The 20th-ranked Creighton men’s soccer team used a pair of first-half goals to defeat South Florida, 2-1, on Monday night at the Corbett Soccer Stadium.
The Bluejays improved to 2-1-1, while the Bulls fell to 0-4-0.
Creighton jumped out to a 1-0 lead during the fourth minute with a goal from a penalty kick. Luke Haakenson ran past the South Florida defense and drew a foul in the left side of the box to set up the opportunity. Kuba Polat converted the penalty kick to give the Bluejays an early advantage. The goal marked Polat’s first of the 2018 season and second of his Creighton career.
The Bluejays added to their lead during the 19th minute. Akeem Ward sent a pass down the left flank to Joel Rydstrand who sent the ball back to Ward at the edge of the 18-yard box. Ward recovered the ball and slotted it through the legs of the USF goalkeeper to extend Creighton’s first-half lead to 2-0.
Both sides fired six shots during the first half as the Bluejays held a two-goal edge in the scoring column at the break.
South Florida trimmed Creighton’s lead to one goal during the 65th minute. The Bulls’ Tomasz Skublak out ran a Creighton defender before chipping the ball over Paul Kruse.
The Bluejays had their best opportunity to regain a two-goal lead during the 76th minute. Younes Boudadi raced into the right side of the 18-yard box before sending a shot on goal that resulted in a South Florida save. Moments later, Boudadi sent a corner kick in towards the center of the box where a Bluejay header went high above the cross bar.
The host Bulls launched two corner kicks during the closing moments of the contest, but neither opportunity resulted in the equalizer.
The Bluejays and Bulls each fired four shots on goal during Monday’s match, while Creighton ended the night with a 14-11 edge in overall shot attempts.
Kruse recorded two saves, each during the first half, as the freshman tallied his second victory as a Bluejay.
Monday’s match ended Creighton’s weekend road trip, as the Bluejays fell 1-0 to Grand Canyon on Friday night in Phoenix.
Creighton returns to action on Friday night for Socctoberfest as the Bluejays host Memphis at 7:30 p.m. at Morrison Stadium. The Tigers are coached by Creighton Athletics Hall of Famer Richard Mulrooney.