Match 15 • Tuesday, Oct. 18 • 7:00 p.m. Creighton (7-5-2, 2-0-1) at Drake (3-8-4, 1-2-0) Cownie Soccer Complex • Des Moines, Iowa Series: CU leads 7-5-0
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. Creighton’s goals against average now sits at 0.96, a number that is still leading the MVC. Brittney Neumann leads the Jays with eight goals this season, including notching multiple-goal matches in three of five straight matches (Boise State, Evansville and Wright State) and Andrea Zuniga recorded her first multi-goal match of the season in the 4-2 win over Wright State to giver her three goals on the year. Lauren Cingoranelli has six of the team’s 15 assists this season, while Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson hold identical 0.96 goals against averages. Montgomery has posted 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 13 goals in 14 matches this season. Creighton now sits at 7-5-2 on the year and 2-0-1 in MVC play following the 1-1, double overtime tie against Missouri State last Saturday.
Following the Jays
Creighton’s match on Tuesday at Drake 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).
Meet the Opponent
The Drake Bulldogs are coming off three back-to-back-to-back losses, also falling in five of their last six matches. That includes three conference matches, a 2-0 loss at Illinois State, a 1-0 loss at Missouri State and a 2-1, double overtime win over Indiana State. They currently sit at 3-8-4 overall and 1-2-0 in the MVC, putting them fourth in conference standings.
Leading the Bulldogs offensively is Lauren Moklestad, who has three goals and an assist for seven points. Danielle Figliola also has seven points, dishing off three goals to go with her two assists. Eight different players have scored for the Bulldogs this season.
Defensively, Kalena Litch has given up 22 goals while reaching the century mark in saves (100). She holds a 1.36 goals against average on the season.
Creighton leads the series between the two schools 7-5-0, including a 1-0 win over the Bulldogs last season in Omaha, Creighton’s ninth straight win. Lauren Cingoranelli scored her sixth goal of the season in the 79th minute off assists from Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga to give the Jays the Valley win. Creighton is 1-4-0 when playing regular season matches in Des Moines. The two teams have met three times in the post season, with Creighton winning all three matches (a 1-0, double overtime win in 2003, a 3-1 win in 2004 and a 1-0 victory in 2005.)
Battle at the Top
For the second straight season, Creighton and Missouri State met as two of the top teams in The Valley. The Bears came into the match without a conference loss, sitting at 3-0-0, while the Jays were also undefeated with a 2-0-0 mark. After a 1-1, double overtime tie, the two teams still are without a blemish, as MSU holds a 3-0-1 record and the Jays have a 2-0-1 mark. Illinois State is the only other team in the league with more wins in conference play, holding a 4-1-0 mark.
Bluejay freshman Stephanie Anasi notched her first collegiate goal for the Jays in the 1-1 tie against Missouri State. The newcomer found herself with an open shot in front of the goal after a cross from Lauren Cingoranelli and the Texas native buried the ball in the back of the net. Anasi has started each of the last five matches, taking just four shots on the season.
The Jays are just 1-4-0 when playing matches in Des Moines, Iowa during the regular season. The last time the Jays won in Des Moines was a 2-1 win in 2007. Drake has outscored the Jays 9-2 in those matches, including two 1-0 overtime wins at Cownie Sports Complex.
The Jays are entering the final stretch of the regular season traveling to Drake on Tuesday. Creighton has three regular season matches left, playing Indiana State at home, and traveling to Drake and Illinois State. The Redbirds, who are also at the top of the league, could prove to be a title match - just like the final match of the regular season a year ago. After a loss to Missouri State, the Jays needed a win to clinch the regular season crown and stole one in overtime against the Redbirds.
Creighton and Missouri State remain the only two teams without a loss in Valley play, as they played to a 1-1, double overtime draw last Saturday. Creighton (2-0-1) and Missouri State (3-0-1) will look to close out conference play without any losses. Creighton has only gone through conference play without a blemish one other season, a 6-0-1 mark in 2002 when they won the regular season and tournament. Last year, Creighton was 4-0-0 going into their match at Missouri State but dropped an overtime 2-1 loss there. The Jays still won the regular season with a 2-1 overtime win against Illinois State.
Bluejay Quick Facts
• Creighton finished the non-conference portion of its schedule at 5-5-1 against non-conference opponents, including 3-3-0 mark at home this season.
• The Jays sit at 4-3-1 at home this season. The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons. Creighton has just one more home match this season, October 22 against Indiana State.
• Brittney Neumann again led the Jays to another victory, notching two goals in the 4-2 win. That marks the sixth time in her Bluejay career the Omaha native has notched multiple-goal matches, including in three of the last five matches. She currently leads the team and with eight goals on the season. Neumann has 24 career goals, placing her in fifth on the top-five all-time Creighton charts.
• The 1-0 win over Northern Iowa on September 23 marked the fifth win of the season, all five to that point, had 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 0.98 gaa. The duo of Alicia Montgomery and Katie Jo Swanson have given up 13 goals in the 14 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. Creighton has now played four overtime matches this season, holding a 1-1-2 record.
Strong Valley Starts
The Jays are one of just two teams this season who opened Valley play 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.
After not scoring more than two goals in a match all season, and not combining with an opponent to score more than four, the Jays and Wright State scored six total goals, four of which came in the opening half, in fact, in a 20 minute span. Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga each scored twice on the night for Creighton.
Must be in the Water
After notching just 11 goals in the first 11 matches of the season, and just five at home (just eight when combined with opponents), the Jays broke free on Wednesday, October 5 vs. Wright State and scored four goals, two each by Brittney Neumann and Andrea Zuniga.
Senior goalkeeper Alicia Montgomery picked up her second MVC Defensive Player of the Week award, following Creighton’s 2-1 win over Evansville, improving the Jays to 2-0-0 in MVC play. Montgomery has allowed just five goals on the season, posting four shutouts, good for a 0.82 goals against average.
On the Charts
Creighton’s Brittney Neumann and Alicia Montgomery have both put their names on the Creighton all-time charts, helped out by outstanding play on each of their parts this season. Neumann, a junior from Omaha, sits in fifth in goals scored in a career (24), while Montgomery, a senior from California, is in third place for career shutouts (19) and sits atop the list for career goals against average (0.73).
Creighton has had great success against non-conference teams since moving into Morrison Stadium, holding a 70-36-14 overall record (.625). The Jays have won at least six non-conference matches each of the last eight seasons, and sit at 5-4-1 going into the match Sunday, the final non-conference regular season match.
Happy at Home
The Jays hold a 4-3-0 record when playing at home this season. Ten of Creighton’s 16 goals on the season have come while playing at Morrison Stadium, and the defense has given up just seven goals at home. Brittney Neumann has five goals and an assist at home, good for 11 points. The record for goals at Morrison Stadium in a single-season is 10, while 23 points sit atop the charts as well.
Saving the Day
Creighton knocked on the door early in the 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.
Creighton opened its final three-match homestand Wednesday against Wright State with a 4-2 win, and they now welcome Kansas on Sunday and Missouri State on Saturday, October 15. The Jays sit at 4-2-0 at home this season, including winning the last three at home. The Jays have won at least six home regular season matches in each of the last five seasons. Creighton has two more home matches after Sunday.
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.
Creighton led Missouri State for 86 minutes in the two teams meeting on Saturday, October 15, but a late Bears goal left the match in a 1-1 draw. Freshman Stephanie Anasi scored just 1:21 into the match. MSU’s Bethany Smith (the team’s leading scorer) broke free for a goal at 86:08 to send the match to two, scoreless overtime periods.
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.
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 13 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 15 assists on the season, with six coming from sophomore Lauren Cingoranelli. The Aurora, Colo., native dished out six assists total last 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.
Creighton will host Indiana State on October 22 for Senior Day before closing out the regular season at Illinois State on October 27. Nine seniors will be honored on Saturday at Morrison Stadium. The first round of the MVC Tournament will be on October 30 at school sites.
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 14-10-23 overall record when the match goes more than 90 minutes. In single overtime, Creighton is 7-6-1, while they hold a 7-4-22 mark in double overtime matches. So far on this season, the Jays are 1-2-1 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. The Jays fell in their last overtime match - a 2-1 loss to Kansas on October 9.
Just a Slip
Creighton has gotten off to a 7-5-2 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, scoring seven goals in the last three matches, 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 164 4th
Points 49 3rd
Goals 17 3rd
Assists 15 T-3rd
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 53 matches, including 11 in 2009 and six in the first 13 matches this season. Katie Jo Swanson picked up two shutouts in her first two appearances in goal this season, while Alicia Montgomery holds a 0.96 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. Below is where the defense ranks in the Valley:
Goals Allowed 13 1st
Goals Against Average 0.96 1st
Saves 72 5th
Shutouts 6 2nd
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.
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 50 corner kicks on the season, giving up 71 to opponents.
The Creighton offense has scored 17 goals this season, nine 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.
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.
This group of seniors has put together one of the best overall records thus far in their first three years, holding a 47-21-6 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 47 wins place them 31st.
On the Charts
Junior forward Brittney Neumann will look to move up on 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 24 career goals, putting her at number five on 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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