Creighton, ranked No. 2 nationally by Soccer America, is the top seed at the 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, scheduled to begin Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Black Beauty Field in Evansville, Ind., with opening round matches. No. 22 Drake is the tournament’s second seed after claiming its highest regular-season finish since 1994. Creighton and Drake have earned byes into the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 14. Opening round matches will feature third seed Missouri State against Eastern Illinois, the No. 6 seed, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and host and No. 4 seed Evansville versus No. 5 seed Bradley in the 7:30 p.m. start.
The opening round and semifinal matches of the 2008 State Farm MVC Tournament will be available via web stream through the Missouri Valley Conference website. Bart McCune and Jason Troop will call the action from Evansville. The championship match will air live on Fox Sports Midwest at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16., with Sean Wheelock and Ty Keough calling the action.
This week’s Brine/MVC Players of the Week are Garrett Webb and Julien Edwards of Drake.
Brine/MVC Players of the Week
Garrett Webb, Drake
Jr., F, Prairie Villge, Kan.
Webb scored a career-high three goals in a 4-1 win over Evansville which gave Drake a 4-1 MVC record and a second-place finish, the highest regular-season finish in school history and had one assist in 3-1 win over Wisconsin. He has scored five of Drake’s 14 goals in conference games.
Julien Edwards, Drake
Jr., D, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Edwards anchored a defense that allowed two combined goals in wins over Wisconsin,3-1, and MVC opponent Evansville, 4-1, last week. Drake’s defense has allowed only five goals in conference play this season.
Other Notable Players
Jeff Thayer, Creighton
Scored twice in 5-3 win at Eastern Illinois.
Kenan Malicevic, Drake
Scored two goals in 3-1 win over Wisconsin, goal two assists v. UE
Alex Harrison, Eastern Illinois
Two goals and an assist v. Creighton
Seth Sinovic, Creighton
Goal, three assists
The results have been top-heavy at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, with the top two seeds taking the championship and the automatic berth into the NCAA Championship 16 times in 17 tournaments.
Host With(out) the Most
From 1991-94, MVC Tournament hosts reaped the rewards of the home field advantage, claiming the tournament title. Since then, no host has won the championship. The host has been the runner-up six times.
CLASS: EIU’s Gartner Named Finalist
Eastern Illinois men’s soccer player Adam Gartner has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, as announced by the award committee. Gartner is the first MVC soccer player to make the list of 10 finalists. The award is in its second season for men’s and women’s soccer. Fans can vote at www.seniorclassaward.com
BU...BACK TO EVANSVILLE
With the regular season in the books, Bradley will play in the opening round of the State Farm MVC Championship this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against tournament host Evansville. The tournament marks Bradley’s third trip to Evansville this season. In mid-September, the Braves posted a third place finish with a 1-1-0 record at the ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic. Earlier this month, the Braves pushed the host Purple Aces to overtime before falling 2-1 in Bradley’s final league match of the regular season.
The Braves will make their 13th all-time appearance in the conference tournament when they hit the pitch against Evansville this Wednesday. Bradley is 12-9-4 all-time in the event, as the 12 victories are second-most all-time behind league rival Creighton (27). The Braves have advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament in 10 consecutive trips and are 4-2-4 in tournament games since 2003. Bradley has met Creighton in the tournament title match in each of the last three seasons with the Bluejays claiming titles in 2005 and 2006 and the Braves
winning the crown last season.
Following the completion of Bradley’s 18-game regular season schedule, junior Chris Cutshaw led the Braves in scoring with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. Cutshaw’s nine goals is the most in a single season for a Bradley player since current assistant coach Preston Good netted 13 goals during his senior campaign in 2003. Seven different players have recorded goals this season, including multiple tallies from Cutshaw (9), Gaul (4), Justin Bigelow (2) and Christian Meza (2). Sophomore goalkeeper Drew Van Kampen has earned six victories in goal for the Braves this season, making 46 saves and posting a goals against average of 1.29 in 1,329-minutes, 24-seconds. True freshman Kyle Orne and sophomore Jim Schultz also saw action in net for Bradley this season.
Creighton claimed its third straight regular-season title this season by posting its second straight unbeaten MVC regular-season. The title is CU’s first out-right since the 2003 season, after sharing the last two titles with Bradley. The regular-season crown is CU’s ninth overall, adding to their MVC record. CU will aim to win the MVC tournament and regular-season for the sixth time in school history (1992-95, 2006).
CU...At the Tourney
The Bluejays enter the weekend with a 27-6-1 all-time MVC tournament record, the most tournament victories in league history. CU has won more tournament titles, 10, than all other MVC teams combined, earning its 10th with a 2-1 overtime victory at Bradley in 2006. The Jays have lost in the quarterfinals once, the semifinals three times, in the championship match three times and won the other 10 tournaments in which they’ve appeared. The Jays are the only team in league history with more than three tournament titles.
CU...Defense Wins Championships
The Bluejays have posted four shutouts in their last six MVC Tournament matches and have logged 13 shutouts in 34 Valley tourney games all-time. The Bluejays have a 0.83 goals against average in 3,246 minutes all-time in the MVC postseason.
With a 4-1-0 conference mark, Drake finished second in the MVC, its highest-ever conference finish since 1994 and highest finish under current Head Coach Sean Holmes.
DU...TRY AND KEEP UP
Drake has a conference-leading 14 goals in MVC action this season and is second in the league with five goals allowed.
Drake has set a new school record for victories in a season. With 14 wins in this campaign, the Bulldogs have already topped the previous win total of 11 set in 1987. This is the first season of double-digit victories since the 2003 squad reached the 10-win mark.
Eastern Illinois Panthers
EIU...Senior Day Full of Highs and Lows
Saturday’s home finale against No. 2 Creighton proved to be one of the wilder games in recent program history. The 5-3 loss was full of some highs and lows. On one hand, the Panthers scored their most goals against Creighton since their last win in the series, a 4-2 victory back in 1985. Eastern also managed to score three times against that nation’s top-ranked defensive team, which had only allowed four scores its first 14 contests. On the other hand, EIU surrendered five goals for the first time since a 2005 loss at Creighton. And the ultimate low point, the Panthers lost the game.
EIU...Searching for an Opening-Round Redux
With EIU drawing Missouri State in the tourney’s opening round Wednesday, the Panthers will be looking to duplicate their 2006 postseason win against the Bears in the 3-6 game. Brad Peters entered that game with nine goals, before scoring twice to finish his sophomore season with 11. The senior ended the regular season with nine goals this fall. Of EIU’s five Valley losses this year, the 1-0 overtime defeat at Missouri State was by far the closest contested game.
EIU...All the Way in MVC Play
Three Panthers Adam Gartner, Darby Kehoe and Brad Peters played all 456 minutes of Valley play this season. It marked the second year in a row that Peters went the distance against conference competition.
Evansville Purple Aces
Evansville will be hosting the State Farm MVC Men’s Soccer Tournament for the first time since 1997. The last time UE won the tournament was in 1996. Last year’s team reached the semifinal round for the first time since 1999.
The Aces’ first round match against Bradley on Wednesday comes only 10 days after the Aces beat the Braves 2-1 in overtime at UE’s Black Beauty Field. Evansville outshot Bradley 25-10, but the Aces couldn’t put away the Braves until the 97:52 mark, when Tom Irvin headed in the game-winner. That win ended an eight-match losing streak against the Braves.
UE...when he plays...
Leading scorer Mike Luttrull has now missed six matches with a hamstring injury. He is averaging two points per game, with nine goals and four assists for 22 points in 11 matches. With Luttrull in the lineup, the Aces are 8-3-0. Without him, they are 1-4-1.
Missouri State Bears
MSU...Last Minute heartbreak
The Bears played ninth ranked Tulsa through 89 scoreless minutes despite numerous scoring opportunities. In the final minute of the game Tulsa tapped in a corner kick after recovering the ball in front of the net. The loss dropped Missouri State to a final 6-9-4 mark on the season. Tulsa was the fourth game against an opponent ranked in the top ten and only the second loss.
MSU...Bears Secure Third Seed
Missouri State received the third seed in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament after Drake beat out the Bears for second with a victory of Evansville on Saturday (Nov. 8). Drake was led by senior forward Garrett Webb with three goals. The Bears will kick of tournament play on Wednesday (Nov. 12) against Eastern Illinois.
MSU...Bears FACE eiu
Missouri State will travel to Evansville, Ind., for the first round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament where they will face sixth seeded Eastern Illinois on Wednesday (Nov. 12). The Bears defeated the Panthers 1-0 in regular season play on Saturday Nov. 1 with an overtime goal by Nick Dryden. The Game will kick off in Evansville, Ind., at Black Beauty Stadium at 5 p.m.
Upcoming Video Streams On League Streaming Package
#3 Missouri State v. #6 Eastern Illinois 5 p.m.
#5 Bradley at #4 Evansville 7:30 p.m.
#1 Creighton v. Winner BU/UE..... TBD
#2 Drake v. Winner MSU/EIU TBD