Men’s soccer looks to move past Big East semifinal loss and direct kicks toward NCAAs

Despite claiming the Big East regular-season championship, the Creighton men’s soccer team played in only one game at the 2014 Big East Men’s Soccer Championship. The Jays were the No. 1 seed and automatically earned a spot in the semifinal round.

Creighton traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday for the Big East Championships.

The Jays faced the Providence Friars in the semifinals on Friday. On Nov. 7, Creighton defeated Providence 3-0 to claim the regular-season crown, but this weekend was a different story.

Neither team pushed across a goal in the opening 45, but Providence slipped a goal past Connor Sparrow late in the second half.

The lone goal was all the Friars needed to advance to championship game on Sunday.

On Monday, the NCAA Men’s Soccer Committee selected Creighton as the No. 12 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

The Jays were one of three Big East schools to earn a first-round bye.

Multiple teams encompassing Creighton Athletics have advanced to the NCAA Tournament over the past three decades.

 

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Jays complete Big East season with title

 

The Creighton men’s soccer team shutout the Providence Friars 3-0 on Friday night to secure its first Big East regular-season championship in program history.

The title was also Creighton’s second overall. The other championship was claimed by the baseball team last spring.

With the crown, the Jays earned the No. 1 seed in the Big East Men’s Soccer Championship. They also clinched a bye into the semifinals.

Creighton opened Big East play with a 1-0 win at Villanova on Sept. 27.

The Bluejays added three one-goal victories to their name during a week and a half time period before a 1-1 draw against Xavier.

The Jays were on the losing end of a 1-0 match against Georgetown on Oct. 25 at Morrison Stadium, but finished with three victories to end the regular season.

Fabian Herbers, Timo Pitter, Ricardo Perez and Lucas Stauffer each tallied three goals during conference play to lead Creighton.

Pitter led the Jays with 37 shots in nine games. Overall, Creighton maintained a theme of offense dominance throughout the season, holding a substantial advantage in shots. During the conference schedule, the Jays out-shot Big East foes 136-64. Much of the team’s offensive success was because of its pressing style of offense. The Jays did a good job of making opponents play their style for the full 90 minutes of action.

Creighton travels to Chester, Pa. this week to square-off against Providence or Villanova on Friday evening in the semifinals of the Big East Championships.

Last season, the Jays were defeated in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championships by Providence, but still earned a spot as an at-large in the NCAA tournament.

Creighton is two wins away from the school’s first Big East Tournament Championship and an automatic birth in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

 

 

Women’s soccer ends season on high note after slumping through Big East

Creighton soccerThe Creighton women’s soccer team defeated Xavier on Friday, to close the 2014 season with a win. Friday’s victory was only the Jays’ second Big East conference win of the season.  Following an 8-1 showing in the nonconference portion of the schedule, Creighton shut the door on the season with a 2-5-2 Big East record.

The Bluejays finished in eighth place in the conference with eight points.

The Jays started off the conference slate with a 7-2 loss at Marquette. Creighton knew it would need a better defensive showing in order to compete in the league.

Creighton was shutout in its conference home-opener, but senior Addison Nokels had a game-winner in the second overtime against Providence on Oct. 2 at Morrison Stadium, giving the Jays a glimmer of hope after two rough defeats.

Creighton hosted five of its nine Big East opponents, but the result against Providence was the only victory on the pitch inside Morrison Stadium.

After a 1-1 draw against Seton Hall, the Jays were shutout in three consecutive matches, including twice against ranked foes.

Creighton and Butler played to a 1-1 tie on Oct. 25, before the Jays ended the season against Xavier.

CU was outscored 16-7 in nine conference games.

The Bluejays’ opponents held only a 120-108 shot advantage, but more than half of the conference-counterpart’s shots were directed towards the Bluejay net (.542), compared to only 40.7 percent of the Jays shots.

Sophomores Lauren Sullivan and Ylenia Sachau led the Jays with two goals each during conference play to pace the Jays.

Sophomore Danielle Rice controlled the net in all nine conference games. The Westlake, Texas native had 49 saves.

Losing one doesn’t mean losing hope

Morrison Sunset
All is calm before the start of Friday’s women’s soccer match at Morrison Stadium.

After soaring to 12 wins and one draw through the first four weeks of the season, the men’s and women’s soccer teams were the talk of campus. Both teams unbeaten status’ came to an abrupt stop over the span of two days.  This weekend, the Bluejays played three games in Omaha and came away with one win and two losses.

On Friday, the women’s soccer team lost 2-0 to UMKC at Morrison stadium.

On Saturday, during the Jays’ Homecoming match, the men’s soccer team fell 1-0 in overtime to Saint Louis.

The women’s team picked up the lone win of the weekend on Sunday, 2-1 in overtime, as the visiting team on the scoreboard against UNO.

The pair of setbacks simply mean neither team will finish unbeaten, but it doesn’t signify an end of hope for a successful season. The squads now know what losing feels like and can’t let it get the best of them.

With the season nearing the halfway point, both programs are about to begin their conference schedules.

Neither team looked sharp through its first Big East conference season a year ago. The men’s team was forced to make long road trips to the east coast that required three and sometimes four days away from the Midwest. The Jays finished 1-3-1 on the road during Big East play.

The women’s team suffered through the nine-game conference schedule with only two victories.

This season, the men’s schedule favors the boys in blue, so they must take advantage of the friendly agenda in order to fight for the program’s first Big East title.

The women’s squad looks stronger than a season ago, but has to keep its intensity level high through each game to have chance to even make the Big East postseason tournament.

Despite the two losses during Alumni weekend, the Jays are destined to do big things for the rest of the season if they can continue to play complete games, move past each loss and focus on improving each time they step on the pitch.