Illinois State (8-6-1, 3-1-1)
vs. Creighton (12-3-2, 4-1-0)
Series: ISU leads 11-5-3
Scouting the Bluejays
The Jays currently sit at 12-3-2 overall and 4-1-0 in the MVC. They suffered their first Valley loss of the season last Friday, falling 2-1 in overtime at Missouri State. The loss snapped a 10 match winning streak, the longest the Jays have put together since they won 10 in a row in 1994. The streak also set a new MVC record, breaking the old one of nine wins set by Eastern Illinois way back in 1996. The Jays have a chance to tie or surpass the school record for wins in a season at 14, set in 1993 and 1994. Creighton has nine shutouts on the season, with goalkeepers Alicia Montgomery putting up five and Katie Jo Swanson posting three, to go along with one combined team shutout. The 2009 team set a school record with 11 shutouts in one season. Brittney Neumann currently leads the team in goals scored with eight, giving her 15 career goals. Andrea Zuniga has seven goals, while Erin Gunther and Lauren Cingoranelli have each added six goals as well. Zuniga also leads the team in assists with seven. Creighton is averaging 15.4 shots per match and 2.29 goals. Swanson and Montgomery have split time in the net and have a combined 0.69 goals against average on the year.
CSU Bakersfield - Creighton accomplished everything they wanted to in the 3-0 victory over the Roadrunners; won on senior day, played a lot of people, got better and played well enough defensively to get another shutout. Creighton was led on the day by Andrea Zuniga. The junior forward had two assists and a goal. Rachelle Holt scored her second goal of the season when she headed a Zuniga corner kick into the top right corner of the net in the 22nd minute. The Jays got on the board again in the first half when Erin Gunther executed a give-and-go combination with Zuniga and shot from five yards out in the 29th minute. Creighton’s final goal of the match came in the 59th minute when Katie Jo Swanson booted a ball three forths of the field, and Lauren Cingoranelli crossed the ball into mid field. Zuniga was there to finish the play with a shot from five yards out.
Missouri State - The Jays traveled to Springfield, Mo., last Friday, putting on the line an unbeaten streak of 11, a winning streak of 10 and an MVC regular season title on the line. Creighton couldn’t leave the state of Missouri with a victory. The Jays were outshot 14-7 on the night and fell 2-1 to the Bears in overtime. The Jays scored first in the match for the 10th time this season. Andrea Zuniga put a ball in the back of the net from 10 yards out after Macy Mauer sent a ball up and over the back defensive line of the Bears. Creighton would then see Missouri State score with just 45 seconds in the first half, tying the match at 1-1 going into the half. Neither team scored through the second half of play, sending the match into overtime. Creighton played most of the second half, and overtime, down a player, as Mauer was given her second yellow card of the match in the 61st minute of play. MSU scored the golden goal just four minutes into the extra period when Michelle Sommerheaded the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
Sizing Up the Competition
Illinois State Redbirds – The Redbirds were picked to finish first in the MVC for the second year in a row. They are also aiming at winning their fourth consecutive regular season title (a Redbird victory today and a Missouri State tie or loss today at Evansville would make that happen). The Redbirds are also the defending State Farm Valley Tournament title holders, after defeating the Jays last season 1-0. Illinois State currently sits at 8-6-1 overall and 3-1-1 in The Valley. The Redbirds average 1.00 goals per match and 13.8 shots per match. The team has four total shutouts on the year, but has been shutout offensively seven times. Leading the way offensively for Illinois State is Jessica Carlson. The preseason All-MVC pick has five goals and five assists for a team high 15 points. Mara Kremenovic has played every minute in goal this season for the Redbirds, with a 1.18 GAA and 59 saves.
Following the Jays
Follow all your favorite Bluejay soccer action at www.gocreighton.com. Live stats and live video will be provided for the MVC match against the Redbirds. Just click on the links provided on the Creighton home page at www.gocreighton.com.
Illinois State has had a commanding lead over the Jays in the matches between the two schools, leading 11-5-3 in the 19 meetings. Last season, the Redbirds defeated the Jays twice, first winning 2-1 during the regular season, and then ending Creighton’s run in the Valley tournament, winning 1-0 in the championship. Illinois State has won six of the last 10 meetings, with two ties thrown in the mix.
The Jays are playing for the Missouri Valley regular season championship in the match on Thursday. A victory over the Redbirds would give the Jays the outright championship, just the second MVC regular season title in Creighton’s history, with the first coming in 2002. A tie to the Redbirds and a Missouri State win would put the Jays in second place behind the Bears. A Creighton loss and Missouri State tie or loss gives the outright title to the Redbirds. The Jays have won The Valley Tournament four times in program history, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Creighton, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State and Missouri State have all claimed a spot in the league’s six-team State Farm MVC Tournament field. Drake needs a tie or a win against UNI on Thursday to join the other six. UNI needs a victory against Drake to join the field. Creighton, Illinois State and Missouri State will be among the top 3 seeds for the tournament. The remaining four league teams are battling for seeds 4-6.
Happy at Home
Creighton has had five straight home shutouts and currently sit at 6-1-2 when playing at Morrison Stadium. Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson have split time in goal and not allowed a goal in over 459 minutes at home. Montgomery alone has allowed just one goal in 405 minutes played at home this season, giving her a 0.22 goals against average.
Records Are Meant to be Broken
Creighton just snapped a 10 match winning streak, tying the school record for the same length streak set in the 1994 season. The winning streak is also now the longest in Missouri Valley history, breaking the nine-match record set by Eastern Illinois way back in 1996. The Jays had an unbeaten streak of 11 matches snapped with the loss at Missouri State, going back to the Iowa State 1-0 loss on September 3.
The Jays are putting up big numbers and have made it onto the national lists again this week. On the individual side, Alicia Montgomery is ranked 12th in the nation in save percentage at .894 and sits at 30th in GAA (0.66). As a team the Jays sit in a tie for 14th in overall save percentage at .872. They also sit in a tie for 23rd in shutout percentage (0.529), a tie for 26th in win-loss-tie percentage (0.765) and in 19th in scoring offense, scoring 2.29 goals per match.
Bump in the Road
Creighton saw its ten match winning streak broken last Friday night in the 2-1 overtime loss at Missouri State. The Jays did string together an impressive streak, however, outscoring their opponents 29-5 in the 10 matches. The streak included victories at South Dakota (4-1), at Weber State (1-0), and at Morrison Stadium over Wyoming (6-2), Cal State Fullerton (3-0) and UMKC (3-0). Creighton won its first four MVC matches this season - a 2-0 victory over Indiana State, a 3-2 win over the Panthers of Northern Iowa, a 3-0 victory over Evansville and a 1-0 victory over Drake. The Jays won the first four matches of the 2008 season and had a four match win-streak from Sept. 6 through Sept. 13 last year. The last time the Jays won more than five matches in a row was 2002, when they won six in a row. The all-time Bluejay record, which is currently tied, sits at 10 matches in a row, set in 1994. That team finished the season 14-4-0 under then head coach Cathy Klein.
Creighton can still end the Valley regular season with one of its best overall conference records. The Jays have only had one season, 2002, when they didn’t lose a match in Valley play (finishing 6-0-1), and have onlyhad one other season when they finished with one loss (2004, finishing 3-1-3). If the Jays win on Thursday, they would finish the season 5-1-0 and in first place in the league, finishing with the second best Valley record in program history, and first in the regular season for only the second time.
1997 1-4-0 (5th)
1998 4-2-0 (3rd)
1999 2-3-0 (4th)
2000 4-3-0 (T3rd)
2001 4-2-0 (3rd)
2002 6-0-1 (1st)
2003 3-3-1 (5th)
2004 3-1-3 (2nd)
2005 4-2-0 (2nd)
2006 3-2-1 (2nd)
2007 3-2-1 (3rd)
2008 3-3-0 (T4th)
2009 3-2-1 (3rd)
The 2010 Bluejay team is on track to break MVC records when all is said and done. Creighton currently has a .765 winning percentage, which puts them in fourth place for a season all-time. The current record is .833, with the 1999 Illinois State team going 14-4-4. The Jays have already broke the most consecutive wins streak, at 10 and counting. Goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery currently sits in fifth all time in goals against average, with a 0.66 GAA. Montgomery’s career .61 GAA is also in first all-time in The Valley books.
Creighton has entered the NSCAA/HendricksCars.com Great Lakes Regional Ranking this week for the first time this season. This is the eighth week the polls have been released. The Jays currently sit in 10th in the region, but are the only Missouri Valley school to break into the rankings. Ohio State sits in the top spot, with Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and UW-Milwaukee rounding out the top five. Michigan State, Toledo, Central Michigan and Michigan all sit ahead of the Jays in this week’s rankings.
Starting Off Strong
The Jays have come out strong in the first half throughout the season. They currently are outscoring their opponents 23-6 in the first half this season, while outscoring them 39 to 12 overall. Creighton is outshooting opponents 123 to 82 in the first half and 261 to 203 overall. Creighton is tied with opponents in saves (82 each) and corner kicks in the first half (27).
MVC SuccessAfter the 2-0 victory over Indiana State, the Jays are 9-3-2 all-time in Valley conference openers, including winning the last five in a row. A 2005, 3-1 loss at Illinois State is the last time the Jays fell in their opener. Creighton is 8-2-2 in conference openers under current head coach Bruce Erickson.
The Missouri Valley Conference has a non-conference record of 37-31-10 (.538), giving the 2010 teams the league’s best-ever non-conference performance. The league’s best two non-conference seasons were in 2001 (45-41-2, .522) and 2005 (40-38-12, .511). Creighton finished the regular season non-conference schedule at 8-2-2, after finishing the 2009 season at 10-4-1.
As a team the Jays are ranked atop in the Missouri Valley Conference in shots (254), points (104), goals (39), goals per match (2.29), assists (30), assists per match (1.75), goals allowed (12), goals against average (0.69) and shutouts (nine). Brittney Neumann is first in shots (55 total, averaging 3.24 per match) and tied for first in points (21), while Andrea Zuniga is leading the league in assists (7) and also tied for first in points (21). Freshman Lauren Cingoranelli sits in a tie for fourth in points (15) while Erin Gunther is sixth with 14 and first in game-winning goals with three on the season. Neumann (8), Zuniga (7), Cingoranelli (6) and Gunther (6) sit at 2-5 in the league in goals scored while Emily Orbell has six assists, putting her in second.
Put Her Name in the Books
Bluejay junior Alicia Montgomery is set to have her name all over the record books when she leaves Creighton. After a record setting season last year (with 11 team shutouts and a 0.60 goals against average as a team), she sits at third in goals against average in a season (0.58 in 2009) and tied for second in shutouts in a season (eight in 2009). She is also the current goals against average career leader, with a 0.61 GAA right now. Montgomery needs just four more shutouts to make it on the top five list for career shutouts, as well as needing 68 saves over the next season and a half to get on the all time career save list.
Just Score More Than Them
Creighton has outscored opponents 38-12 this season, including 29-5 while on ten match winning streak. The streak includes seven shutouts, while the Jays have scored three or more goals in seven of the 10 matches in the streak.
One Point Deficits
The Jays have only lost three matches during the 2010 season – all of which have been one goal deficits - a 1-0 loss at Northern Illinois, a 1-0 loss at home against Iowa State, and the most recent 2-1 loss at Missouri State. Creighton had three 1-0 losses in the 2009 season, including in the championship of the MVC tournament to Illinois State. The Jays have been on the winning side of two 1-0 matches this season, including the most recent Valley victory over Drake.
Putting up the Doughnuts
Creighton has shut out opponents in nine of its 17 matches, as well as both of the exhibition matches, putting then in a tie for 23rd in shutout percentage at 0.529. Last season, the Jays recorded a school record 11 shutouts, including the first four matches of the season. In the past three years, the Jays have shut out their opponents in at least two out of the first four matches each season.
Bruce Erickson is one win away from reaching his 200th victory as a college head soccer coach. He currently sits at 199-152-29 overall in 19 years and 129-91-23 while at Creighton. Prior to coming to Creighton, Erickson coached both men’s and women’s soccer at Viterbo.
In the Record Books
Senior Emily Orbell is working hard in the final season of her career to get her name into the record books. The midfielder’s six assists this season has landed her in the fifth spot, all-time, in Creighton history for career assists. She is the current career leader in goals on the team with 18 and needs five more this year to make it into the top five all time in Creighton history. Orbell is also the active leader in assists (18) and points (54).
Three Bluejays, Erin Gunther, Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga have each scored two goals in a match this season for the Jays. Zuniga recorded the double first, scoring both goals in the 4-1 win at South Dakota. Gunther’s double day happened in the 6-2 victory over Wyoming, while Neumann has recorded two multi-goal matches, once in the 6-2 win over Wyoming and also in the 3-0 victory over Evansville. Last year four different Bluejays recorded double-goal matches, with Annemarie Hengel, Kyla Hoskins, Beth Fyles and Neumann each completing the feat at one point in the season.
Lauren Cingoranelli’s goal in the Drake match makes her the newest Jay to record a match-winning goal this season. She joins Erin Gunther, Andrea Zuniga, Emily Orbell, Kelly Connolly and Brittney Neumann, who have each scored game-winning goals this season. Gunther has three on the year, scoring in the 2-1 victory over Loyola Maryland, the 5-0 victory over Loyola Chicago and the 6-2 win over Wyoming. Zuniga has two, with her game-winners coming in the 4-1 victory at South Dakota and the 1-0 win at Weber State. Connolly recorded her only game-winner when she scored the first, and only needed goal, in the 3-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The game-winners were the first two in her career for Gunther, while the two for Zuniga give her a current career leading four. Connolly now has three game-winners, as scored four goals last season and two of them were game-winners. Orbell’s game winner in the UMKC match gives her four career game winners. She had two her freshman season and one last year.
The Jays have not let an opponent score three or more goals in 40 straight matches, dating back to Oct. 30, 2008. In the Oct. 25 match at Evansville, the Jays lost 5-2. Creighton was in jeopardy of losing the streak Sept. 7 at Morrison Stadium, when the Bison of North Dakota State scored two goals in the first half. A solid defensive line and hard work from goalkeeper Katie Jo Swanson helped to keep the streak in tact.
Freshman Lauren Cingoranelli has scored six goals this season while starting in 15 of the 17 matches. The first goal of her career in the 5-0 victory over Loyola Chicago in the adidas Husker Classic while her most recent goal was the match winner in the 1-0 victory over Drake. She currently leads all MVC freshman in goals (6) and is tied for fourth in the whole conference. Last season, Brittney Neumann ended her freshman campaign with seven goals and six assists. You have to go back to 2007 to find the next highest output as a freshman, when Emily Orbell scored six goals and had three assists.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Jo Swanson had a busy day in the 6-2 victory over Wyoming Sept. 17 at Morrison Stadium. Swanson had 10 saves and gave up two goals. The 10 saves are the most by one Bluejay goalkeeper in a match since Jaimie Thompson had 10 saves at Iowa on Nov. 1, 2001.In the match Wednesday against UMKC, Emily Orbell and Andrea Zuniga broke the record for shots taken in a single match at Morrison Stadium. Each player took 10 shots, breaking the previous record of eight set by Marcy Gans in the 2007 season.
Coming Up Next
If Creighton finishes first or second in the regular season (basically with a win or tie on Thursday), they will bypass the opening play-in round of the State Farm MVC Tournament, which starts on Oct. 31. They would then play on Friday, Nov. 5 at Morrison Stadium in the semi-final match. The tournament championship is Sunday, Nov. 7th. Stay connected with www.gocreighton.com for the latest information.