OMAHA, Neb. - The 310 fans who saw Creighton's 4-2 win over Wright State were treated to almost as many goals in a single match at Morrison Stadium this season than all the previous matches combined (eight). The Jays were led by Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga, who each scored twice to help improve Creighton to 7-4-1 overall and give the Jays their fourth win in the last five matches.
"After giving up an early goal and then coming back to score four, I was very pleased with the attack tonight," said head coach Bruce Erickson. "Brittney [Neumann] and AZ [Andrea Zuniga] in particular, getting a couple goals. It helps their confidence, but more importantly I thought we had a good 10 chances tonight. I'll take this result."
The Raiders provided the first excitement of the opening half, earning a penalty kick just five minutes into the match. After a hand ball was called inside the box, Lauren Patterson of Wright State drove a penalty kick to the right side of the net, but Katie Jo Swanson dove to her left hand side and stopped the ball to keep the match scoreless.
In the next eight minutes, the match saw four goals and three corner kicks. Wright State took three straight corner kicks, converting the third one for the first goal of the match. Brittany Persaud booted the kick from the far side, and Liz Soto headed in her third goal of the season just 13:27 played in the opening frame.
Exactly two minutes later the Jays scored the equalizer, as Brittney Neumann knocked in her seventh goal of the season on a lead pass from Lauren Cingoranelli. Neumann now has a team high seven goals while Cingoranelli has a team and Valley high four assists.
Wright State again took the lead in the 18th minute when Bekah Bonny scored her team leading fifth goal of the season, converting a one-on-one with Swanson for the goal.
After a WSU foul, the Jays again evened the match. Andrea Zuniga scored her second goal of the season off a dead-ball set. Macy Mauer booted the ball towards the top of the penalty box where Erin Gunther redirected it to the feet of Zuniga. She then settled the ball and took the shot just five yards in front of the goal.
Creighton held the advantage in shots in the opening half, 8-7, including a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Wright State had the 5-1 edge in corner kicks in the opening frame, converting the one for a goal. Swanson ended the opening half with three saves, while McCurdy recorded four.
The Jays took the lead just two minutes into the second half when Zuniga netted her second goal of the match. After a pass was looped to a charging Zuniga, she jumped and headed it over WSU goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy before the two collided. The ball crossed the goal line for Creighton's first lead of the match.
"I told the team beforehand, I thought we would respond better if we were scored on first than them," said Erickson. "Once we got to three, and finally got up, I just don't think they had enough left in the tank and then we were able to get the fourth."
Wright State again applied pressure with just 33 minutes to play, when a defender sent a ball through the middle of the field that Swanson had to come out to the top of the penalty box to bat away, but helped Creighton keep a 3-2 lead.
Neumann then gave the Jays an insurance goal, netting her third multi-goal match of the season with her score in the 70th minute of play. A hustle play by Neumann marked her eight goal of the season, as a Wright State defender passed the ball back to the goalkeeper, but Neumann stole the ball away and buried it in the back of the net.
The Jays finished the match 16-14 edge in shots, including 11-8 in shots on goal. Swanson finished the night with six saves.
Creighton will be back in action on Sunday, October 9, when they host Kansas in the final non-conference match of the 2011 regular season. The two teams will kick off at 1:00 pm from Morrison Stadium.
Notes: The two teams had a combined four goals in the opening half, more than any other full match combined for the Jays this season... Neumann has now had multiple-goal matches in three of the last five matches and marks her sixth of her career... Neumann now has 24 career goals, a number that puts her in 5th on the Creighton all-time charts...