Paul Kruse kicks off

Junior goalkeeper Paul Kruse kicked from the goalie box in the Bluejays win over Akron in the 2019 Socctoberfest game. Kruse and his teammates start the season on Saturday.

It has been 468 days since the Creighton men’s soccer team last took the field following the Big East’s postponement of fall sports to the spring.

While that long of a layoff creates several changes and challenges, it’s business as usual for the Jays, even if the timing of the season is different.

This season’s move created a unique set of challenges for coach Johnny Torres as he tries to get his team ready.

“Training this early in the new year creates weather issues. But we are lucky enough to have the Rasmussen facility that allows us to train indoors and still get reps,” Torres said.

These reps have only helped the team get ready as they try to live up to the high expectations they’ve set for themselves.

One of those high expectations is placed on junior goalkeeper Paul Kruse, who was recently named the preseason big east co-goalkeeper of the year, for the second year in a row.

“It’s a huge honor, but it is not just an honor for me. It displays the hard work the whole [goalkeeping] group has put in, starting from the top with coach [Mike] Gabb,” Kruse said.

Over the 2019 season Kruse had 42 saves in his 10 games started. One of those games included a career-high nine saves against Georgetown late in the year.

It is this unselfishness that has come to define Creighton soccer and has allowed them to dream big.

“All the guys are on the same page. We each just want to make each other better and try to compete for a championship,” Kruse said.

But first things first, the Jays plan to take it game by game as they return to the pitch.

“I am excited to see all the hard work we have put in to translate to actual on-the-field gameplay,” Torres said.

Although Torres later admitted that’s not what he is most excited for after the 468 days off from competition.

“I am just excited to see us play someone besides ourselves,” he said with a smile.

He and his team travel to Marquette this Saturday to open the season.

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