The first preseason national poll for the 2013 men’s soccer season is out and College Soccer News ranks Creighton fourth in the country. In addition, the organization named CU junior Eric Miller to its 2013 Preseason All-America Second Team as a defender.
Creighton finished last year with a 17-4-3 record, the nation’s No. 6 NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) mark, and a No. 4 national ranking from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after competing in its second consecutive College Cup as the No. 12 national seed in December. Third-year head coach Elmar Bolowich leads the Jays in their quest for the program’s 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 22 seasons in August.
Last season College Soccer News ranked Creighton at No. 14 in its preseason poll. The Jays steadily improved that ranking before finishing fourth in the year-end poll. The top six teams in the 2013 CSN preseason poll remain in the same order as the organization’s final poll of last season including all four 2012 College Cup participants.
Miller was one of 21 players selected to play for the United States Under-20 National Team at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, marking the sixth time he has earned an opportunity to play for the U.S. National Team internationally.
The Woodbury, Minn. native started 19 matches for the Bluejays in 2012, logging 1,596 minutes. Miller collected three points on one goal and one assist last season. For his career he has one goal, three assists in 43 matches. He has started 42 matches in two seasons with the Jays while playing 3,638 minutes.
Last season he claimed All-First Team and All-Tournament Team honors from the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) on the field. Miller also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District VII First Team and MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team recognition for his work in the classroom.
The fourth-ranked Bluejays are one of five BIG EAST programs ranked among the top 30 by CSN in the 2013 preseason poll. The other conference schools in the poll include No. 2 Georgetown, No. 8 Marquette, No. 21 St. John’s and No. 22 Xavier.
In addition to the four contests against ranked BIG EAST foes, Creighton’s schedule involves four regular-season non-conference matches against teams ranked in CSN’s top 30, including No. 10 Saint Louis, No. 15 Tulsa, No. 25 Michigan State and No. 28 Michigan. The Jays will also battle No. 11 Notre Dame in an exhibition match prior to the season.
Creighton opens its 2013 campaign Aug. 15 with the Blue-White Scrimmage slated for 6 p.m. CT at Morrison Stadium.