Despite a 21-9 edge in shots, the Creighton men’s soccer team saw its bid for a repeat title stopped on Friday night with a 3-1 loss at tournament host Drake in semifinal round action of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
MVC Player of the Year Garrett Webb scored twice for the Bulldogs, who improved to 12-6-2. Creighton saw its record drop to 7-4-5, though the Jays suffered just their second loss in the past 11 games.
Webb opened the scoring with a header at the 39:34 mark off a feed from Nick Foster, his 10th tally of the season.
Creighton would tie the score just 37 seconds before intermission when Ethan Finlay stole a pass and found the back of the net. It was Finlay’s team-best eighth goal of the season.
Drake’s Luke Gorczyka scored what would turn out to be the game-winner in the 49th minute with a header of his own. Webb then tacked on an insurance goal in the 64th minute. It was the second time in less than a week that Webb had scored twice against a Creighton defense that ranked among the top-15 nationally in nearly every category.
Creighton peppered Drake goalie Michael Drozd, out-shooting DU 11-6 in the first half and 10-3 after the break, but Drozd proved up to the task while making 10 stops.
Drake will meet Evansville in Sunday’s title game, as the Purple Aces beat regular-season champion Missouri State 2-1 in overtime in the first semifinal Friday.
The field for the 48-team NCAA Tournament will be announced on Monday, as Creighton will hope to extend its consecutive appearance streak with an at-large bid. CU has appeared in the last 17 NCAA Tournament, one of only four teams to boast that feat.
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