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.

Inside Morrison Stadium for Bluejay practice and preparation

Jays Practice
A few of the Jays gather near the west sideline.

This week’s Creighton soccer update includes an event-blog of the Creighton men’s soccer practice held on Thursday, Oct. 9.

 

3:50: The Jays enter the field wearing all-blue jersey tops, black shorts and black socks. Some are wearing short sleeves, while others are sporting long sleeves. The goalies feature black outfits.

3:53: The Bluejays form four lines along the east side of the field to begin warm-ups, while coaches finish preparing the field. The three Bluejay goalies go through their own warm-up routine.

4:02: The athletes continue with partner exercises.

4:03: Myles Englis and Sean Kim work on some light ball skills along the west sideline. Both Englis and Kim attempt to make the most of their time out of the actual practice setting.

4:06: The warm-ups move from basic calisthenics to core exercises including planks and front falls.

4:11: The Jays are split into four groups of four for a passing drill. Two groups are near the north goal while the others are near the south end.

4:14: The two ends of the field participate in four-on-four drills. High-intensity offense versus defense. There is also an extra player on both ends that wears a different colored penny and plays offense the entire time.

4:17: Fabian Herbers slips a goal past assistant coach Justin Hughes for the first score by the team wearing pennies on the north-end.

4:23: Two of the foursomes switch ends of the field to present new match-ups.

4:24: The new team on the north end scores three quick goals. Mike Paye yells, “That’s too easy,” as the second goal slips past goalie Alex Bolowich.

4:31: The final match-up between the groups starts. It appears they are keeping track of wins and losses, because assistant coach Johnny Torres yells that one of the teams is 1-1.

4:38: The losing team on the north end in the final match-up is forced to move one of the extra goals off the field.

4:42: Coach Bolowich splits the team into two teams to play 10-against-10 on three-quarters of the field.

4:46: Coach Bolowich stops the action to offer advice on how to handle a particular situation.

4:48: Herbers gets past the defense on the right side and fires a pass towards the left-side of the box, but Ricardo Perez misses a header by a matter of feet. He nearly finished the impressive play with a diving header directed at Bolowich.

4:51: After the sun had been non-existent, the east half of the field becomes sun-covered as the big ball of gas makes an appearance.

4:57: The Jays take a short break for water. Some of the guys are stretching out to make sure they’re nice and loose for the remainder of the session.

5:03: After play resumes, Jose Ribas sends a pass across the box from the left side, but Lucas Stauffer is unable to handle it. Neither squad has scored a goal. In a way that is good, but in another way it could seem like a negative.

5:07: The 10-against-10 scrimmage concludes and the Jays move on to practice penalty kicks. Maybe a goal will be scored during this, because there wasn’t one during the last half hour of practice.

5:13: The Jays conclude practice. Following the workout, coach Bolowich said that he wished practice had gone more efficiently.

“I think it was not the right focus,” Bolowich said, “so I wish it would have gone a little smoother; a little better; a little quicker, but you have days like that where some are better and some are not as great.”