Women's Soccer Opens Three Match Homestand on Wednesday With Wright State

Article Image
Creighton coaching staff
Courtesy: Eric Francis
Match 12 • Wednesday, Oct. 5 • 7:00 p.m.
Creighton (6-4-1, 2-0-0) vs Wright State (5-5-2)
Morrison Stadium • Omaha, Neb.
Series: WSU leads 2-1-0

 Scouting the Jays
    The Jays finished the 2010 season with a 15-4-2 overall record, finishing 5-1-0 in the MVC.  They won both the regular season crown and tournament title for the first time since 2002, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. 
    The Jays return their top four scorers from a season ago, with the quartet combining for 34 of the 50 total goals last season.  That group is led by 2010 MVC Player of the Year Brittney Neumann, MVC Tournament MVP Lauren Cingoranelli and all-MVC picks Andrea Zuniga and Erin Gunther.
    Also back for the Jays are both Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson, who combined for a 0.83 goals against average a season ago, posting 10 shutouts in net for the Jays.
    Creighton started the 2011 with shutouts in three of the first four matches, putting together a 0.24 goals against average in that time frame.  The Jays then faced three straight setbacks, dropping a 2-0 loss at UC Davis, a 2-1 overtime match at Sacramento State and a 2-1 loss at home against Northern Colorado before downing Boise State 2-0, Northern Iowa 1-0 and tying Wyoming 0-0, before downing Evansville 2-1 to remain undefeated in conference play.  Creighton’s goals against average now sits at 0.78, a number that is still leading the MVC and is 31st in the NCAA.    Brittney Neumann leads the Jays with six goals this season, including two matches with two goals in each (Boise State and Evansville).  Lauren Cingoranelli has three of the team’s eight assists this season, while Katie Jo Swanson holds a 0.71 goals against average, the top in the MVC.  She didn’t allow her first goal until the Sacramento State match on September 11.  Alicia Montgomery is holding a 0.82 goals against average, posting four shutouts of her own, which put her in third place on the Creighton all-time charts in career shutouts (19).  The defense, led by seniors Kelly Connolly and Macy Mauer and freshman Madelyn Buckner, has allowed just eight goals in 11 matches this season. 

Following the Jays
    Creighton’s match on Wednesday night against Wright State will be available through live stats and live video at www.gocreighton.com.  Throughout the season, live stats as well as live video will be available at www.gocreighton.com.  You can also follow the Jays on Twitter (gocreighton) and on Facebook (search Creighton Athletics).

Teaming Up
    The Jays have posted six shutouts this season, a number which sits in a tie for first in the Missouri Valley Conference and sits in 31st nationally.  The Creighton men’s soccer team has posted a nation leading eight this season, giving the two teams 14 combined, which sits in a tie for second in the nation.  There are 23 schools that have combined for at least 10 shutouts, but below are the teams that are also teaming up to lead the shutout percentages:
Team    Women’s    Men’s    Total
Penn St.     8    7    15
Creighton     6    8    14
Maryland    8    6    14
Hartford    9    4    13
LaSalle        11    2    13
7 schools with 12 total shutouts

Meet the Opponent
Wright State Raiders
    The Wright State Raiders started off the 2011 season with three straight wins before falling 2-1 to #7 Ohio State.  The Raiders have played two ranked teams this season, with #12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee joining the Buckeyes with a 3-1 victory over Wright State.
    The Raiders have a handful of players who can put the ball in the back of the net, with Bekah Bonny leading the way with four goals on the season.  Brittany Persaud and Jen Agueci each have three goals, while Persaud leads the team with five assists on the season.  In goal, Brooke McCurdy owns a 1.21 goals against average in 1,111 minutes this season, posting three shutouts and allowing just 15 goals.
    The Raiders are coming off two straight losses, a 1-0 loss at Butler and a 3-1 loss on their home field against Milwaukee last Saturday. 

Vs. Wright State
     Creighton and Wright State are meeting for the fourth time in school history, with the Raiders holding a 2-1-0 lead.  The last time the two teams played was in the Bluejay Classic in 2000.  The Raiders took a 1-0 victory from the Jays that season.  Creighton won the first match in history, a 1-0 win in the second season of women’s soccer at Creighton, 1990.  The other meeting, in 2008, was a 2-0 Raiders win in 1998.

Bluejay Quick Facts
•  Creighton opens its final three-match homestand tonight, as they welcome Kansas on Sunday, October 9 and Missouri State on Saturday, October 15. 

• The Jays sit at  3-2-0 at home this season, including winning the last two at home.  The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons.  Creighton has three more home matches after Wednesday night.

Brittney Neumann led the Jays in their last win over Evansville, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win.  That marks the fifth time in her Bluejay career the Omaha native has notched multiple-goal matches.  She currently leads the team and Valley with six goals on the season.  Neumann has 22 career goals, placing her one shy of making the top-five all-time Creighton charts.

• The 1-0 win over Northern Iowa last week marked the fifth win of the season, all five which have been shutouts.  Add to it the 0-0 scoreless draw at Wyoming, and the Jays have six shutouts on the season. The current group of Bluejay seniors have recorded at least seven shutouts in each season they have been on campus, including the record setting 11 shutouts in 2009.

• The Jays still hold the best goals against average in the MVC, posting a combined 0.78 gaa.  The duo of Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson have given up eight goals in the 11 matches.

•  Creighton fell to Sacramento State 2-1 in overtime on Sunday, Sept. 11, the second overtime match in the first six matches of the season.  That trend has been consistent, as Creighton has played at least two overtime matches in the first six matches of the season in three of the last four seasons.

Saving the Day
    Creighton knocked on the door early in the last game against Evansville, as Brittney Neumann notched another two-goal game, scoring both in the first 16 minutes of play, to give the Jays a clean slate in MVC play at 2-0-0.  As equally important in the match, however, was the play of the defense and Alicia Montgomery, who held off an aggressive Evansville attack.  Montgomery finished with seven saves, surrendering one goal in the 2-1 win.  She has now lowered her goals against average to 0.82 on the season.

Strong Valley Starts
    The Jays are one of just two teams this season to open Valley play with two wins, as they sit a perfect 2-0-0 after two matches.  Creighton has opened 2-0-0 in five different seasons since joining the MVC in 1997, but has started 3-0-0 just two times (2002 and 2010, both seasons they won the conference regular season crown).  The 2002 team finished with a 6-0-1 record, while last year the Jays went 5-1-0.

Homefield Advantage
    Creighton opens its final three-match homestand Wednesday against Wright State, as they welcome Kansas on Sunday, October 9 and Missouri State on Saturday, October 15.  The Jays sit at  3-2-0 at home this season, including winning the last two at home.  The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons.  Creighton has three more home matches after Wednesday night.

We Play Defense
    Creighton has posted six shutouts this season, including three straight from September 18 through September 25.  The current group of Bluejay seniors have recorded at least seven shutouts in each season they have been on campus, including the record setting 11 shutouts in 2009.  They hold 35 career shutouts, led by goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery, who has 19 shutouts in goal, a number that sits 3rd on the Creighton all-time charts and 6th in MVC history.

Last Week
    Creighton remained undefeated in MVC play in its only match of the week last week, defeating Evansville 2-1 on Saturday.  The Jays were outshot 15-13, but matched up evenly with eight shots on goal apiece.  Brittney Neumann led the charge offensively, tallying four shots, three on goal, and converting two for goals.  Alicia Montgomery made seven saves to help secure the 2-1 win.

Defensive POW
    For the second straight week a Bluejay picked up an MVC Player of the Week award, as this time sophomore Shonna Fraser picked up defensive accolades on September 27.  Fraser scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over Northern Iowa last Friday, scoring on a shot from the top of the penalty box.  Fraser has also been a key cog in the defensive backline that has posted six shutouts this season, including two last week.

Fans in the Stands
    A record number of fans showed up on Friday, Sept. 23, to see the Jays open the MVC with Northern Iowa, as 1,289 fans witnessed the Jays’ first win of the conference season.  That number is the second highest amount to see a women’s soccer match at Morrison Stadium.

Brick Wall
    Alicia Montgomery had a busy day in the goal against Wyoming on Sept. 25, making 13 saves in the 0-0 shutout against the Cowgirls.   That is the second most in school history and the most in one match since 2000.  Katie Jo Swanson posted 10 saves in the match against the Cowgirls last season, a match in which the Jays won 6-2.

She’s Baaaack
    After suffering a season-ending knee injury last season, and rehabbing it over the summer, Brittney Neumann showed everyone she is back in her true form in the Sept. 16-18 weekend, netting all three goals over the weekend.  Neumann was named the Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week for her performance.

Out of the Net
    The Jays have posted six shutouts in the first  11 matches this season, tying for first in the MVC with Missouri State.  Alicia Montgomery has posted four of the six, moving her career total to 19, placing her in third on the Creighton women’s soccer all-time top-five charts.  The senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., posted a career high eight in 2009, the season the Jays set a school record with 11 total shutouts.

Sharing is Caring
    As a team, Creighton has dished out just eight assists on the season, but three have come from sophomore Lauren Cingoranelli.  The Aurora, Colo., native dished out six assists total last season, but is already halfway there this season.  Cingoranelli assisted a goal at UMKC, before assisting Brittney Neumann in her single goal against Northern Colorado and her first goal against Boise State.

    Creighton’s three losses in a row earlier this season marked the first time since 2000 the Jays have fallen in three straight.  In that season, Wright State, Wyoming and Nebraska each shutout the Jays for a 6-0 advantage in goals.  From 2001 until 2008, however, the Jays lost two in a row at least once each season, including three two-game skids in 2004. 

Next Up:
    Creighton will play its final two non-conference match of the season next week, as they host Kansas on Sunday, Oct. 9.  The Jays trail in that series, as Kansas holds the 4-2-0 lead.

Playing for Free
    Creighton has continued its streak of playing overtime matches, as they have now played at least two overtime matches in the first six matches of the season in three of the last four seasons (2011, 2010, 2008).  The Jays hold a 14-9-23 overall record when the match goes more than 90 minutes.  In single overtime, Creighton is 7-5-1, while they hold a 7-4-22 mark in double overtime matches.  So far on this season, the Jays are 1-1-1 in overtime matches, defeating South Dakota 1-0 in double overtime, falling 2-1 at Sacramento State in a single overtime match and then playing to a scoreless draw with Wyoming.

Just a Slip
    Creighton has gotten off to a 6-4-1 season, dropping from the top spot in the Valley after the sixth match for the first time since that time last season.  After six matches last season, the Jays were 2-2-2.  Creighton then went on a 10 match winning streak, snapped by Missouri State in the second to last MVC regular season match. 

Slowly but Surely
    After back-to-back seasons of record setting numbers on offense, including a squad that scored 50 goals last season, finishing ninth in the NCAA with 2.38 goals per match, the Jays offense has been slow to start this time around.  Creighton returned its top four scorers from a season ago, but started off the season slow offensively.  They have moved up in the numbers, as they started last in many of the columns.  Below is a list of where the Jays sit in the Valley in offensive statistical categories:
    Shots    121    5th
    Points    30    T-4th
    Goals    11    T-4th
    Assists    8    T-6th

    Neumann - Shots    31    5th
    Neumann - Points    13    2nd
    Neumann - Goals    6    2nd
    Neumann - GW Goals    3    2nd
    Cingoranelli - Assists    3    T-6th
Stifling Defense
    While the offense has been slow to start, Creighton’s defense is right on track to continue down the path they have been the last two years.  The defense has a combined 27 shutouts over the last 52 matches, including 11 in 2009 and six in the first 10 matches this season.  Katie Jo Swanson picked up two shutouts in her first two appearances in goal this season, while Alicia Montgomery holds a 0.79 goals against average and a .826 save percentage.  Below is where the defense ranks in the Valley:
    Goals Allowed    8    1st
    Goals Against Average    0.76    1st
    Saves    55    5th
    Shutouts    6    T-1st

    Swanson - GAA    0.71    1st
    Swanson - Save %    0.786    4th
    Swanson - Shutouts    2    T-3rd
    Montgomery - GAA    0.82    2nd
    Montgomery - Save %    0.898    1st
    Montgomery - Saves    44    5th
    Montgomery - Shutouts    4    2nd

Connolly’s Card
    Creighton senior Kelly Connolly picked up the game-winning goal in the 1-0 win over South Dakota last week, scoring in the 109th minute of play.  It marked the sixth goal of the defender’s career, with four of the five being game winners.  Connolly is fourth on the team with seven shots this season, second with six shots on goal and tied for the lead with a single goal.

Fresh Faces
    Head coach Bruce Erickson knew he came into the 2011 season with a veteran squad, nine seniors, but also knew there were key spots to replace.  One of the new faces to step into an immediate role has been Madelyn Buckner, a true freshman from Overland Park, Kan.  The defender, who sees time primarily in the middle of the back four, has played every minute of every match this season for the Jays, contributing to the six shutouts and overall success of the defense this season.

Keep it on Their Half
    Just one game after losing a corner kick battle 8-0 (against OSU), the Jays controlled the tempo and offensive pressure against South Dakota (Sept. 4).  Creighton took a season high 11 corner kicks, all 11 of which came before the Coyotes took a single one.    The Jays have now taken 30 corner kicks on the season, giving up 44 to opponents.

Fast Starters
    The Creighton offense has scored 11 goals this season, eight of which have come in the first period of play.   Creighton started quick last season, as well, scoring 29 of the 50 goals in the opening frame.

That Was Rare
    The Jays were shutout against Oklahoma State, 1-0.  In the last three seasons, since 2008 when the current senior class came in as freshmen at Creighton, the Jays have only been shutout 15 times, five of which were 0-0, double overtime draws, while six of the matches were 1-0 losses.

Home Openers
    Creighton opened up at home on Friday, Sept. 2, falling 1-0 to then #5 Oklahoma State.  In 23 seasons of Bluejay soccer, the Jays now hold a 13-6-4 overall record in the first match at home.  The Jays are 6-4-3 in home-openers under head coach Bruce Erickson, and hold a 4-2-3 record since moving into Morrison Stadium in 2003. 
    The only other time the Jays have faced a ranked team in the home opener was in 2005, when they lost 2-0 to #25 Wisconsin.

Against the Numbers
    Creighton played then #5 Oklahoma State on Friday, September 2, just the second ranked women’s team to play at Morrison Stadium (#25 Wisconsin defeated the Jays 2-0 in 2005).  The Cowgirls are one of just six ranked teams the Jays have played in the 23 year history of the program.  Creighton is 0-5-1 against ranked opponents.  Below is a list of those matches:

9-20-02    at #19 Nebraska    T, 1-1 (2ot)
11-15-02    at #6 Santa Clara *    L, 5-1
11-12-04    at #8 Kansas *    L, 3-1
8-26-05    vs. #25 Wisconsin    L, 2-0
11-16-07    vs. #9 USC *    L, 3-0
9-2-11    vs. #5 Oklahoma State    L, 1-0
* - denotes a match played in the NCAA Tournament.
    The Jays faced Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling 4-2.  The Gophers were receiving votes at the time.

Winning Ways
    This group of seniors has put together one of the best overall records thus far in their first three years, holding a 46-20-6 overall record.  In those three seasons, the team has put together four winning streaks of at least four wins, including the 10-match win streak a season ago.  This team has started out 2-0-0 twice now, during their freshman campaigns in 2008 and this season.  In both 2008 and 2009, however, it wasn’t until the fifth match that they lost, going 4-0-0 in the first four in 2008 and 3-0-1 in 2009. 
    The senior class has recently been ranked as the 31st winningest senior class in the nation by www.CollegeSoccer360.com.  The site recently compiled a list of current senior class records, and Creighton’s 43 wins place them 31st. 

On the Charts
    Junior forward Brittney Neumann will look to put her name in the all-time lists at Creighton.  The Omaha native inched a step closer over the weekend, netting both of Creighton’s goals.  That puts her at 22 career goals, just one shy of the top five all-time charts.  Neumann, named both the MVC Freshman of the Year in 2009 and the MVC Player of the Year in 2010, missed the MVC Tournament and NCAA Tournament last season after a season-ending knee injury sidelined her following the Jays’ victory in the regular season championship match.

Valley’s Best
    For the third time in her Bluejay career, senior goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery was tabbed the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week on August 23, following play in the opening week of games.  The Walnut Creek, Calif., native helped the Jays secure their first win of the season, posting a 1-0 win over South Dakota State.
    Montgomery started off the 2011 season right where she ended the 2010 season, picking up her 16th career shutout, just one shy of the number five spot on the all-time Creighton charts.  Montgomery recorded seven saves, all in the second half, playing all 90 minutes in the 1-0 win.  It helped Creighton remain unbeaten in openers in the last five seasons, as they now hold a 3-0-2 record on opening day.
    Montgomery finished last season with a 0.88 goals against average, allowing just 13 goals in 16 matches, which put her second in the MVC in goals against average.  She also finished with a .851 save percentage, also good enough for second in the league.  Her 0.73 career goals against average is at the top of the charts in Creighton history, as second place holds a 0.96.

Smarty Pants
    Just a day after earning the MVC Defensive Player of the Week, Alicia Montgomery earned the fourth MVC Scholar-Athlete award of her Bluejay career.  The senior goalkeeper holds a 3.792 grade point average in mathematics and secondary education.

Creighton’s Leaders
Category    Leader    Number
Goals    Neumann    6
Assists    Cingoranelli    3
Points    Neumann    13
Saves    Montgomery    44
GAA    Swanson    0.71

Opening Day Numbers
    Creighton is now 12-9-2 all-time in season openers and are 5-6-0 when opening on the road.  Creighton is 5-6-2 on opening day under head coach Bruce Erickson.  The Jays played scoreless matches the last two opening day games, with a scoreless draw in 2009 against Iowa State and last years 0-0 tie against South Dakota State, before winning 1-0 against South Dakota State Aug. 19.  Both of the scoreless matches were played at home.  The Jays have not lost an opener at Morrison Stadium since 2006, going 3-0-2 in that span.

Picked by the Coaches
    Creighton is picked to repeat as the top team in the MVC this season, receiving 45 points and edging out Illinois State, who picked up 39.  The Jays will face the Redbirds in the final match of the regular season conference schedule in Normal, Ill.  Missouri State, the league runner-up from a season ago, sits at number three with 38 points and Indiana State was picked fourth earning 24 points.  Drake, Evansville and UNI round out the seven teams with 21, 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Pre-season Honors
    Creighton was picked to finish atop the MVC this season, returning nine starters from the 2010 season that  won both the regular season and tournament titles a season ago.  Three Jays were named to the MVC women’s soccer pre-season team, while three more Jays landed on the honorable mention list.  Brittney Neumann (junior forward), Lauren Cingoranelli (sophomore forward), and Andrea Zuniga (senior forward) were all voted to the pre-season All-MVC team, while Alicia Montgomery (senior goalkeeper), Erin Gunther (senior defender/midfielder) and Macy Mauer (senior defender) each picked up honorable mention pre-season accolades.

    Head coach Bruce Erickson returns one of the most balanced squads for the 2011 campaign that he has put together in his 13-year reign at Creighton.  It is also one of the most experienced, with nine seniors on the 2011 Bluejay roster, seven of which started at least seven matches for the Jays a season ago.  Erickson stresses that while the Jays may be experienced, they will still need to stay healthy throughout the line-up when the conference portion of the season hits.

    Creighton finished the 2010 season with 50 total goals, placing them second on the all-time charts in school history.  They finished with 2.38 goals per game, which put them ninth in the NCAA a season ago.  The Jays return the top four scorers from last season, which combined for 34 of the 50 goals.  Leading the group from a season ago are Andrea Zuniga and Brittney Neumann, who each drove in nine goals.  Lauren Cingoranelli and Erin Gunther each added eight goals of their own to the mix.  Bruce Erickson expects each of those players to have a better season than the year before, while also throwing out Emma Auld and Beth Fyles as scoring threats to knock out the other teams’ defense.

D-D-D-D Fence
    Creighton’s defense returns a solid nucleus from the team that posted a 0.83 goals against average and 10 shutouts a season ago.  While the Jays will  have to replace All-MVC backs Claire Zach and Emily Orbell, head coach Bruce Erickson is sure the leaders returning will easily adapt to a new crew.  In goal will be two of the best that have walked onto a Creighton pitch, with Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson poised to defend the net.  Seniors Macy Mauer, Kelly Connolly and junior Kat Wright will remain in the starting line up, while sophomore Shonna Fraser and freshman Madelyn Buckner will look to gain a starting spot to plug up the middle of the backline.

    Creighton has just three new faces to meet this season, while returning one red shirt.  Becca Spinar (midfield/defense) redshirted a season ago and now is ready to throw her name in the hat for a starting spot, while freshman Stephanie Anasi (forward/midfield) and Madelyn Buckner (defender) will make an immediate impact in the Bluejay lineup.  Highly touted recruit Kelsey O’Donnell, an all-conference player at Sacramento State in her first two collegiate seasons, will sit out a season due to transfer rules, but will be ready to learn the Bluejay offense in the spring.

All Fixed
    2010 MVC Player of the Year Brittney Neumann might have been the most excited player on the Bluejay roster to get things started on Aug. 19, the 2011 season opener.  The junior, who is a two-time all-MVC player as well as a first-team All-Region player, hasn’t played for the Bluejays since scoring the match-winning goal against Illinois State in overtime last fall.  The goal gave the Jays the MVC regular season crown, but Neumann was injured in practice the next day.  She missed out on the MVC Tournament as well as NCAA Tournament last season, but is back and ready to strike again this season.

One for Fun
    The Bluejays and UNO played in the lone exhibition of the 2011 season last Saturday, with the two teams playing to a 1-1 tie.  Creighton got on the board first when Andrea Zuniga placed a shot from 35-yards out just under the cross bar and just over the outstretched UNO keepers fingers, giving the Jays the 1-0 edge.  The match remained in the Jays control until late in the second half, when a diving save by Katie Jo Swanson turned into a corner kick for the Mavs, which was converted for the lone goal of the match for UNO.  Swanson and Alicia Montgomery split time in goal, with head coach Bruce Erickson moving the rest of the offense and defense around to work with different combinations on the field. 

Morrison Stadium is Tops:
    This summer CollegeSoccerNews.com made a top-12 list of the most exciting venues to watch a college soccer match and Creighton’s Morrison Stadium topped the list.  Creighton ranked eighth in the NCAA in attendance in 2010 and has ranked in the NCAA top-10 in attendance in each of the last eight years.
    1. Morrison Stadium - Creighton
    2. Harder Stadium - UC Santa Barbara
    3. Ludwig Field - Maryland
    4. Cub Cadet Field - Akron
    5. Morrone Stadium - Connecticut
    6. Armstrong Stadium - Indiana
    7. UNM Soccer Complex - New Mexico
    8. Spry Stadium - Wake Forest
    9. Spanos Stadium - Cal Poly
    10. Merlo Field - Portland
    11. Hermann Stadium -  Saint Louis
    12. Belson Soccer Stadium - St. John’s

Jays Video
(W) Soccer
Bluejay Spotlight: Madelyn Buckner
(W) Soccer
WSOC: Seton Hall at Creighton (10/5/14)
(W) Soccer
WSOC: Providence at Creighton (10/2/14)
Uploaded Ad