Omaha, NE - Nov. 2, 2021 - The men’s soccer team earned their third straight victory Saturday 2-0 against Butler, a win that keeps them in the hunt for a spot in the Big East conference tournament.
Three Jays also earned Big East honors for the week for their contributions to the shutout. The match was tied at zero for the entirety of the Bluejay-dominated first half, despite ten Jays’ shots compared to Butler’s two.
The Jays finally broke through when sophomore defensive mid Mark O’Neil scored the first goal of the match in the 58’ minute off an assist from senior forward Diego Gutierrez.
O’Neil’s goal and ability to move the ball through the midfield merited him Big East Defender of the Week.
A little bit over four minutes later Gutierrez scored one himself, which was assisted by junior midfielder Dominic Briggs, and doubled the Bluejay lead to 2-0, a lead the team held until the final whistle.
Gutierrez’s three point effort earned him Big East Player of the Week. Defender Miguel Ventura, who played a full 90 minutes for the first time in his career, collected the third individual award for the Bluejays on the week, winning Big East Freshman of the Week.
The team had a difficult start to the season as they took many tough losses and had a 1-4-1 record through the first six non-conference games.
“Obviously it’s no secret that we got off to a slow start early on, but I couldn’t be more proud of this group and what an unbelievable back end to the season they’ve had,” coach Johnny Torres said.
The Jays last lost on Oct. 9 to a good Marquette team and have been playing exceptionally well, receiving points in each of their five matches since.
“I’m so very proud of the guys,” Torres said. “I think they’re spiking at the right time in regards of the quality of the soccer that we’re playing.”
Senior goalkeeper Paul Kruse said he believes his team’s recent success could give momentum going into the final game of the season.
“I think you have to give all the respect to our group to the guys, how they rallied together after the first half of the season,” Kruse said. “The guys didn’t quit when they had the chance to, they stuck together and we worked things out.”
Creighton’s final regular season game against a very good No. 16 nationally ranked Providence will have had huge implications for the Big East tournament.
A win or tie would secure a position in the tournament, but even a loss would permit them to play in the postseason, depending on other results from around the Big East Saturday.
“We’re culminating the regular season against a very good team at home in one of the best venues in the country, so I’m hoping that we can get our student body out to come and support our group,” Torres said.