Bluejays Play at SMU in NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Second Round Sunday

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Sergio Castillo
Courtesy: Eric Francis
NCAA Tournament Second Round
Match 20 at SMU • Sunday, Nov. 21 • 7:00 p.m.

#17 Creighton Bluejays at #7 SMU Mustangs
Westcott Field • Dallas, Texas
Series History: SMU leads 17-6-1

Following the Jays:  This second 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.  SMU also has a match home page for the event here.
 
This Week: The 17th-ranked Bluejays travel to play at fifth-seeded and seventh-ranked SMU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  The Jays and Mustangs will meet for the fifth time in the NCAA Tournament, kicking off their 25th all-time meeting at 7 pm in Dallas on Sunday.  The winner will advance to face the winner between UMBC and No. 12-seed William & Mary in the third round.

Round One Recap: Creighton scored 3:21 into the match and led 3-0 at halftime en route to a 4-1 win over New Mexico in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night in Omaha.  The four goals tied a season-high and were the most by the Jays in an NCAA Tournament match since 2003.  Jose Gomez scored the first goal and then assisted Tyler Polak’s score in the 31st minute.  Ethan Finlay scored the next two goals for the Jays for his fourth multi-goal match of the season as Creighton cruised into the second round.  Brian Holt made four saves in goal to help the Bluejays to improve to 7-1-0 in NCAA Tournament matches played at Morrison Stadium.

Scouting #17 Creighton (13-5-1, 5-1-1 MVC): The Bluejays are appearing in their 18th NCAA Tournament in the last 19 seasons.  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 was 11-2-0 to open the season, cracking the top-10 of national polls after not receiving any votes in the preseason.  The Bluejays, led by the 2010 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year, rank 27th in the NCAA with 2.0 goals per game, out-scoring opponents 38-20 on the season, including 24-7 in the first half.  CU leads the MVC in goals (2.0), assists (2.2) and points (6.2) 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 14 goals and his league-leading 32 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 nine assists and 19 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 54 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 #7 SMU (15-2-0, 7-1-0 C-USA): The Mustangs opened the year with nine straight wins and had a six-game winning streak snapped in the C-USA Tournament semifinals.  SMU is 7-0-0 at home this season and 3-0-0 overall against top-25 teams.  The Mustangs rank fourth in the nation with 2.4 goals per game, scoring 40 in 17 matches.  Five SMU players have scored at least five goals and the offense is led by C-USA Freshman of the Year Juan Castillo’s nine goals and 22 points.  C-USA Player of the Year Arthur Ivo has scored eight goals and 20 points, while Josue Soto leads the team with seven assists.  Craig Hill has played all but 15 minutes in goal this year, posting a 1.10 goals against average with 61 saves and three shutouts in 17 matches.

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 39-15-2 (.714) 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 now 3-2-0 in the NCAA Tournament, 1-1-0 on the road.  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-SMU Series:  SMU has defeated Creighton more than any other opponent in CU history, as the Mustangs own a 17-6-1 record against the Bluejays.  The Jays are 3-7-0 all-time at SMU.  CU is 2-2-1 against SMU in their last five meetings.  The teams have met four times previously in the NCAA Tournament, splitting the four games.  The Jays are 1-1-0 at SMU in the NCAA Tournament, ending SMU’s season in 1996 before SMU returned the favor in 1999.  The teams last met in the NCAA Tournament in 2007, a 3-0 Bluejay win in Omaha.  Creighton has not played at SMU since a 2-0 Bluejay win in 2003.  SMU topped Creighton 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 17 in Peoria this season, after the Bluejays had built a 2-0 lead.  SMU’s last two goals in the match came via penalty kicks.

We Meet Again: When Creighton plays SMU in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday it will mark the sixth time the Jays will have a rematch in the NCAA Tournament with an opponent from the regular-season and the first time since the 2000 NCAA Tournament, when the Bluejays topped Indiana in the semifinals.  In 1994, 1997 and 1998 Creighton rematched against Saint Louis.  Creighton’s first ever NCAA Tournament match against SMU in 1992 was a rematch of a regular-season meeting.  SMU won in the NCAA Tournament after CU won the first meeting.

NCAA Tournament History: Creighton is making its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance, all in the past 19 seasons.  Creighton is 23-16-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 8-4-0 at home and 7-1-0 at Morrison Stadium.  Creighton has lost its last three true road matches in the NCAA Tournament but is still 14-7-3 in true road matches in the NCAA postseason.  The Jays have won at least one NCAA Tournament match in 12 of their 18 appearances.  With their win on Thursday, the Jays are 13-6-2 in their last eight 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.

Back to the Future: Creighton’s last trip to Dallas in the NCAA Tournament was in 2002, when the Bluejays lost to Stanford, 2-1 in double overtime, in the College Cup semifinals at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.  Creighton’s current graduate manager Matt Wieland was a freshman on that Bluejay squad.

Clark’s Accomplishments:  Head coach Jamie Clark has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of his three seasons as a collegiate head coach.  In his first two seasons at Harvard, he led the Crimson to the NCAA Tournament, going 1-1 in the event each time.  Clark’s win against New Mexico on Thursday made him the first coach in Creighton soccer history to capture a win in his first NCAA Tournament match.

Road Warriors:  Since the start of the 2007 season, the Bluejays are 20-6-7 (.712) overall in matches away from Omaha, 15-1-7 in regular-season road matches, 0-3-0 in true postseason road matches and 5-2-0 in neutral contests.  The Bluejays are 14-7-3 all-time in true road matches in the NCAA Tournament, but have lost their last three NCAA road matches, dating to a Nov. 27, 2005 win at Penn State.

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.

Against the Field:  Creighton played six non-conference matches in the regular-season 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:  SMU played four members of the MVC this year, going 4-0-0 against their former conference (wins over Missouri State, SIU Edwardsville, Bradley, Creighton).  The Jays and Mustangs played four similar foes this year, with CU going 2-2-1 against MSU, SIUE, BU and Tulsa.  SMU topped each of those four opponents this year.

And the Winner Has ...: The winner of Creighton’s match with SMU will advance to play against the winner of UMBC (12-4-3) at No. 12 seed William & Mary (15-3-2) next Sunday at a site and time to be determined.

Finlay’s Multiplicity:  Ethan Finlay scored a pair of goals against New Mexico in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday.  That was his fourth multi-goal match of the season, the most by a Bluejay since Mike Tranchilla had four in 2000.  His four multi-goal matches this year are tied for third in CU history, while his five career multi-goal matches are tied for sixth.

Chart Climbing: With a career-high 14 goals this year, junior Ethan Finlay has started to climb up the Creighton career scoring charts.  His 28 career goals are tied for ninth in school history as he is the first Bluejay to crack the top-10 in career scoring since Mike Tranchilla finished his career second in goals (55) in 2002.

Morrison Stadium Records: Junior Ethan Finlay is now the all-time leading scorer in Morrison Stadium history.  With 10 goals and 23 points at home this year, Finlay now has 16 career goals and 40 career points at Morrison Stadium, surpassing the former marks of 14 and 34 set by Andrei Gotsmanov.  Finlay’s 10 goals and 23 points at home this year are both Morrison Stadium records as well.

Unusual Entry: Creighton entered the NCAA Tournament following consecutive losses, just the second time in school history it started 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 were 5-5-2 in the NCAA Tournament in those five seasons.  The Jays are now 4-2-0 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 previous five games (1-3-1).

NCAA at Morrison:  With its 4-1 win over New Mexico on Thursday, Creighton is now 7-1-0 in eight NCAA Tournament matches played in Morrison Stadium.  The Bluejays have scored at least two goals in each of the seven victories and have out-scored opponents 23-6 in the eight matches.  The Jays have scored at least three goals in five of their seven NCAA wins at Morrison Stadium.

Home Sweet Morrison:  With its 7-2-1 record this season, Creighton is 59-13-12 (.774) all-time at Morrison Stadium.  Since 1990, the Bluejays are 161-29-16 (.820) at home.  The Jays are 23-4-3 (.817) at Morrison Stadium all-time in MVC play and 7-1-0 (.875) in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Stats:  The Bluejays started the week ranked in the top-35 in the NCAA in W-L percentage (23rd, .694), goals per game (27th, 2.0), shutout percentage (33rd, .440) and goals scored (34th, 34).  Ethan Finlay ranks 10th in the NCAA with 14 goals and 15th with 32 points.  Dion Acoff ranks eight in the NCAA with 10 assists, while Jose Gomez ranks 24th with his nine 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 24 of its 38 goals this season in the first half, out-scoring opponents 24-7 in the first 45 minutes of the match.  The Jays have been out-scored in the second half however, 12-11.  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 1,718 minutes leads all Bluejay field players this year.

Quick Starts:  Not only has CU out-scored its opponents 24-7 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 six goals this season within the game’s first nine minutes this season.

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

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.  Deremer and Holt were then joined by Ethan Finlay (3.29 GPA) on the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team, while Ribeiro earned honorable mention status.

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 averaged 52 minutes of play off the bench in his first four matches back before playing all 90 minutes against New Mexico on Thursday.

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 14 goals on the season, the most by a Bluejay since Mike Tranchilla’s 15 goals in 2002.  Finlay’s four multi-goal matches this year are the most by a Bluejay since Tranchilla had four in 2000.

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 28 career goals, 14 are game-winners.  Outside of Finlay’s 14 game-winners, the rest of the team combined has eight 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. 

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 38 goals in 19 matches this year after scoring 20 goals all of 2009. 
• In 2009 Creighton had only four players score at least two goals.  This season, seven players – Ethan Finlay (14), Jose Gomez (5),  Andrew Ribeiro (3), Greg Jordan (3), Kris Clark (4), Josh Moran (3), Tyler Polak (2) – have scored at least three goals.
• The Bluejays have scored at least two goals in 14 of their 19 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.

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.

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. 

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 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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