The sixth-ranked Creighton men’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak in home openers to 16 (12-0-4) with a 3-0 victory over Drexel on Sunday night before 5,425 fans at Morrison Stadium. Creighton received goals from Andrew Ribeiro, Greg Jordan and Bruno Castro in the regular-season home debut of new head coach Elmar Bolowich.
Creighton improved to 3-0-0 with its third shutout in as many games. The Jays outshot the Drexel 15-2 on the night, with senior goalkeeper Brian Holt making two stops to extend his school and Valley record with his 29th career shutout.
Ribeiro scored in the 43rd minute to put the Bluejays ahead for good. The junior’s fourth career goal proved to be his first-game winner as his blast from long distance deflected high off of a Drexel defender, eluding Dragon goalkeeper Pentti Pussinen on the way down and into the net. The 2010 Missouri Valley Conference assist leader Dion Acoff, making his 2011 debut, was credited with an assist on the Ribeiro score.
Creighton led 1-0 despite controlling play and outshooting Drexel 6-1 in the first half. The Bluejays stepped up their attack after halftime, putting three of their first four shots on goal in the opening minutes of the second half, before finally breaking through with a Greg Jordan goal with an assist from Eric Miller in the 80th minute.
“I told the guys to take the chains off in the second half and to go for it,” said Bolowich after his first match at Morrison Stadium. “I thought we did that after halftime as we created numerous scoring chances before we scored that second goal, which proved to put the game out of reach. And what perfect execution on that goal, from Miller’s cross to Jordan’s finish.”
On CU’s second goal, the Bluejays capitalized off of a Drexel giveaway, as Miller took the ball wide and sent a perfect cross to the middle, where Jordan sent a diving header into the net with force for his first goal of the season.
Creighton didn’t let off the gas, as Bruno Castro added an insurance goal in the 90th minute. Castro put in a rebound after All-American Ethan Finlay’s shot attempt was saved by Pussinen. Finlay, who had earlier seen a beautifully executed bicycle kick shot turned away and also hit the cross bar with a blast, earned an assist on the score. The goal for Castro was his second in as many matches.
The Bluejays have now posted three consecutive shutouts to open the year in each of the last two seasons. Drexel (0-2-0) managed only two shots in the match, both making their way on goal. Holt turned away an early breakaway attempt in the eighth minute and then stopped what proved to be the final Dragon shot in the 47th minute.
The home crowd of 5,425 marked just the fourth time in school history more than 5,000 fans attended a men’s soccer match. The crowd ranks as the fourth-largest in school history, and the third largest in regular-season action. The fans also made up the highest attended Bluejay home win in school history, topping the 4,407 who saw the Jays beat Saint Louis on Aug. 31, 1997.
Creighton will look to keep its unbeaten and unscored-upon record going when it plays host to Fordham on Friday at 7 pm.