Men's Soccer Ready for New Mexico in NCAA Tournament

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Jamie Clark was an assistant coach at New Mexico for four seasons.
Courtesy: Eric Francis
NCAA Tournament First Round
Match 19 vs. New Mexico • Thursday, Nov. 18 • 7 pm
New Mexico Lobos at #17 Creighton Bluejays
Morrison Stadium • Omaha, Neb.
Series History: CU leads 5-0-0


Following the Jays:  This first round NCAA Tournament match will have free live video available and live stats will be provided by gametracker throughout the NCAA Tournament.  Fans can access both live video and live stats through the links at www.gocreighton.com.


Ticket Information:  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).  Fans 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.
 
This Week: The 17th-ranked Bluejays are appearing in their 18th NCAA Tournament in the last 19 years, earning an at large bid for the seventh time.  The Bluejays will play host to New Mexico in the first round, Thursday at 7 pm at Morrison Stadium.  The winner will move on to the second round to play at fifth-seeded SMU on Sunday.

Scouting #17 Creighton (12-5-1, 5-1-1 MVC): Creighton captured its MVC record 10th regular-season championship this season, putting together a 5-1-1 Valley campaign.  CU won its first four games via shutout this season, jumped out to its best start since 1998 and started 4-0-0 in the MVC for the first time since 1999.  Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament having gone 1-3-1 in its last five matches following an 11-2-0 start to the season.  The Bluejays, led by the 2010 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year, rank 27th in the NCAA with 1.9 goals per game, out-scoring opponents 34-19 on the season, including 21-7 in the first half.  CU leads the MVC in goals (1.9), assists (2.2) and points (5.9) per game.  The offense is led by MVC Player of Year and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Ethan Finlay.  The junior forward leads the MVC and ranks 10th in the NCAA with 12 goals and his league-leading 28 points rank 15th in the nation.  Dion Acoff, Kyle Deremer, Jose Gomez and Greg Jordan joined Finlay on the all-MVC First Team.  Acoff leads the MVC and ranks eighth in the NCAA with 10 assists.  Gomez ranks third in the MVC with eight assists and 16 points in his first year with the Bluejays.  Junior goalkeeper Brian Holt, a second-team all-MVC performer, is the Creighton career record holder with 27 shutouts in 53 starts and his 0.77 career goals against average ranks second in school and league history.  Tyler Polak, a U.S. U-20 National Team member, was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year after helping Deremer hold down an injury depleted back line.  The rookie left back has played more minutes than any other CU field player this season.  Just 14 field players have played regular minutes for Creighton this season, as starting defenders Jace Peters and Andrew Duran (out for the season) have missed time with injuries.

Scouting New Mexico (9-5-5, 5-2-3 MPSF): The Lobos lost in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament semifinals, playing as the No. 3-seed, and have the lowest RPI (55) of any at-large team in this year’s field.  UNM has lost just once in its last nine matches, posting a 5-1-3 mark in that span (all three draws were scoreless).  UNM is 3-1-2 in away matches this year, losing its only non-conference road match, 1-0 at Dartmouth on Sept. 25.  The Lobos have scored just 21 goals in 19 matches, led by Josh Caffey’s four (all game-winners).  Michael Reed tops the team with five assists and is tied with Caffey for the team-lead with nine points.  UNM has allowed 16 goals in 21 matches for a 0.79 goals against average, led by Justin Holmes (1,548 mins, 56 saves, 0.81 GAA, 7-4-5, 8 shutouts) in goal.

Head Coach:  Jamie Clark (Stanford, 1999) is in his first season at Creighton, leading the MVC Coaching Staff of the Year this fall.  He came to Omaha after spending two successful seasons at Harvard in his first head coaching assignment.  A former MLS player and collegiate All-American, Clark is 38-15-2 (.709) in his third season as a head coach.  He led Harvard to the NCAA Tournament in his first two seasons as a head coach and is 2-2-0 in the NCAA Tournament, 1-1-0 at home.  He was named the NSCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2009 while leading Harvard to a top-10 ranking, Ivy League championship and third round of the NCAA Tournament.  Prior to becoming a head coach he served as an assistant at New Mexico and Notre Dame.

CU-UNM Series:  Creighton is a perfect 5-0-0 against New Mexico all-time including 2-0-0 in Omaha.  The teams have not met since a 3-0 Creighton win on Sept. 7, 1997 in Omaha.  CU won the first two meetings in the series in overtime and have out-scored the Lobos 8-0 in the last three meetings.  The Jays have not allowed a goal to UNM in Omaha, with a 2-0 win in 1995  and 3-0 win in 1997.

CU-UNM Connections: Three members of the Bluejay coaching staff are very familiar with the New Mexico soccer program and head coach Jeremy Fishbein.  Bluejay head coach Jamie Clark started his collegiate coaching career with a four year stint as an assistant under Fishbein from 2002-05.  CU assistant Jeff Rowland is one of UNM’s greatest players, setting numerous school records and finishing as the MAC Hermann Trophy runner-up as a senior in 2005.  Volunteer assistant coach Robbie C’deBaca is an Albuquerque native and started his collegiate soccer career at New Mexico in 2003 before transferring to Maryland.  Clark and Rowland’s tenure at UNM coincided, as the pair helped the Lobos to a 61-16-8 (.765) record, including an appearance in the 2005 NCAA championship match.

NCAA Tournament History: Creighton is making its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance, all in the past 19 seasons.  Creighton is 22-16-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 7-4-0 at home and 6-1-0 at Morrison Stadium.  The Jays have won at least one NCAA Tournament match in 11 of their previous 17 appearances.  The Jays are 12-6-2 in their previous seven appearances, advancing to the quarterfinals in four of their last seven trips to the tournament. Complete NCAA Tournament history on page nine of these notes.

Unusual Entry: Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament following consecutive losses, just the second time in school history it will start the NCAA postseason coming off back-to-back defeats.  Just as it did this year, the 2003 team lost its regular-season finale and its only MVC Tournament match, but responded with a 6-0 home win over UMKC in the NCAA Tournament first round and advanced all the way to the quarterfinals. 
• The Jays have entered the NCAA Tournament following a loss five times previously – 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007.  The Jays are 5-5-2 in the NCAA Tournament in those five seasons, including 3-2-0 in opening round NCAA games following losses in the MVC Tournament.
• This is the first season the Bluejays have entered the NCAA Tournament with a losing record in its last five games (1-3-1).

NCAA at Morrison:  Creighton is 6-1-0 in its previous seven NCAA Tournament matches played in Morrison Stadium.  The Bluejays have scored at least two goals in each of the six victories and have out-scored opponents 19-5 in the first seven matches.  CU topped UMKC 6-0 in the 2003 first round, out-did nationally-ranked Northwestern 3-2 in the 2004 second round, blanked Lafayette 3-0 in the first round in 2005, topped fifth-ranked SMU 3-0 in the 2007 second round, before falling to Illinois-Chicago 1-0 to end their 2007 season.  The Jays won a pair of 2-1 matches against nationally-ranked Tulsa and Connecticut in the 2008 postseason.

Against the Field:  Creighton played six non-conference matches against NCAA Tournament teams this year, going 3-3-0 against those squads.  CU owns wins over Tulsa, UC Santa Barbara and UNC Greensboro, while it lost to three nationally-seeded teams – No. 3 Akron, No. 5 SMU and No. 14 Indiana.

Similar Foes:  Creighton and New Mexico have played two similar foes this season, UC Santa Barbara and Dartmouth.  The Lobos tied UCSB 1-1 in New Mexico on Sept. 4, the match before the Bluejays went to UCSB and knocked off the Gauchos 1-0 on Sept. 7.  The Jays topped Dartmouth 3-2 in overtime, while UNM lost to Dartmouth 1-0.

And the Winner Has ...: The winner of Creighton’s match with New Mexico will advance to play at fifth-seeded and seventh-ranked SMU on Sunday.  Kickoff in Dallas on Sunday for the NCAA second-round match is set for 7 pm.

Home Sweet Morrison:  With its 6-2-1 record this season, Creighton is 58-13-12 (.771) all-time at Morrison Stadium.  Since 1990, the Bluejays are 160-29-16 (.820) at home.  The Jays are 23-4-3 (.817) at Morrison Stadium all-time in MVC play and 6-1-0 (.857) in the NCAA Tournament.

Fantastic Fans:  Creighton had at least 2,000 fans in each of its first seven home matches this year and again leads the MVC with an average of 2,410 fans per home match.  The Bluejays are on pace to lead the MVC and rank in the NCAA top-10 in attendance for the eighth straight season.  Creighton unofficially ranks seventh in the NCAA in attendance this season and has played at the top-two attendance leaders this fall, UC Santa Barbara and Akron. 

NCAA Stats:  The Bluejays ranks in the top-35 in the NCAA in W-L percentage (23rd, .694), goals per game (27th, 1.89), shutout percentage (33rd, .440) and goals scored (34th, 34).  Ethan Finlay ranks 10th in the NCAA with 12 goals and 15th with 28 points.  Dion Acoff ranks eight in the NCAA with 10 assists, while Jose Gomez ranks 24th with his eight assists.

RPI Report:  The Bluejays were ranked 22nd in the RPI released by the NCAA on Nov. 16.  Prior to this week, the Jays’ previous RPIs this season were 14,9,14,17 and 16.  New Mexico’s RPI of 55 was the lowest of any team in the NCAA Tournament field to receive an at-large.  The Jays were 4-3-0 against the RPI top-50 this year as seven of CU’s opponents this year are in the RPI top-50 – Akron (4), SMU (5), Indiana (12), Tulsa (19), Dartmouth (35), UCSB (37) and UNC Greensboro (46).  Each of Creighton’s three non-conference losses this year have come to teams inside the RPI top-15 (Akron, SMU and Indiana) – each of those teams are nationally-seeded in the tournament.

Creighton in the Polls:  After receiving no votes in any preseason national poll, the Bluejays jumped into the top 25 after a solid opening week and have remained there, climbing all the way to the top-10 for three weeks.  In the final regular-season polls the Bluejays are ranked 17th by the NSCAA, 15th by Soccer Times, 16th by College Soccer News and 23rd by Soccer America.

Finlay, Player of the Year: Ethan Finlay was named the MVC Player of the Year last week as voted on by league coaches.  The junior is the 10th Bluejay to earn the honor, but just the third junior – joining Brian Kamler (1993) and Ross Paule (1996).  Finlay should appreciate the company he is in, as both Kamler and Paule went on to have successful MLS careers.

Three Straight Rookie Honors:  Tyler Polak was named the 2010 MVC Freshman of the Year after a rookie campaign which has seen him lead the team in minutes played.  Polak joined Brian Holt (2008) and Dion Acoff (2009) to give the Bluejays three straight MVC Freshman of the Year honors.

MVC Honors: Creighton put five players on the MVC First Team this year, its most since 1999.  Three sophomore midfielders – Dion Acoff, Jose Gomez, Greg Jordan – were joined by senior defender Kyle Deremer and junior forward Ethan Finlay on the first team.  Junior goalkeeper Brian Holt, senior midfielder Sergio Castillo and freshman defender Tyler Polak were honored on the second team.  Polak was joined by Liam Kelly on the MVC Freshman Team.  Creighton’s coaching staff, led by first year head coach Jamie Clark, was named the 2010 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year for guiding the Jays into the national rankings and to a 10th MVC regular-season crown.  CU also earned the MVC Fair Play award, tying with Drake for the fewest yellow cards in MVC play (4).

Holt’s Record:  Junior Brian Holt set a school record with his 27th career shutout in a 2-0 win over Missouri State on Nov. 3.  That shutout moved him past his predecessor Matt Allen’s 26 for the school record.  With his next shutout, he will set the MVC record which is currently held by Bradley’s Chris Dunsheath (27.5).

First Half Heavy:  Creighton has scored 21 of its 34 goals this season in the first half, out-scoring opponents 21-7 in the first 45 minutes of the match.  The Jays have been out-scored in the second half however, 11-10.  The Jays have three overtime wins and one overtime loss this season.

Take a Break Tyler:  Freshman Tyler Polak played every minute of Creighton’s first 15 matches before being subbed for in the 84th minute of CU’s match against Missouri State (Nov. 3).  Polak then took an even longer break against Bradley (Nov. 6) in the regular-season finale, playing 56 minutes.  His 1,628 minutes leads all Bluejay field players this year.

Quick Starts:  Not only has CU out-scored its opponents 21-7 in the first half this year, but the Bluejays have scored some very quick goals after kick off this year.  Ethan Finlay has recorded the sixth and seventh-fastest goals in school history to start a match this season, scoring in 41 seconds against No. 5 Tulsa (Oct. 5) and 43 seconds in against SIU Edwardsville (Oct. 30).  The Jays have scored five goals this season within the game’s first nine minutes.

CU’s Fastest Scores From Start of Match
1. Brian Kamler, 0:16 vs. Bradley, 10-9-92
2. Vince Odorisio, 0:26 vs. UCLA, 9-10-04
3. Lance Hill, 0:30 vs. Missouri State, 11-5-94
4. Johnny Torres, 0:34 at Bradley, 10-6-95
5. Andrei Gotsmanov, 0:36 vs. Tulsa, 11-25-08
6. Ethan Finlay, 0:41 vs. Tulsa, 10-5-10
7. Ethan Finlay, 0:43 vs. SIUE, 10-30-10

Morrison Stadium Records: Junior Ethan Finlay is now the all-time leading scorer in Morrison Stadium history.  With 19 points at home this year, Finlay now has 36 career points at Morrison Stadium, surpassing the former mark of 34 set by Andrei Gotsmanov.  Finlay’s eight goals at home this year give him 14 home goals in his career, tying Gotsmanov for the venue record.  Finlay has eight goals and 19 points at home this year, both are second in single-season Morrison Stadium history (behind Gotsmanov’s nine goals and 21 points in 2008).

Castillo’s Goals:  Senior Sergio Castillo has spent his career playing on the backline or as a defensive midfielder, rarely coming forward on the attack, which is why his goal against Missouri State on Nov. 3 was just the second of his career in 69 career matches.  Both of his goals have been scored in November, his first career goal came last November at Drake.

Smart Birds:  Kyle Deremer, Brian Holt and Andrew Ribeiro were each named to the ESPN Academic All-District VII First-Team this season.  Deremer owns a 3.61 GPA as a history major with a minor in business administration.  Holt is a finance major with a 3.70 GPA and Ribeiro is a nursing major with a 3.57 GPA.

Peters Plays: Junior transfer Jace Peters returned to play 79 minutes off the bench against SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 30 after missing eight matches with a leg injury.  The defender had started Creighton’s first six matches before injuring himself in CU’s match against Dartmouth on Sept. 19.  He has averaged 52 minutes of play off the bench over Creighton’s last four matches.

Ten: Ethan Finlay has joined Andrei Gotsmanov as the only two Bluejays to score at least 10 goals in a season since 2003.  Gotsmanov scored exactly 10 in 2008.  Finlay now has 12 goals on the season, the most by a Bluejay since Mike Tranchilla’s 15 goals in 2002.  Finlay’s three multi-goal matches this year are the most by a Bluejay since Tranchilla had three in 2002.

Finlay’s a Winner:  Junior Ethan Finlay has led the MVC in game-winning goals in each of his first two collegiate seasons and his five game-winners this year again lead the league.  Of his 26 career goals, 14 are game-winners.  Outside of Finlay’s 14 game-winners, the rest of the team combined has seven game-winning goals.

The Streak Ends:  Nearly four years to the day of their previous regular-season road loss, the Bluejays had their 22-match regular-season unbeaten streak snapped by top-ranked Akron on Oct. 27.  Before the 1-0 loss at Akron, the Bluejays’ previous regular-season road loss was a 2-1 defeat at Bradley on Oct. 28, 2006.  The Jays went 15-0-7 in regular-season road contests between Oct. 7, 2007 and Oct. 23, 2010. 

Playing No. 1:  Creighton played at consensus No. 1-ranked Akron in its final non-conference match of the season on Oct. 27.  The Bluejays dropped to 0-4-0 all-time against top-ranked teams with a 1-0 loss to the Zips.  The Jays also lost on the road at Indiana 1-0 on Nov. 27, 1994 in NCAA Tournament, 4-2 at SMU on Oct. 14, 2001 and again to SMU, 2-1 in four overtimes on Nov. 18, 2001 in the MVC Tournament championship match in St. Louis. 

Pulling Rank:  Creighton is 2-2-0 against top-25 opponents this year, with wins over No. 5 Tulsa (Oct. 5) and at No. 21 UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 7) and losses to No. 18 SMU (Sept. 17) and No. 1 Akron (Oct. 27).   The Bluejays are now 55-41-9 (.567) all-time against the coaches top 25, including 22-17-7 (.554) all-time on the road against top-25 teams.  The Jays are 15-2-1 (.861) against the NSCAA top 25 at Morrison Stadium and 25-9-2 (.722) against nationally-ranked foes at home all-time.

Finlay’s Nine Match Point Streak: Ethan Finlay had a streak of nine straight matches with at least one point scored snapped in CU’s 1-0 loss at No. 1 Akron (Oct. 27).  Before Finlay’s streak, the last Bluejay to score a point in more than eight straight matches was CU Hall of Famer and current MLS star Brian Mullan.  Mullan had a point in 10 straight matches during the 2000 season.  Finlay was the first Bluejay to score a point in eight straight matches since Julian Nash did so in the 2002 season.  Following the lead of teammate Jose Gomez (who scored a point in six straight matches to start the season), the pair are the first Jays to record a point in six straight contests since Brian Biggerstaff in 2004.

2009 vs. 2010 Offense:  Creighton has scored 34 goals in 18 matches this year after scoring 20 goals all of 2009. 
• In 2009 Creighton had only four players score at least two goals.  This season, six players – Ethan Finlay (12), Jose Gomez (4),  Andrew Ribeiro (3), Greg Jordan (3), Kris Clark (4), Josh Moran (3) – have scored at least three goals.
• The Bluejays have scored at least two goals in 13 of their 18 games this year.  They scored two or more goals in a match just four times in 16 matches in 2009.
• The Jays were shutout five times last season, all within their first 13 matches.  CU was shutout for the first and only time this season in its 14th match.

Hot Starts: At 8-1-0, the Bluejays were off to their best start since the 1998 team posted an 8-1-0 start.  The Jays won their first four games this season for the first time since 2000 – when that squad opened with six straight wins and advanced to the College Cup championship match.  Creighton logged four straight shutouts to open the year for just the second time in school history, equalling the feat first accomplished by the 1999 team.  Creighton started 4-0-0 in MVC play for the first time since that 1999 team and was undefeated through five MVC matches for the third time in four years.

10 Wins in a Dozen:  Creighton won at least 10 of its first 12 matches for the eighth time since 1990.  The Jays were exactly 10-2-0 for the fourth time in that span and for the first time since 2004.  The previous three times the Jays have had 10 wins through 12 matches, they have advanced to at least the third round of the NCAA Tournament, including a 10-2-0 start in 2000 when they reached the NCAA Championship match.

Fantastic Freshman: The 2010 MVC Freshman of the Year Tyler Polak played every minute of Creighton’s first 15 matches before being subbed for late in CU’s match against Missouri State (Nov. 3).  Playing every minute of important matches is nothing new to the newcomer, as he played every minute of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria and the U-17 CONCACAF Tournament in Mexico in 2009 with the U.S. U-17 National Team.  Now a member of the U-20 U.S. National Team Pool, he was recently ranked by TopDrawerSoccer.com as the fifth-best freshman in the country, one of the top-15 freshman in the nation by Goal.com and was named a “Top 100 Freshman to Watch” by College Soccer News before the season.

Chart Climbing:  With a career-high 12 goals this year, junior Ethan Finlay has started to climb up the Creighton career scoring charts.  The forward now has 26 goals to rank 10th in school history, becoming the first Bluejay to crack the top-10 in career scoring since Mike Tranchilla finished his career second in goals (55) in 2002.  His three multiple-goal matches this year are tied for seventh in single-season CU history and his four career multi-goal matches are tied for eighth in school history. 

Finlay’s Honors:  Junior Ethan Finlay was named the MVC Offensive Player of the Week, MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week and College Soccer News National Player of the Week on Oct. 11 after an impressive week.  The forward had two two-goal matches, striking twice against No. 5 Tulsa (Oct. 5) and also against nationally-ranked Indiana (Oct. 9).

Home Shutout Streak Ends: Creighton posted four straight home shutouts to start the season, before allowing a second-half goal to No. 5 Tulsa on Oct. 5.  Tulsa’s goal snapped a streak of 420 consecutive scoreless minutes CU had held opponents at home to start the season.  The four straight home shutouts were the longest single-season home shutout streak since the 2003 posted five consecutive home matches shutout.  The Jays had posted shutouts in five straight home games dating back to last year’s 1-0 home finale over UCLA and had an overall count of nearly 554 (553:46) straight shutout minutes at home dating back to last season.

Ribeiro’s Firsts: Sophomore Andrew Ribeiro scored his first career goal against 18th-ranked SMU on Sept. 17 at Bradley’s Shea Stadium, in his ninth career match off the bench for the Bluejays. He earned his first career start against Eastern Illinois on Oct. 1, after coming off of the bench in his first 11 career appearances.

Duran Done:  Creighton has played a majority of the 2010 season without two of its starters on defense.  Senior Andrew Duran suffered a torn meniscus  in his knee against SMU on  Sept. 17 and had surgery on Sept. 23, and will likely take a medical redshirt, returning for a fifth year in 2011. 

Duran Duran:  Senior Andrew Duran has been slowed by injuries throughout his career, limiting him to just 30 matches through his first three seasons.  Duran, the 2006 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year, scored his first collegiate goal in a 1-0 win at No. 21 UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 7).  Duran has again been bitten by the injury bug this season, suffering a torn meniscus against SMU on Sept. 17 and undergoing surgery on Sept. 23.  With Duran on the pitch, the Bluejays did not allow a goal through four and a half matches.

First Two Weeks = Sweeps:  Through two weeks of the season, Creighton accounted for all four weekly honors awarded by the Missouri Valley Conference.  In week one, Kris Clark and Kyle Deremer were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.  In week two, Jose Gomez and Brian Holt notched the same honors.  Deremer again earned MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 27.

Bluejays Hit Blackjack:  Creighton has its smallest roster since 1996, with just 21 student-athletes listed on the squad this year.  The entire roster of 21 played in CU’s 4-0 win over UNC Greensboro on Sept. 4.  The small roster is in sharp contrast to the last decade at Creighton, where the average roster size was 30.2 between 2000-09.  That 1996 team had 22 players on the squad, but capped the season by appearing in the first College Cup Final Four in school history.

Clark Wins Debut: Head coach Jamie Clark won 2-0 over Loyola Chicago on Sept. 1 in his first match as CU’s leader.  The win puts the six all-time Bluejay coaches at 5-1-0 in their debut match.  (The only head coach to lose in his debut was Bret Simon, falling to No. 20 Duke in 1995.)

Scoring in Debut:  Sophomore transfer Jose Gomez scored at Loyola Chicago on Sept. 1 to become the first Bluejay to score in his Creighton debut since another transfer did so in 2005.  Brian Kallman (older brother of current sophomore Brent Kallman) scored in his first game of his only season at Creighton, helping the Bluejays tie Portland 1-1 on Sept. 2, 2005.  Gomez, who has three goals and 14 points, has avoided Kallman’s fate, as that proved to be the only goal of his season.

Don’t Shoot:  The Bluejays did not allow a shot on goal in their season-opening win at Loyola Chicago (Sept. 1).  It marked the first time since Oct. 18, 2008 that the Bluejays held an opponent without a shot on goal.  CU allowed only two shots total to the Ramblers, the fewest shots by a Bluejay foe since Memphis attempted only three shots on Oct. 8, 2008.  Since 2000, the Jays have posted six matches in which they allowed three shots, but none with two or fewer before their 2010 opener.

Ethan Finlay Nets Preseason Honors:  Junior forward Ethan Finlay has joined a long list of former Bluejays that have been candidates for college soccer’s top individual honor, as he has been named to the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.  Finlay, who has also been tabbed to Soccer America’s Preseason All-America Team, led the team with eight goals and 19 points as a sophomore and is CU’s active career leader with 14 goals, seven assists and 35 points.  He has led the team and MVC in game-winning goals in each of his first two seasons, as nine of his 14 career goals have been game-winners.  Finlay is now on the long list of National Player of the Year candidates from Creighton, including the 1997 winner and current assistant coach, Johnny Torres.

CU National Player of the Year Candidates
Year    Player
2010    Ethan Finlay
2009    Byron Dacy, Chris Schuler, Seth Sinovic
2008    Byron Dacy, Andrei Gotsmanov
2007    Byron Dacy, Matt Allen
2006    Byron Dacy
2004    Julian Nash
2003    David Wagenfuhr
2002    Mike Tranchilla
2001    Mike Tranchilla
1997    Johnny Torres (Won)
1996    Ross Paule
1993    Keith DeFini & Brian Kamler

Familiar Faces Return:  Jamie Clark retained assistant coach Johnny Torres on his staff, while two other former Bluejay standouts have returned to the bench this fall.  Matt Wieland, the 2003 MVC Defensive Player of the Year and 2005 NSCAA Third-Team All-American, is serving as CU’s graduate manager this season.  Michael Kraus, 2006 MVC Player of the Year, has returned to campus to complete his undergraduate work this semester and will be a student assistant coach for the Bluejays while finishing up his school work.

Torres is HOFer:  Assistant coach Johnny Torres, already a Creighton Athletics Hall of Famer, will be inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in March, 2011 – becoming the first soccer inductee into the Valley’s Hall.  A two-time National Player of the Year with the Bluejays between 1994 and 1997, Torres is arguably the greatest soccer player in school and league history, ending his career as the MVC’s all-time leader in points (128) and assists (36).

Updated & Extended Coverage:  Fans will notice Creighton regular-season home matches not only have a new live stats platform, but will also benefit from Creighton’s change to BCS Stats.  The new live stats provider allows fans to follow the live action on their mobile device at www.gocreightonstats.com.  Fans can also find more info on Bluejay athletics on Facebook at the “Official Creighton Athletics Page” and on Twitter at  www.twitter.com/gocreighton.  The men’s soccer team also has its own Facebook page.
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