections return for the Jays including last year’s leading scorer in sophomore Timo Pitter alongside juniors Eric Miller, Jose Ribas and sophomore Brendan Hines-Ike. The Bluejays welcome 10 newcomers to the squad but lose the services of 2012 NSCAA All-Americans Jose Gomez and Andrew Ribeiro.
Last season the NSCAA ranked Creighton at No. 3 in its preseason poll. The Jays climbed as high as No. 2 in the 2012 rankings before finishing fourth in the year-end poll. The Bluejays were ranked in each NSCAA weekly poll of last season. The last time Creighton was unranked in the poll was in September 2010.
The sixth-ranked Bluejays are one of three BIG EAST programs ranked among the top 12 by the NSCAA in the 2013 preseason poll. The other conference schools in the poll include No. 3 Georgetown and No. 12 Marquette. Fellow conference foes Xavier and St. John's received votes in the poll. Defending champion Indiana led the poll in the top spot.
In addition to the pair of contests against ranked BIG EAST foes, Creighton's schedule involves two regular-season non-conference matches against teams ranked in the NSCAA top 15, including No. 14 Tulsa and No. 15 Saint Louis. In addition 2013 opponents Old Dominion and Michigan earned votes in the polls. The Jays will also battle No. 7 Notre Dame in an exhibition match prior to the regular season.
Late last month College Soccer News ranked Creighton fourth in the country in its preseason poll.
Creighton opens its 2013 campaign Thursday with the Blue-White Scrimmage slated for 6 p.m. CT at Morrison Stadium. The No. 6 Bluejays battle No. 7 Notre Dame this weekend in a home exhibition match on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.