Creighton men’s soccer senior midfielder Joel Rydstrand claimed a spot on the 2018 Preseason All-BIG EAST team, while the Bluejays tied for fourth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Rydstrand is one of two returning players to start all 18 matches during Creighton’s 2017 season. The Almunge, Sweden native, led the Bluejays with eight assists during 2017 and owns 18 career helpers during 64 matches played (63 starts) in three seasons at Creighton. The Bluejays went 5-2-1 during matches in which Rydstrand posted an assist last year. The senior also scored one goal last season and claims a total of seven during his career.
Rydstrand, a 2018 co-captain, earned BIG EAST All-Freshman team honors in 2015 and claimed Creighton’s Young Leadership Award for 2017.
Creighton earned 54 points in the preseason coaches’ poll to place fourth. The Bluejays went 3-4-2 during BIG EAST play last season to tie for fifth place before bowing out of the postseason during the first round of the BIG EAST Championship. The squad returns six starters and a total of 13 letterwinners from a season ago and welcomes 16 newcomers for the 2018 campaign.
Defending BIG EAST tournament champion Georgetown claimed the top spot with 79 points, including seven first-place votes. Butler, the 2017 regular-season champion, tallied three first-place votes and a total of 73 points to place second. Xavier totaled 60 points for third, followed by Creighton and Providence with 54 points a piece to tie for fourth. Marquette (37), St. John’s (33), Villanova (31), Seton Hall (20) and DePaul (9) rounded out the poll.
Creighton continues its preseason schedule with an exhibition match tonight at Ohio State (6 p.m. Central), and will host Northern Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m. for its final exhibition match.
The Bluejays open regular-season play on Aug. 24 at home against No. 11 Clemson at 7 p.m. Creighton is scheduled to host 10 regular-season matches, including five BIG EAST contests.