OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 4 Creighton men’s soccer team will battle non-conference foe No. 22 Saint Louis at the Billikens’ Robert R. Hermann Stadium at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday.
Creighton men’s soccer team played in a program-record fifth consecutive double-overtime match Saturday afternoon as the Bluejays played then-No. 12 Georgetown to a scoreless draw in Washington D.C. Earlier in the week, CU came away with a 2-2 draw against visiting Michigan State at Morrison Stadium. The Jays are now 2-1-2 in their last five games – all of which went to double overtime.
In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released on Monday, Creighton stands No. 1 overall. The RPI is one of the primary tools utilized by the NCAA for tournament team selections and seeding.
Creighton dropped one spot to No. 4 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday afternoon. CU fell up to No. 3 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll and slipped one position to No. 4 standing in the College Soccer News Top 30. CU maintained its No. 4 slot in the Soccer Times Top 25 poll. The Jays’ biggest move was in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 where CU dropped two spots to stand at No. 6 this week.
The Bluejays have played just three matches away from the friendly confines of Morrison Stadium this year. In addition to the Bluejays’ 0-0 tie at Georgetown on Saturday, CU defeated Old Dominion on the road 2-1 in double overtime at the Monarchs’ Stihl Classic Sept. 13. Two days later the Jays suffered their only setback of the season in a neutral-site match to William & Mary 3-2 in double overtime.
Since Sept. 13 Creighton has played in five matches – all ending in double overtime – resulting in a 2-1-2 mark. Meanwhile, Saint Louis has played only three matches – all ending in regulation - over that span to post a 2-1 record.
Meanwhile Saint Louis is 3-0 at home this year at Hermann Stadium. The Billikens have won two of their last three matches. Last Saturday SLU knocked off Central Arkansas 4-1 in its homecoming match.
Saint Louis was picked to win the Atlantic 10 in the coaches’ preseason poll after advancing to the 2012 NCAA Tournament as the No. 8 overall seed last season. Six Billikens were named to the preseason A-10 preseason All-Conference Teams.
This weekend marks the 17th meeting all-time between the Bluejays and Billikens. CU leads the all-time series 8-6-2 against Saint Louis, but SLU ruined the Jays’ homecoming match last season in Morrison Stadium by claiming a 3-1 victory on Sept. 22. The last meeting between the schools in St. Louis resulted in a 0-0 tie on Oct. 4, 2008.
9/24: tied Michigan State 2-2 (2ot)
9/28: tied No. 12 Georgetown 0-0 (2ot)*
10/1: at No. 22 Saint Louis, 7 p.m. CT – St. Louis, Mo.
* BIG EAST conference match
What’s at Stake
· Creighton is looking to remain undefeated (2-0-1) against Top 25 squads in 2013.
· Saint Louis is seeking its first victory (0-1-0) against a Top 25 team this year.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this Wednesday by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the No. 4 Creighton Bluejays (5-1-2, 1-0-1 BIG EAST)
The No. 4 Creighton men’s soccer team travels to No. 22 Saint Louis for a midweek non-conference battle. The Billikens are the third ranked squad that Creighton will face in the last four matches.
Last time out CU played then-No. 12 Georgetown to a 0-0 tie after battling to a 2-2 draw against Michigan State on Sept. 24 at Morrison Stadium. Those two matches extended the Jays’ program record of playing in five consecutive double overtime contests.
Creighton currently leads the BIG EAST Conference with four points after the first full weekend of conference matchups.
CU sophomore Brendan Hines-Ike earned recognition from the BIG EAST on Monday, as did senior Bruno Castro for their performances last week. Hines-Ike claimed Defensive Player of the Week honors while Castro gained a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
Sophomore Timo Pitter leads the CU offense this year with three goals and seven points. Freshman Fabian Herbers is close behind with a pair of goals and six points. Six Bluejays have already scored multiple goals this season.
In net, junior Alex Bolowich claims a 0.96 goals against average this year and has accumulated 24 saves. Bolowich has started seven matches, including four double overtime contests, for the Jays resulting in a 5-1-1 record.
Scouting the No. 22 Saint Louis Billikens (5-2-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic 10)
Saint Louis is coming off of a 4-1 homecoming victory over Central Arkansas last Saturday to improve to 5-2 overall on the season. Against UCA, the Billikens scored three or more goals for the third time in 2013. With the win, SLU remained undefeated at home (3-0-0) inside Hermann Stadium this year.
SLU is not immune to double overtime contests this season. The Billikens played back-to-back double overtime games last month defeating Northern Illinois 1-0 in a neutral-site match on Sept. 8 before dropping a 2-1 decision at Evansville three days later.
The last meeting between CU and SLU in St. Louis also resulted in a double overtime 0-0 tie on Oct. 4, 2008. In the last meeting between the teams, Saint Louis claimed a 3-1 victory in Omaha to spoil the Bluejays’ homecoming match on Sept. 22.
Saint Louis was picked to win the Atlantic 10 in the 2013 coaches’ preseason poll after advancing to the 2012 NCAA Tournament as the No. 8 overall seed last season. Six Billikens were named to the preseason A-10 preseason All-Conference Teams.
SLU is ranked No. 22 in the NSCAA poll this week down one spot from the previous rankings.
Robert Kristo leads SLU with three goals and seven points this season. David Graydon leads the Billikens with four assists on the year and owns six points.
SLU goalkeeper Nick Shackelford has started all seven matches for the Billikens this season. He owns a 0.81 goals against average and has accumulated 23 saves this year.
The Last Meeting vs. Saint Louis
OMAHA, Neb. (Sept. 22, 2012) - The No.7 Creighton men's soccer team suffered a 3-1 loss to the Saint Louis Billikens at home in Morrison Stadium.
Following the loss Creighton is 5-2-2 on the season, while Saint Louis is 5-2.
In the 39th minute, SLU’s Alex Sweetin sent the ball in from the left corner to midfield. The ball bounced through a host of players before finally settling in front of Raymond Lee. The sophomore scored his first goal of the season at the 38:16 mark to give the Billikens a 1-0 lead.
Saint Louis maintained its 1-0 edge into halftime, holding a 6-1 lead on corners and a 9-8 shot advantage.
In the second period, the Billikens struck again on Lee's second goal of the game. Robbie Kristo set up the play as he fired a shot toward Creighton keeper, Alex Bolowich, in the 49th minute. Bolowich made the save but was unable to hold on to the ball. The bounced ball found Lee a second time and he connected at 48:17 to extend the Billikens' lead to 2-0.
Down 2-0, Creighton began attacking. Finally in the 62nd minute, senior Jose Gomez sent a pass halfway across the field from right to left to freshman Timo Pitter. The German native struck the ball from 20 yards out, sending it into the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the season at 61:25.
Unfortunately Saint Louis was able to put the game away down the stretch as Kristo connected on his second goal of the season in the 83rd minutes. Kristo's goal was unassisted as he curled around two defenders and fired into the top right corner to make it 3-1.
Bolowich closed the match with four saves, while the Billikens' Nick Shackelford nabbed eight saves in the win.
This marks the first time since Nov. 13, 2009 that Creighton has dropped a match by two goals. That night it was also a 3-1 loss to Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Rank You Very Much
In order to become the top-rated team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) this week, Creighton had to do two things: play a tough schedule and perform well against it.
The Jays have done both in early 2013. Saint Louis is the third team in the last four matches to be ranked on the CU slate. Creighton is already 2-0-1 against teams ranked in the top 25 at the time of the match including wins over then-No. 14 Tulsa and then-No. 7 St. John’s to go with a tie at then-No. 12 Georgetown last weekend.
Seven of Creighton’s eight opponents to open this season are among the top 60 in the latest RPI that ranks all 202 NCAA Division I squads. The last four foes that CU faced all rank among the top 17 nationally. Saint Louis is No. 42.
Creighton is in the middle of a stretch that began late last month in which the Jays will face seven squads in a row that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season in a span of just under a month.
The Bluejays battle three opponents that were national seeds in 2012 all on the road during the arduous stretch including fellow College Cup participant No. 3 seed Georgetown, No. 7 seed Marquette and No. 8 seed Saint Louis.
Going the Distance
After Saturday’s 0-0 tie at No. 12 Georgetown, the Bluejays have now played in five consecutive double overtime contests – a program record.
Jays Claim Program Win No. 400
Creighton secured the program’s 400th all-time victory on Sept. 21 after a 1-0 double-overtime decision against No. 7 St. John’s. The Jays currently boast an all-time record of 400-155-60 since their first season in 1979.
Thrilling BIG EAST Debut
The Bluejays claimed a 1-0 double overtime victory in their BIG EAST conference debut against No. 7 St. John’s on Saturday night inside Morrison Stadium. Creighton stands at 2-0 all-time in conference debuts; the Jays edged Bradley 2-1 in their Missouri Valley Conference opener on Oct. 18, 1991.
The Bluejays’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 21 lifted Creighton’s record to 22-3-2 all-time against Top 25 opponents visiting Morrison Stadium.
Winning Over Crowds
Over 5,200 fans witnessed Creighton’s 1-0 double-overtime defeat of No. 7 St. John’s in the Jays’ BIG EAST debut on Sept. 21 at Morrison Stadium. The crowd of 5,282 ranks as the sixth-largest crowd ever to attend a collegiate match at the Bluejays’ home, edging out a contingent of 5,102 Bluejay faithful who witnessed CU defeat Columbia 3-1 earlier this season on Sept. 6. With the win, Creighton is now 5-7-1 in front of 5,000-plus fans since 2000.
At the Stihl Classic on Sept. 13, 2,106 fans watched CU’s double-overtime victory over host Old Dominion. It marked the largest regular-season crowd to watch Creighton play away from home since 2,167 saw the Jays win 1-0 at SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 22, 2011.
Last year on Sept. 14, then-No. 2 Creighton fell 2-1 to then-No. 14 Old Dominion in front of 6,848 fans – the top home crowd all-time at Morrison Stadium.
Cutting It Close
After three one-goal decisions this season against then-No. 7 St. John’s, William & Mary and Old Dominion, the Jays are 14-3 in games decided by one goal since the beginning of 2012.
Creighton is 2-1-2 in overtime matches this season following the scoreless tie at then-No. 12 Georgetown, a 2-2 tie versus Michigan State and 1-0 victory over the Red Storm in the two weeks.
CU suffered a 3-2 setback to William & Mary and clinched a 2-1 win at Old Dominion earlier this season at the Stihl Classic. The Jays went undefeated at 3-0-3 in extra time last season.
One Goal to Nil
With the 1-0 double overtime victory against No. 7 St. John’s on Sept. 21, Creighton has won 13 of its previous 14 matches ending in a 1-0 score, including a 7-1 ledger in 2012 contests.
Recent Overtime Perfection Halted
Prior to the 3-2 setback to William & Mary on Sept. 15, the Jays had not suffered an overtime loss in 16 matches dating back to a 3-2 setback in extra time to SMU on Sept. 17, 2010, at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic.
Before the overtime loss to William & Mary, Creighton boasted a 10-0-6 overtime record since that 2010 match, including the victory over Old Dominion on Sept. 13. The Jays had kept opponents scoreless in overtime for over 234 straight minutes before the Tribe scored its game-winner.
Three Jays Claim BIG EAST Weekly Honors
CU junior Eric Miller and freshman Fabian Herbers claimed Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors from the BIG EAST, respectively, the league announced Sept. 23. Junior Alex Bolowich also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
It marks the second Defensive Player of the Week honor for Miller this season and Herbers’ first accolade from the conference. The honor roll recognition gained by Bolowich follows a Goalkeeper of the Week honor awarded earlier this season.
Herbers scored the lone goal of the match off of a free kick at 108:05 in a double overtime against No. 7 St. John’s to secure Creighton’s first BIG EAST victory and program win No. 400. It marked his second goal of the season, both game-winners. Herbers is currently tied for second on the team with two goals and six points on the season. Herbers also earned a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week for his game-winning goal on a free kick against the Red Storm.
Miller won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after anchoring the Creighton backline against No. 7 St. John’s, helping the Bluejays record the team’s first BIG EAST victory and program win No. 400. He played all 108 minutes in the double overtime victory over St. John’s. Miller has played every minute of the season on defense, helping the Jays record three shutouts through six matches.
Bolowich earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition after recording his third shutout of the season and second shutout of a ranked opponent last weekend. Bolowich made three saves in the victory over No. 7 St. John’s to improve to 5-1 on the season. Bolowich currently boasts a 0.83 goals against average while allowing just five goals through six matches this season.
Jays Achieve No. 1 Ranking for the First Time in 14 Years
Following a 3-1 victory over Columbia on Sept. 6, Creighton became the top squad in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Sept. 10.
It marked the Jays’ first time back in the top spot since September 1999. Creighton ranked as high as No. 2 in each of the past three seasons, including earlier this fall.
The 2010 preseason poll was the last time the Jays went unranked.
Jays’ History When Perched at No. 1
After a 1-1 split against host Old Dominion and William & Mary at the Stihl Classic Sept. 13-15, Creighton now boasts a 9-2-1 record all-time as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll. After a double-overtime setback to the Tribe, the Bluejays dropped four spots to No. 5 in the rankings.
The Bluejays went 1-0-1 after achieving the top ranking in the Sept. 15, 1999 poll. CU defeated Harvard 6-0 before tying Boston University 1-1 a day later. The tie dropped the Jays to No. 3 the following week.
Creighton’s longest run at No. 1 occurred in 1993 when the Bluejays spent the final five weeks of the regular season in the top spot. CU finished the regular season undefeated at 19-0 including seven consecutive victories while ranked No. 1. The Jays suffered a heart-breaking four-overtime 2-1 loss to Air Force in the first round of the NCAA Tournament that season to halt the streak.
Pitter Claims Spot on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for Second Straight Week
Sophomore Timo Pitter led the Creighton offense after posting his third goal of the year on the Jays’ game-winning score over the Lions Sept. 6. For a second straight week, Pitter claimed a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. He currently leads the Jays with three goals and seven points.
Miller, Bolowich Earn BIG EAST Weekly Honors after Opening Weekend
The weekly conference honor bestowed solely on athletic performance is a career first for both Miller and Bolowich. The classmates each claimed a scholar-athlete weekly award a season ago. The weekly awards are the first given to Creighton men’s soccer student-athletes by the BIG EAST.
Miller won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors after anchoring the Creighton backline on the opening weekend, helping the Bluejays record a pair of shutout wins over No. 14 Tulsa (2-0) and Cal Poly (3-0). He also scored a rare goal, just the second of his career in Omaha, against Cal Poly on a redirected header from freshman Fabian Herbers.
Bolowich shined for Creighton in the pair of shutouts to open the 2013 season to claim BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week accolades. Bolowich blanked No. 14 Tulsa in the Jays’ opener with seven saves. He played only the first half against Cal Poly, making two stops.
Herbers Earns Team of Week Nod in First Week
CU freshman Fabian Herbers claimed a spot on TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week, released Sept. 3, after posting four points for the Jays on the opening weekend. He helped Creighton record a pair of wins with a goal and two assists. Herbers’ first career goal as a Bluejay was the game winner against No. 14 Tulsa. He also made two assists against Cal Poly.
After blanking Cal Poly 3-0 on Sept. 1, Creighton improved its record to 16-0-3 against California-based schools in its last 19 meetings. The Jays won both matches against teams from the Sunshine State in 2012 defeating both Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s by 1-0 margins. Creighton’s last loss to a team from California came on Sept. 7, 2003, a 2-1 double overtime loss at Loyola Marymount.
Starting the Season Off Right
• After a 2-0 shutout of Tulsa, Creighton is unbeaten in its last seven season-opening matches, going 5-0-2 in those contests.
• Creighton has allowed one total goal to its last five season-opening opponents. Northern Illinois scored the lone goal last year after three years of shutouts.
BIG EAST Preseason Honors
The BIG EAST men’s soccer coaches selected No. 2 Creighton to place second in the 2013 preseason poll the behind fellow 2012 College Cup participant, No. 11 Georgetown.