OMAHA, Neb. (Aug. 28) – The No. 6 Creighton men’s soccer team hosts No. 14 Tulsa and Cal Poly this weekend to open the 2013 regular season. The Bluejays entertain the Golden Hurricane on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT before they welcome the Mustangs at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Both matches will be played at Morrison Stadium.
Third-year CU head coach Elmar Bolowich leads the Jays in their quest for the program’s 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 22 seasons. Bolowich is 38-6-4 after two seasons in Omaha and has led his past five teams to College Cup appearances (North Carolina in 2008, '09 and '10 and Creighton in 2011 and ‘12).
The Jays return 16 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team. Four 2012 all-conference selections return for the Jays including juniors Eric Miller and Jose Ribas as well as the sophomore duo of Timo Pitter and Brendan Hines-Ike. The Bluejays welcome 10 newcomers to the squad but lose the services of 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Americans Jose Gomez and Andrew Ribeiro.
CU finished 2012 with a 17-4-3 record, the nation's No. 6 NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) mark, and a No. 4 national ranking from the NSCAA after competing in its second consecutive College Cup as the No. 12 national seed last December. The Jays also won their conference regular-season and tournament titles for a second straight year.
The Jays wrapped up exhibition play with a 1-1 tie against Omaha on Aug. 23. Earlier this month, CU defeated No. 7 Notre Dame 1-0 in its first 2013 exhibition match on Aug. 18.
In 2012, Creighton suffered one of its four losses on the season at Tulsa in a 2-0 setback on Sept. 25. The Bluejays have only met Cal Poly once in program history, a 1-0 victory at Morrison Stadium on Sept. 5, 2009.
Last Week (Exhibition)
8/23: T, 1-1 vs. Omaha – Morrison Stadium
This Week (Regular Season)
8/30: vs. No. 14 Tulsa, 7:30 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium
9/1: vs. Cal Poly, 7:30 p.m. CT – Morrison Stadium
What’s at Stake
Creighton is unbeaten in its last six season-opening matches, going 4-0-2 in those contests; Coach Bolowich is 2-0 in season openers at Creighton. Bolowich also boasts an unblemished combined mark of 3-0-1 over the past two seasons at CU during the first pair of matches to open each year.
Following the Jays
Fans can follow all of the action this weekend by clicking on the live stats and live video (fee required) links at GoCreighton.com.
Scouting the No. 6 Creighton Bluejays (0-0-0)
The Jays return 16 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team. Four 2012 all-conference selections return for the Jays including Miller, Pitter, junior Jose Ribas and sophomore Brendan Hines-Ike. The Bluejays welcome 10 newcomers to the squad but lose the services of 2012 NSCAA All-Americans Jose Gomez and Andrew Ribeiro.
The last time out one of those newcomers, junior Zabarle Kollie, scored the lone CU goal in a 1-1 draw against Omaha in the Bluejays’ final exhibition match of 2013 at Morrison Stadium Aug. 23. Prior to that match, senior Carlos McCrary scored both of Creighton’s goals in the 2013 preseason including the game winners in both the Blue-White scrimmage and the Jays’ 1-0 exhibition win against No. 7 Notre Dame.
Sophomore Timo Pitter led the team with 24 points, 10 goals and 34 shots on goal during his first season in Omaha. Junior Jose Ribas is the returning assists leader on the squad after posting eight helpers last season.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Alex Bolowich returns in net for the Jays in 2013. Last season he finished with a 4-3-2 record before bowing out for the season due to an injury suffered during an overtime victory at Princeton on Oct. 9. Bolowich started nine matches and finished the season with a 1.03 goals against average and four shutouts.
Scouting the No. 14 Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-0-0)
Tulsa won both of its 2013 exhibition matches this fall at home in Hurricane Stadium, knocking off Memphis 3-1 on Aug. 22 before edging Central Arkansas 3-2 on Aug. 24.
The Golden Hurricane is coming off of its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance last season, advancing to the round of 16. The squad finished 14-6-1 overall and 5-2-1 in Conference USA in 2012. Tulsa also won the Conference USA tournament. The Golden Hurricane returns eight starters from 2012 but has little experience in goal after it lost goalkeeper Mark Pais to graduation.
Sophomore Cristian Mata led the team with 34 points, 14 goals and 34 and six assists during his first season in Tulsa. His older brother Omar, a senior for the Golden Hurricane, also tied for the team lead with a half dozen assists.
With the loss of Pais in net from last season Tulsa has turned to senior Cody Mumma, who has played in just two career contests, and freshman Brandon Hanat to guard the goal in the preseason.
The Last Meeting vs. Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. (Sept. 25, 2012) - The 14th-ranked Creighton men's soccer team fell to 5-3-1 on the season with a 2-0 loss at Tulsa on Tuesday.
The win lifted Tulsa to 6-3 on the year, while Creighton suffered its second consecutive loss in 2012. The last time the Jays lost back-to-back matches was in 2010 when the Jays fell to Bradley on Nov. 6 (L, 1-2) and Nov. 12 (L, 2-3).
Tulsa forward Cristian Mata's first goal came in the 56th minute as Bryce Follensbee sent a pass to Mata 10 yards in front of the goal. Mata was able to turn and punch in the shot for his seventh goal of the season. The Jays responded with an offensive push shortly thereafter, firing three shots from the 64th-66th minutes.
The Golden Hurricane took control at that point and finally Mata put the match away with his second goal of the game and eighth of the season in the 85th minute. This one came from 15 yards away, just skimming past the outstretched hands of Creighton keeper, Alex Bolowich.
The Bluejays outshot Tulsa 11-9 in the loss and held a 9-4 edge in corner kicks.
Tulsa's Pais recorded five saves in the win, moving his record to 6-3-0. Bolowich took the loss in goal for the Jays, registering three saves.
Scouting the Cal Poly Mustangs (0-0-0)
Cal Poly did not play in any exhibition matches after starting camp on Aug. 13. The Mustangs will have one game under their belt before arriving in Omaha. Cal Poly visits Drake on Aug. 30 to open the program’s 20th season at the Division I level.
The Mustangs were picked to finish third in the four-team Big West north division in the 2013 coaches poll but finished just four points behind rival UCSB for the top spot. Cal Poly finished 11-7-1 overall and 6-3-1 in the Big West in 2012. The Mustangs dropped a 2-0 contest to Cal State Northridge in the conference semifinals. The team returns seven starters from the 2012 campaign.
Cal Poly returns of three All-Big West Conference selections and eight starters from a 2012 squad that matched program records for overall (11) and conference victories (six). The Mustangs are 12-7-0 in Division I season openers and have won four of the previous seven road season openers.
Mustang senior forward Mackenzie Pridham, a member of the Hermann Trophy Watch List and the reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Year selection finished second last season among Big West players in goals (11) and points (23). Cal Poly senior midfielder Mike Hocker is the leading assist man returning this season with five helpers in 2012.
In goal, Cal Poly welcomes back 2012 All-Big West honorable mention selection Wade Hamilton, who finished second among conference players with a .800 save percentage, and a 1.10 goals against average as a true freshman.
The Last Meeting vs. Cal Poly
OMAHA, Neb. (Sept. 5, 2009) – The No. 6 Creighton men’s soccer team knocked off No. 23 Cal Poly, 1-0, Saturday night in front of 3,068 at Morrison Stadium. Seth Sinovic’s goal in the 81st minute proved to be the difference, as the Bluejays upped their mark to 1-0-1 on the season, dropping the Mustangs to 0-2-0.
In a defensive battle, it was a short corner kick that changed the match and gave the Jays the result. Kris Clark played Creighton’s sixth corner kick of the match short to Ethan Finlay to help set up the game’s lone tally. Finlay played the ball to Sinovic who blasted a shot from just beyond the top left corner of the 18-yard box for his third career game-winning score.
The Bluejays topped the Mustangs in shots, attempting 13 to Cal Poly’s eight, while both sides took six corner kicks in the tightly contested, top-25 match.
Cal Poly only knocked one shot attempt on goal in the match, as CU goalkeeper Brian Holt turned away Tim White’s shot in the 67th minute for his only save in the shutout.
When playing Cal Poly, Creighton will look to improve upon its 15-0-3 record against California-based schools in its last 18 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 2-1,2OT loss at Loyola Marymount.
Starting the Season Off Right
• Creighton is unbeaten in its last six season-opening matches, going 4-0-2 in those contests.
• Creighton has allowed one total goal to its last four 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. 6 Creighton to place second in the 2013 preseason poll the behind fellow 2012 College Cup participant, No. 3 Georgetown.
CU junior Eric Miller and sophomore Timo Pitter were also named to the preseason All‐BIG EAST Team.