No. 14 Creighton men’s soccer (11-3-1) clinched the Big East regular-season championship after two 2-1 victories this past week, keeping the Bluejays undefeated in Big East play. The first of which was a 2-1 home win against Marquette on Wednesday, and the other a 2-1 road win against DePaul on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Jays hosted the Golden Eagles (4-3-1).
Junior midfielder Ziyad Fares opened the scoring for the Jays when he netted his third goal of the season to build a 1-0 lead going into the half. He scored off a pass from junior midfielder Luke Haakenson.
The second half became interesting, however, as Marquette tied it up off a goal by Leo Villa, making the score 1-1 with just 10 minutes to go in regulation.
However, senior Sven Koenig managed to score his eighth goal of the season just 40 seconds later after receiving a pass from senior midfielder Joel Rydstrand to give the Jays a 2-1 lead.
The Jays defense and freshman goalkeeper Paul Kruse locked down from there to secure the win for the Jays.
Haakenson led the Jays with four shots, three of which were on goal. The Jays had 17 shots overall, nine of which were on target. The Golden Eagles were held to nine shots and only four on target.
On Saturday, the Jays traveled to Chicago to face DePaul.
Not only would this game have been a major momentum boost for the Blue Demons, but the three points would have pushed them into sixth place in the conference- on the fringe of the postseason cutoff.
However, the Jays needed the win to secure the Big East regular-season Championship for the first time since 2014.
Sven Koenig put the Jays up 1-0 after he scored a top right corner goal in the 33rd minute, good for a Big East-leading ninth goal of the season.
Junior defender Bryce Gibson scored his first goal as a Bluejay in the second half to give the Jays a 2-0 lead. Gibson put a head eron a corner kick by Joel Rydstrand that was the eventual game-winning goal for the Bluejays.
The Jays almost pushed their lead even further in the 56th minute as Luke Haakenson had a penalty kick opportunity, but the shot was stopped by DePaul goalkeeper Drew Nuelle.
DePaul cut the lead to 2-1 on a header by Jack Richards that snuck inside the far post. Paul Kruse had a season-high seven saves in his 11th win as a Bluejay in his first season.
The Bluejays took advantage of their undefeated week, Big East regural season title and opponenets in front of them slipping up to propel themselves to the No. 14 in the new United Soccer Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. There's still more possible ground to gain as Creighton has one more game ahead before the Big East tournament.
The Bluejays (11-3-1) played Georgetown (9-4-3) in the Big East on the 31st at Morrison Stadium for Senior Night. This game took place after the Creighton's publication deadline. See creightonian.com for details.