Bluejays headed to Sweet 16 of Men’s Soccer NCAA tournament

The Creighton men’s soccer team defeated the Oregon State Beavers 1-0 Sunday afternoon to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.

With two more victories, the Jays will qualify for the College Cup for the third time in four seasons.

Last season was the only year under the direction of coach Elmar Bolowich that Creighton did not advance past its first game in the NCAA tournament. The Bluejays were defeated 2-1 by Seattle University in the first round of the 2013 NCAA tournament on a snowy evening at Morrison Stadium.

The Bluejays will host Big East foe Xavier in the third round on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Creighton and Xavier played to a 1-1 draw in Cincinnati, Ohio on Oct. 18.

The Bluejays are 11-2-0 at home this season and own a 12-2-0 record all-time at Morrison Stadium in the NCAA tournament.

This is Creighton’s 10th appearance in the third round of the NCAA tournament since 2000.

In Sunday’s match, freshman Lucas Stauffer scored during the 50th minute to put Creighton ahead. Stauffer’s goal was his fourth of the season and his third game-winner.

The Owensboro, Kentucky native has 30 shots and 17 shots on goal to lead the Jays in shots-on-goal percentage (.567).

Georgetown and Providence also won Sunday to give the Big East Conference a perfect 4-0 record in the second round.

Creighton was not ranked in the pre-season, but was voted as high as No. 2 in the NSCAA poll and No. 1 in the College Soccer News Top 30 during the regular season and now stands as one of the remaining 16 teams still playing.

Sights around Morrison Stadium

A statue of Creighton’s mascot, Billy Bluejay, guards Morrison Stadium. Based on tradition, students rub Billy’s beak for good luck before each game.

Billy statue

 

The Bluejay women’s soccer team lines up near midfield with a group of future Bluejays. As part of the annual Pink Out game, local youth soccer players were provided with the opportunity to stand with the Jays during the National Anthem.

 

Starting lineup

 

The crowd at Morrison Stadium erupts in applause as the Creighton starting lineup is announced before the Pink Out game against the Villanova Wildcats on Oct. 16. The Wildcats defeated the Jays 2-0.

Morrison crowd

The soccer ball sits at the northwest corner of the field prior to a Creighton corner kick. The men’s soccer team has attempted 86 corner kicks through 15 games, while the women’s team has attempted 69 through 17 games.

Corner kick

 

Women’s coach Bruce Erickson (at right) observes the action on the pitch. The 2014 season is Erickson’s 16th year at Creighton.

 

Coach Erickson

 

The trophy room hosts a pair of NCAA semifinalist trophies. The Creighton men’s soccer team reached the College Cup in 2011 and 2012. With a 12-2-2 record, the Jays are poised to make a deep postseason run and a possible return to the national semifinals this season.

Trophy