Weekly Men's Soccer Notebook (Sept. 22)
A road-heavy weekend produced four Valley wins, including Creighton’s shutout wins over No. 6 California and Stanford. Drake also downed Stanford, 2-1, on an own goal in the 90th minute of play after a long goal kick found its way into the net. Bradley scored with 17 seconds remaining to notch its second road win of the season over Xavier. This week, Missouri State travels to No. 5 Saint Louis in the non-conference headliner on Sept. 27.
This week’s Brine/MVC Players of the Week are Jeff Thayer and Chris Schuler of Creighton.
Brine / Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week
Jeff Thayer, Creighton, Jr., F, Omaha, Neb. (Millard West)
Jeff Thayer continued his team-leading play on offense last weekend, sparking the Bluejays to two big road wins at Pac-10 venues. The junior set up Creighton’s lone goal in a win at Stanford last Friday, as it was his sliding effort for a ball in the box that took the Cardinal keeper off his line and freed up the goal for Ethan Finlay. Thayer was credited with an assist on the game-winner. The forward then padded CU’s lead against sixth-ranked California on Sunday, as his team-best third goal of the year came in the 47th minute and gave the Jays the 2-0 lead they would hold on to for the top-25 victory. On the year, Thayer leads the team with nine points and is tied for the team-lead with three goals and three assists.
Brine / Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week
Chris Schuler, Creighton, Jr., D, Aurora, Ill. (Waubonsie Valley/Indiana)
Chris Schuler anchored Creighton’s defense in two impressive, road, shutout victories last weekend. Schuler’s impact was noticeable against Stanford Friday night in a 1-0 Bluejay win, as his size and positioning allowed him to clear countless balls in the air and keep the Cardinal from mounting any true scoring opportunities. His dominance continued against sixth-ranked Cal on Sunday. The Bears had out-scored their opposition 13-3 on the season and had not dropped a match prior to meeting up with the Jays. Schuler’s outstanding play from his left back position again kept the Bears from getting on the scoreboard and helped the Jays post their fourth shutout in six matches this year.
Other Notable Players
Chris Cutshaw, Bradley, Forward
GW goal at Xavier w/ 17 seconds remaining
Evan Harrison, Drake, Forward
Scored first collegiate goal at Stanford
Brad Peters, Eastern Illinois, Forward
5th career multi-goal game vs. Central Arkansas
Alex Harrison, Eastern Illinois, Forward
Goal and assist vs. Central Arkansas
Calvin Clark, Drake, Defender
Helped Drake split v. Cal and Stanford
Adam Gartner, Eastern Illinois, Midfielder
Moved to center back, played 90 min. in shutout win
Every Missouri Valley Conference side has put itself to the test, putting together challenging schedules from start to finish. As of Sept. 22, each school’s combined record of opponents is better than .500. Conference teams have combined for a 26-11-5 record.
||Opp. W-L-T (Pct.)|
MVC...Back in the top 10
Creighton’s wins at Stanford and No. 6 California over the weekend propelled the Bluejays to No. 8 in the latest Soccer America top 25 poll. Drake remained in the SA poll at No. 21.
BU...CUTSHAW COMES THROUGH
Junior forward Chris Cutshaw netted the gamewinning goal Friday night with just 17 seconds remaining in regulation, giving Bradley a 2-1 win. Freshman Bryan Gaul set up the goal, sending a deep pass near the top of the box where Cutshaw deflected the bouncing ball past Xavier goalkeeper Adam Sokolowski.
BU...DEFENSE IN RARE COMPANY
Sophomore goalkeeper Drew Van Kampen and the Bradley defense have allowed just four goals through the season’s first seven games, tying for the best defensive start in program history. In 2005, Bradley started 5-2-0, allowing only four
goals through the first seven games, recording five shutouts along the way. That same year, the Braves posted a school-record 11 shutouts.
BU...FIVE OF NEXT SIX AT SHEA
After going 2-1-0 on its season-long three-game road trip, the Braves will return to Shea Stadium on Saturday to begin a season-long three-game homestand. The Braves will host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, followed by the Country Inn & Suites Homecoming Classic Oct. 3-4. In the homecoming tournament opener on Oct. 3, Bradley will host Alabama A&M, followed by a contest versus Howard the following night. The string of three consecutive home games is the longest stretch at Shea Stadium since a 2-2-0 run during a four-game homestand in September of last season.
CU...Battling the Best
Creighton took on its first ranked opponent of the year at sixth-ranked Cal last Sunday, with the Jays prevailing 2-0 over the Bears. CU is now 5-0-1 in its last six matches against the top 25 dating back to the 2006 season. The Jays also improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine true road games against the NSCAA top 25 and are 21-15-6 all-time in road games against ranked opponents.
CU...Saving the Day
Redshirt freshman Brian Holt proved himself ready to take on his first ranked opponent last Sunday at No. 6 Cal. The rookie goalkeeper made a career-high eight saves against the Bears in CU’s 2-0 victory. Prior to that match, Holt had made nine saves total through his first five matches of the season. He has now posted four shutouts through six games and owns a 0.33 goals against average.
CU...Defense Does It
Creighton has allowed just two goals through its first six matches this year for a league-leading 0.33 goals against average. The two goals allowed through six games is the fewest surrendered by a Bluejay squad since the 1999 team started the season with four straight shutouts before giving up one goal each in its next two games. That 1999 team tied the school record with 11 shutouts and established the school mark with a 0.47 goals against average.
Drake welcomed the return of sophomore goalkeeper Michael Drozd back to the starting lineup against Stanford Sunday. He had to sit out the Bulldogs’ contest against No. 3 California Friday after receiving a card in Drake’s previous outing against Green Bay Sept. 14.
Drozd matched a career high by recording seven saves including a penalty kick in the first half. Drozd entered the match with five consecutive shutouts this season. He has allowed only one goal in 559 minutes this season.
When the Drake men’s soccer team plays at Oral Roberts this Friday Sept. 26 it will mark the 300th college career match that Drake head coach Sean Holmes has coached in.
Drake’s rise to the national rankings is even more impressive considering that the Bulldogs have eight native Iowans on their team. Drake fields the only Division I program in the state of Iowa.
EIU...Peters Pops Up in Top 10
Brad Peters scored a pair of second-half goals in the victory against Central Arkansas Saturday, increasing his MVC career-leading total to 27 and posting his fifth career multi-goal game. The senior also moved into 10th place on the EIU all-time list. Jimmy Klatter, in 2005, was the last player to crack the career leaderboard in goals.
EIU...Gartner’s Great Week
Adam Gartner enjoyed a notable week. Off the field, he was announced as one of 30 candidates nationally for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award for his all-around excellence as a student-athlete. On the field, he started his 50th consecutive match in the victory against Central Arkansas. With defender Chris Pearson sidelined by a minor injury, Gartner moved from midfielder to center back and went the distance for the sixth time this season in the shutout. Eastern surrendered only two shots on goal in the win.
EIU...Five Goals at Home
The Panthers erupted for five goals in their first-ever meeting with Central Arkansas Saturday. An 8-0 victory against Illinois-Chicago in 2002 marked the last time an EIU team scored five goals in a game at Lakeside Field. The Panthers had scored five times in a game on three occasions since then but all three big efforts had come on the road, including at IPFW earlier this month. Five different EIU players recorded an assist in the UCA win.
Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Cal Poly was just the second time that Evansville has been shut out since the start of the 2007 season. The Aces are averaging two goals per game this season, with 14 in seven matches. Sophomore forward Mike Luttrull has six of the 14 goals, and ranked seventh nationally in goals last week.
UE...Kick it For the Cure
Real Men Wear Pink.’ That’s the theme of this Friday’s University of Evansville men’s soccer match against Centenary. The Aces will wear pink uniforms in the Kick It For The Cure’ match benefiting the Greater Evansville Susan G. Komen Foundation. The pink uniforms will be auctioned after the game, along with autographed items from colleges, pro soccer clubs and the US National Team. The mother of UE coach Mike Jacobs is a six-year survivor of breast cancer.
If the Aces win Friday, they would be 6-2-0. The last time UE had six victories that early in the season was 1996, when the Aces got off to a 7-1 start on their way to winning the MVC Tournament and playing in the NCAAs.
MSU...Hennessy Secures Tie
Ryan Hennessy chipped a shot over the leaping Valparaiso goalkeeper to open the scoring on Friday night (Sept. 19). Hennessy’s goal proved to be just enough to secure the tie for Bears.
The Bears entered overtime for the fourth time this season on Friday when they faced Valparaiso on Friday (Sept. 19) at Plaster Field in Springfield, Mo. The Bears have entered overtime four times in seven games this season. Three of the four have gone into double overtime.
MSU...Bears Settle for Third Tie
The Missouri State Bears Opened the scoring 11 minutes into the game when Ryan Hennessy chipped a shot over the leaping Valparaiso goalkeeper. The Bears held the Valparaiso Crusaders scoreless despite an aggressive offensive attack by the Crusaders. The Bears broke down defensively with three minutes to go in the game. The Crusaders were able to capitalize on a loose ball inside the box and squeak a goal inside the left post just out of reach of Bears’ goalkeeper Alex Riggs. The Bears and Crusaders battled through two overtime periods but the defenses prevailed forcing a 1-1 tie in double overtime. The Bears’ record is now 1-3-3.