OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton men's soccer program has advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in 19 years and will host New Mexico (9-5-5) on Thursday at 7 pm at Morrison Stadium. An at-large qualifier, Creighton will enter the tournament with a 12-5-1 overall record, having won its record 10th Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title with a 5-1-1 league mark.
The winner of Thursday's match will meet fifth-seeded SMU (15-2-0) on Sunday in Dallas, Texas.
This year's Creighton team is led by MVC Player of the Year Ethan Finlay, who ranks among NCAA leaders and is tied for the league lead with 12 goals and 28 points. Finlay was joined on the all-MVC First Team by Kyle Deremer, Dion Acoff, Jose Gomez and Greg Jordan. First-year Bluejay head coach Jamie Clark and his staff were also honored as the 2010 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year. Creighton had an RPI of 16 in the latest official RPI released by the NCAA on Nov. 9. Each of Creighton's three non-conference losses came to teams in the RPI top-10 (No. 2 Akron, No. 5 SMU, and No. 8 Indiana) and Creighton was 3-3-0 against the RPI top-50 this season.
Creighton is 22-16-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including three trips to the College Cup (1996, 2000, 2002). Creighton's last seven appearances have seen the Jays advance to the quarterfinals four times (2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008), going 12-6-2 in those years.
Creighton is 7-4-0 at home all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 6-1-0 mark at Morrison Stadium. Averaging 2,410 fans per home game this season to rank among the nation's top-10 in attendance for an eighth straight year, Creighton is 58-13-12 (.771) all-time at Morrison Stadium.
Thursday's match will have free video (no audio) and free live stats, with those links to come on GoCreighton.com.
The men's NCAA Division I tournament is a field of 48, with the top 16 teams receiving a bye in the first round of play. The 2010 College Cup (Final Four) will take place at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 10 & 12. (The Bluejays won 1-0 at UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 7).
NOTES: Creighton assistant coach Jeff Rowland played at New Mexico and was a runner-up for the 2005 MAC Hermann Trophy Award, given annually to the best player in college soccer ... Creighton head coach Jamie Clark was an assistant at New Mexico from 2002-05 ... Volunteer assistant coach Robbie C'deBaca, an Albuquerque native, started his collegiate career at New Mexico.
Ticket Information: Creighton men’s soccer season ticket holders can purchase their regular season seat locations for Thursday night’s first-round match by stopping by the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center Ticket Office tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 16) from 10:00 a.m., - 4:30 p.m. Season ticket holders can also purchase their regular season seat locations for Thursday night’s first-round match by stopping by the Wayne & Eileen Ryan Athletic Center Ticket Office on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m., - 4:30 p.m. Seats not purchased by season ticket holders by 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday will be made available to the general public starting at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday. Ticket prices for the first-round NCAA match are $20 (upper level adult reserved), $15 (upper level youth reserved), $8 (lower level adult reserved or general admission) and $5 (lower level youth reserved or general admission, ages 3-18). Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 17) at 10:00 a.m., fans who are not season ticket holders can purchase available tickets to the first-round match at all Ticketmaster locations (Baker’s, Younkers), Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster and charging by phone at 800-745-3000. Men’s soccer supporters who received a packet of parking passes to the South lot of Morrison Stadium prior to the season should use the one marked “NCAA Postseason First Round” for entry to that area on Thursday night. Contact the Creighton Ticket Office at (402) 280-JAYS with additional questions.