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.

Promoting the Bluejays

This week’s blog features a Q & A with Creighton assistant sports information director Glen Sisk. Sisk serves as the primary contact for the Jays women’s soccer team. He provides game notes, takes stats and writes press releases, all while serving as the connection between the athletes and coaches and the media. Because Sisk does most of his work in the office and the press box, many people don’t even know his position exists. His job is actually one of the most important for the Creighton women’s soccer team. Without his insight, fans and the media would have to guess about stats and other information pertaining to the team.  My hope is that through this post you will gain a greater knowledge and appreciation of Sisk’s job as the primary contact for the women’s soccer team.

Jara
Junior Alyssa Jara attempts a shot during a match against New Mexico State.

Q: How does your perspective of the team differ from a journalist?

A: Part of my job is to put forth the most positive spin that I can for the team. As a journalist I would be somewhat objective and try to look for the best story. In sports information, what we do is try to create the most positive story that we can; and consistently putting out information to facilitate a better story for our program.

Q: What are your main goals as the contact for soccer?

A: The main goal, first and foremost, is to increase publicity; that is the one thing you consistently try to do. You realize that we’re not going to get the coverage that baseball gets, let alone men’s basketball gets, but we try to get it out so people will use it. For example, I know that Marje Ducey is the contact from the World-Herald, and if I get her the notes a day to two days ahead of time she’s more likely to use them. Whereas if I put more time into them they may be better notes, but not used. So what’s the point?

Q: How is soccer different from any other sport you handle?

A: First and foremost, it was the sport that I had the least knowledge about when I got here. I certainly worked a soccer game or two at my former school, but it’s never something I was a direct contact for, and it’s not a sport I watched. I barely watched the World Cup for that point. But it also differs because of interest. In the United States, in the area, women’s soccer is not one that has a high interest. Finally, we haven’t been successful over the last couple of years. Those are all challenges when you’re trying to draw up interest and you’re trying to do everything you can to get coverage.

Q: What are the most challenging aspects of your position?

A: First and foremost, it’s trying to get people interested internally; that’s maybe the first challenge. You have to be interested in the game and part of that is connecting with your athletes and then getting the rest of the department to believe. When you have a 3-13-3 season, as they did two years ago, it hurts much more than that season. It hurts the morale of the athletic department; it hurts their overall view. And then last year we started off 2-1-1 in Big East play and dropped our last five; that just reinforced the 3-13-3. So they need to have some success this year because there’s only so much I can do if their not having success, and also I need to maintain a positive spin as much as possible; which can be challenging for myself as well.

Below is a glimpse of a new method of player promotion called “Bluejay Spotlight.”