Three time reigning Missouri Valley Conference regular season champion Creighton is the preseason pick by league coaches to win the Valley title. Seniors Chris Schuler, Seth Sinovic and Jeff Thayer are on the preseason all-MVC team.
The Bluejays received four of six first-place votes. Creighton has not lost a regular-season MVC match since 2006, posting a 4-0-2 league mark in 2007 followed by a 4-0-1 Valley record last fall. The Bluejays have won at least a share of the MVC regular season title in each of the past three seasons and finished no lower than second in the past seven years. Creighton, which owns the MVC record with nine regular-season championships, totalled 34 points in the preseason coaches poll.
Fifth-year seniors Schuler and Sinovic anchor one of the top defenses in the NCAA. The pair of co-captains helped the Jays log a school record 13 shutouts last year, leading the Jays to an NCAA-best .650 shutout percentage. CU’s 0.48 goals against average last year ranked second in the NCAA. All-American and 2008 MVC Defensive Player of the Year Schuler and all-MVC and all-region pick Sinovic are joined by fellow fifth-year senior Byron Dacy as members of the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the award given annually to college soccer’s top player.
Thayer, a first-team all-MVC pick and second-team all-region honoree last year, has started 44 of the 60 matches he has played in during his career. The forward had career-highs with five goals, six assists and 16 points last year.
One year removed from a 16-2-2 record and a run to the quarterfinals of their 17th straight NCAA Tournament, the Creighton men’s soccer team is ranked as high as No. 2 in national preseason polls.
The Bluejays open the 2009 season with an exhibition match against the Red Fury All-Stars on Saturday night. The contest at Morrison Stadium kicks off at 7 p.m. The regular-season opener for the Jays is Tuesday, Sept. 1 at home against Loyola (Ill.). Contact the Creighton athletic ticket office at (402) 280-JAYS for information on season tickets for the 2009 campaign.
2009 MVC Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Creighton (4) 34
2. Drake (1) 27
3. Evansville 23
4. Missouri State (1) 18
5. Bradley 15
6. Eastern Illinois 9
(First place votes in parentheses)
Story courtesy of CU athletics.