Freshman Jose Ribas scored his first career goal to help 2nd ranked Creighton beat Missouri State 1-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship match Sunday afternoon at Morrison Stadium. The top defense in the NCAA logged its seventh straight shutout to deliver Creighton its 12th MVC tournament crown.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Holt stopped two shots and kept his backline organized as the Bluejays posted their 16th shutout of the year. Holt was named MVC Tournament MVP for his efforts and he was joined by senior defender Andrew Duran, senior forward Ethan Finlay and sophomore defender Tyler Polak on the all-tournament team.
Ribas scored the game’s lone goal in the 38th minute, taking a feed from Kris Clark and creating enough space for himself to launch a shot, despite being surrounded by Missouri State (9-8-2) defenders. His blast found the side netting for his first career score and it held up for the Bluejays, keeping them a perfect 11-0-0 at home this season.
As it has done all year long, Creighton dominated possession in the victory, outshooting the Bears 9-3 in the first half and finishing with a 16-5 advantage on shots. Holt stopped one shot in each half, including a soft header by Cole Alexander in the 86th minute, which proved to be the only threat by the visitors in the second half.
The win was a record-setting one for Holt in goal, as he logged his 54th career victory to pass Jay Fitzgerald for the most wins in school history. The clean sheet was his 14th solo shutout of the year and the 41st of his career. Holt joined Fitzgerald (1994) as just the second goalkeeper in CU history to win tournament MVP honors.
The Bluejays, who entered the MVC tournament with the No. 1 RPI in the nation, will host an NCAA selection show party for fans and media on Monday afternoon. The 48-team NCAA bracket will be announced at 3:30 pm on NCAA.com. The Bluejays will be making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 20 years.