Game 2 - Friday, Nov. 12
vs. Creighton (15-3-2)
Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium
Series: CU leads 2-1-1
CU at the Tournament
Creighton is making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since the 2007 season. The Jays are 0-4-0 in previous appearances, and have been outscored 12-2. Each of Creighton’s appearances in the tournament have been due to MVC Tournament wins, giving the Jays the automatic bid. Creighton’s first appearance in the tournament was in 2002, when they traveled to California and took on #6 Santa Clara. The Jays lost 5-1 to the host school. Creighton danced back to back years in 2004 and again in 2005, falling to #8 Kansas and at Nebraska, 3-1 and 1-0, respectively. In Creighton’s most recent appearance, the Jays again found themselves pitted against a ranked team, falling 3-0 to #9 USC.
Scouting the Bluejays
The Jays currently sit at 15-3-2 overall and 5-1-0 in the MVC. Creighton advanced to the NCAA Tournament by winning the State Farm MVC Tournament last Sunday, defeating the Bears of Missouri State 2-1 in overtime. The Jays earn the conference automatic bid, advancing to the tournament for the first time since 2007. Creighton also won the MVC regular season for the first time since the 2002 season when they defeated Illinois State 2-1 on Brittney Neumann’s golden goal halfway through the first overtime. The only Valley loss this season was a 2-1 setback 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 sit at 15 wins, the most for a Creighton team in school history. Creighton has 10 shutouts on the season, with goalkeepers Alicia Montgomery putting up six 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 nine, giving her 16 career goals. Andrea Zuniga and Erin Gunther each have eight goals, while freshman Lauren Cingoranelli has seven goals of her own. Zuniga also leads the team and Missouri Valley in assists with eight. Creighton is averaging 15.5 shots per match and 2.40 goals. Swanson and Montgomery have split time in the net and have a combined 0.68 goals against average on the year.
Following the Jays
Follow all your favorite Bluejay soccer action at www.gocreighton.com. Live stats will be available by clicking the links on the Bluejay website - www.gocreighton.com. The NCAA Tournament will also be video web-streamed for free for all fans. You can find the link for that by also going to www.gocreighton.com and following the live video links.
Creighton vs. Minnesota - The matchup marks the fifth time the two teams will meet up in program history, with Creighton holding a 2-1-1 advantage. The most recent match between the two teams was September 7, 2008, in the Regina Moench Memorial Tournament in St. Paul, Minn. The Gophers came out with a 3-0 victory at home. Both Bluejay victories over the Gophers came during the 1993 season. Creighton opened up the season with a 3-2 victory in Minneapolis, and then outlasted Minnesota 1-0 in overtime in the Creighton Fall Classic in Omaha a month later.
Creighton vs. North Dakota State - Creighton and North Dakota State have met seven previous times with the Jays holding a 3-2-1 advantage over the Bison. Creighton is 0-2-0 when playing North Dakota State anywhere but in Omaha. The two teams met on the pitch at Morrison Stadium, playing to a double overtime 2-2 tie. Creighton scored first and last, sandwiching in two goals by the Bison, both coming just 10 minutes apart.
Creighton vs. Texas A&M - The Jays and Aggies have met up three previous times on the pitch, and are an even 1-1-1 through those meetings. Creighton won the first match, a 3-2 victory in the school’s first year of soccer, 1989. In 1991, the two teams played to a scoreless draw, and then A&M came away with the 2-0 win in the most recent meeting, in the Lanzera/Post Classic in College Station, Tex., during the 1995 season.
Only four current Bluejays have experienced the NCAA Tournament, with the most recent trip coming in the 2007 season. Seniors Emily Orbell, Tara Bailey, Claire Zach and Grace Kwon were all on the 2007 team who advanced to the tournament, losing 3-0 to #9 USC. Orbell started all 21 matches that season, scoring six goals and dishing off three assists en route to being named the Freshman of the Year. Bailey had a goal and an assist and Zach added an assist of her own.
The Bluejays are outscoring opponents 48-14 on the season. Creighton played the Missouri Valley Tournament without their leading goal scorer Brittney Neumann, who was out with injury, but still scored seven goals in two matches. Creighton’s five goal performance against Evansville was the highest goal output for the Jays in the tournament since a 5-1 victory over Drury in 2000.
MVC Tournament Finals - Creighton 2, Missouri State 1, Overtime - Creighton used 90 minutes and more to avenge the only conference loss of the season, beating the Bears 2-1 on a golden goal in the 98th minute of play. Creighton got on the board first when Beth Fyles scored her first goal of the season after Andrea Zuniga sent the ball up to Lauren Cingoranelli, who beat her defender and found herself in a one-on-one with the keeper. Cingoranelli saw Fyles flashing down the middle of the field, and dished off her sixth assist of the season. Creighton then closed out the rest of the half without allowing a goal. Creighton played much of the second half looking like they would take home the title in 90 minutes, but the Bears had different ideas. Missouri State outshot the Jays eight to four in the second half, scoring in the 74th minute. Overtime would belong all to Creighton though, as they outshot the Bears 4-0 in the bonus play. As time dwindled down, tournament MVP Cingoranelli was tackled inside the penalty box, drawing a free kick. Erin Gunther stepped up and converted on her third penalty kick of the season, giving Creighton the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Sizing Up the Competition
Minnesota Gophers – Minnesota finished the 2010 season with a 12-5-3 overall record and a 4-4-2 mark in the Big Ten Conference. The Gophers are 5-2-1 when playing at home, outscoring opponents 13-5 and posting three shutouts in those eight matches. They average 1.85 goals per match on 16.4 shots per match. The Gophers have outscored opponents in the first period 18-3 this season, 37-15 overall. Shari Eckstrom is leading the offensive charge with seven goals, while Katie Bethke has 13 assists on the season (tied for sixth in the country.) Minnesota’s goalkeeper Cat Parkhill has started all 20 matches in the net this season, holding down a 0.73 goals against average with six shutouts on the season.
North Dakota State Bison - The Bison earned their way into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of the automatic bid given out by winning the Summit League Tournament. This marks the first NCAA Division I Tournament the Bison have made it to since moving from Division II in the 2008 season. North Dakota State currently sits at 12-5-5 and has not lost in their last five matches, including advancing after a shootout in the 1-1 tie of the Summit semifinals. Leading the charge for the Bison offense is first team All-Summit League performer Quin Ryan, who has six goals and four assists on the season for a team high 16 points. Most consistently in goal for NDSU is Kalani Bertsch. The junior has an 8-4-5 record on the season and has allowed 15 goals with 49 saves. She currently has three shutouts and has a 0.49 goals against average.
Texas A&M Aggies - The Aggies enter the NCAA Tournament as the #6 ranked team in America, holding a 15-4-2 overall record and winning the Big 12 regular season title. The 2010 Tournament marks the 16th straight season the Aggies have played in, finishing last season in the Sweet 16. They returned 11 starters from last season. Three Aggies have scored nine goals or more on the season, with Alyssa Mautz, Merritt Mathias and Rachel Shipley chipping in 12, 9 and 9, respectively. Bri Young leads the team with seven assists on the season. Goalkeeping duties have been split by Kelly Dyer (12 matches played) and Kristin Arnold (11 matches played). Combined the two have a 0.87 goals against average, giving up 19 goals and recording 87 saves. The two have also combined for nine shutouts, with Dyer holding six. A&M has outscored its opponents 45-19 on the season, including 23-7 in the second half.
Land of 10,000 Lakes
Three Bluejay players along with head coach Bruce Erickson will be making a homecoming in the opening round of the tournament. Emily Orbell hails from White Bear Lake, Minn., Macy Mauer came to Creighton from Woodbury, Minn., and Kelsey Crocker is from Mendota Heights, Minn. With Erickson coming from Brooklyn Park, Minn., all four Bluejays are from within 25 minutes of the Minnesota campus.
You may recognize the last name of junior defender Macy Mauer and relate it to another famous Minnesota player - she is a cousin of the Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer. A catcher for the Twins, Joe Mauer has been named MVP, Gold Glove Award winner, and has played in the MLB All-Star game during his career.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Creighton has won 13 of the last 14 matches played, including an MVC record setting, and Bluejay record tying, 10 straight from Sept. 9 through Oct. 16. The Jays are outscoring their opponents 39-9 through the 14 matches.
Freshman Lauren Cingoranelli was named the 2010 MVC Tournament MVP after dishing off three assists and scoring a goal in the tournament. She had a part in both of the goals in the championship, dishing off an assist on the first and being pulled down in the box and earning a penalty kick for the second. She is the first freshman to earn the honor since 2005, when former Bluejay Marcy Gans took home the award. Also honored for Creighton this season were Erin Gunther, Claire Zach and Andrea Zuniga.
Been Here Before
The 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament marked the 15th consecutive season the Jays have made it to the championships, compiling a 20-8-3 overall record in tournament matches. The only other two Valley schools who have made appearances in every tournament are Illinois State and Missouri State. Either Creighton or Evansville have now reached all 15 MVC tournament finals, with the Jays earning title berths in eight of the 15 years.
Creighton hosted the MVC tournament for the fifth time, with its only previous title at home coming in 2005. Creighton has now tied Evansville for the most MVC Tournament titles on their home field, with the Jays winning in 2005 and2010, and the Purple Aces taking home the trophy at home in 1996 and 1998. The State Farm MVC Tournament was held at a neutral site from 2000-2003, with matches played in Maryland Heights, Mo.
Numerous different Bluejays are beginning to be rewarded for the tremendous season they have put together so far. Last week, Alicia Montgomery and Claire Zach were named ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA All-District VII first-teamers for their success inside the classroom and on the pitch. On Thursday night, Creighton added more accolades at the MVC pre-tournament banquet. Coach Bruce Erickson and his staff was named the 2010 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year, while Brittney Neumann took home the 2010 MVC Player of the Year award, after leading the Valley in the regular season with 59 shots, 23 points and a 1.28 goals per game average. Earning first team All-MVC honors included senior defender Claire Zach, junior forward Andrea Zuniga and Neumann. Senior midfielder Emily Orbell and freshman forward Lauren Cingoranelli picked up second team honors while junior goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery and junior midfielder Erin Gunther garnered All-MVC honorable mention. Cingoranelli was also named to the all-freshman team for 2010.
As a team the Jays are ranked atop in the Missouri Valley Conference in shots (310), points (135), goals (48), goals per match (2.40), assists (39), assists per match (1.89), goals allowed (14), goals against average (0.68) and shutouts (10). Andrea Zuniga is first in points (25) and assists (9), while sitting in third in goals (8). Brittney Neumann is tied for second in shots (59 total, averaging 3.28 per match) and second in points (23). Lauren Cingoranelli is tied for fourth in points (20) and tied for fourth in goals with seven. Neumann and Erin Gunther are tied for second in game-winning goals with three on the season. Emily Orbell has six assists, putting her in a tie for second.
A Valley First
Creighton is looking to earn the first NCAA Tournament win for the Missouri Valley Conference, as the seven teams have combined to go 0-12-0 through the years. Creighton is 0-4-0 in NCAA Tournament first round matches.
Put Me in Coach
Sophomore Laura Nasseri has started just five of the 38 matches she has played in, but she has made a couple of key goals in her Bluejay career, both coming in the MVC semifinals. Last season, Nasseri scored the match winner in overtime over the Missouri State Bears to advance to the MVC Tournament Championship. This year, Nasseri had another semifinal goal up her sleeve, as she scored in the 44th minute against Evansville, putting a dagger into the Purple Aces right before the half.
Just Score More Than Them
Creighton has outscored opponents 48-14 this season, including 39-8 in the last 14 matches, winning 13 of them. The ten match winning streak included seven shutouts, while the Jays scored three or more goals in seven of the 10 matches in the streak. Creighton has outscored opponents 26-6 in the opening period and 20-7 after halftime.
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 six 1-0 matches this season, including the most recent MVC Championship victory over Missouri State, 2-1 in overtime.
Creighton has converted on 4-4 penalty kicks this season, including the match equalizer in the Illinois State regular season final, and the match winner in the MVC Tournament over Missouri State. They have also given up four penalty kicks, all of which have been converted.
Give it to Gunther
Junior Erin Gunther has taken three penalty kicks and converted all three this season. In the Missouri State match, while playing with an injured foot, Gunther stepped forward when Lauren Cingoranelli was pulled down inside the box, and drilled the ball into the back of the net.
Bruce, Bruce, Bruce
Bruce Erickson accomplished a first in Creighton women’s soccer coaching history, earning his 200th victory as a college head soccer coach after the 2-1 victory over Illinois State. He currently sits at 202-152-29 overall in 19 years and 132-91-23 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 19 and needs four 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 (56).
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.
The Jays have not let an opponent score three or more goals in 43 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 seven goals this season while starting in 18 of the 20 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 Friday night in the semifinal 5-0 win over Evansville. She currently leads all MVC freshman in goals (7) and is tied for fourth in the whole conference. Cingoranelli was named to the All-MVC second team, as well as the 2010 All-Freshman team. 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.
Put Us in the Books
The 5-0 victory over Evansville added more records to the pocket of the 2010 Creighton women’s soccer team. Freshman Lauren Cingoranelli set a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament record when she became the first player to record two assists in a single tournament match. The five goals also ties a school record in MVC Tournament play for the Jays, equalling a five goal output in 2000 over Drury (5-1).
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 10th in the nation in save percentage at .880 and in 27th in goals against average with a 0.66. As a team the Jays sit in 10th in scoring offense with 48 goals, averaging 2.40 goals per match. Creighton is also 16th in win-loss-tie percentage with a 0.800 percentage. In team goals against average (0.68) and shutout percentage (0.500), the Jays sit at 24th and 27th, respectively.
Bump in the Road
Creighton saw its ten match winning streak broken on Friday, Oct. 22 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.
I’ll Take That...
Creighton junior Andrea Zuniga has had a break out 2010 season, taking over the team lead in points (25) and assists (9) and sitting tied for second in goals (8). Prior to this season, Zuniga had scored three goals and dished off just one assist, playing her first year at Nebraska and then her sophomore season as a Bluejay.