PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
PROVIDENCE VS. CREIGHTON IN THE REGULAR SEASON...The Friars defeated then-No. 18 Creighton, 1-0, in Omaha, Neb. on Oct. 29. With the win, Providence claimed at least a share of the BIG EAST regular season title in Omaha, Neb. on Oct. 29. Julian Gressel tallied the lone Friar goal and Providence’s defense held the Bluejays to three shots.
BIG EAST DIGITAL NETWORK... Thursday’s semifinal game vs. Creighton will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network via FOX Sports GO. To watch the game, download the FOX Sports GO app on your mobile device or tablet. The app is not available internationally. The game also can be accessed via the internet by visiting: http://www.FOXSportsGO.com.
ALL-TIME VS. CREIGHTON... Providence and Creighton have met seven times since 2013 and three times in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Friars lead the series, 4-3, including a 2-1 mark in tournament play.
BIG EAST SEMIFINALS... The two teams have met in the BIG EAST semifinals each of the last three seasons. The Friars ended their 2015 season in Omaha falling to Creighton, 2-1. In 2013 and 2014, Providence defeated the Bluejays by one goal margin in both contests.
GRESSEL... Julian Gressel tallied the game-winner on Oct. 29 and has also recorded an assist against the Bluejays in his career. On Nov. 5, Gressel was named the BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, with 16 BIG EAST points from six goals and four assists. The senior captain also leads the BIG EAST in points (27), goals (11), and game winning goals (5).
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS... Providence is 1-2 against ranked opponents this season. The Friars were defeated by then-No. 3 Clemson, 2-1, and then-No. 10 Butler, 2-0.
COMING IN HOT... The Friars have won eight-consecutive games, since Oct. 1. The run started with two overtime wins, over Xavier (2-1) and Brown (1-0).
FRIARS IN THE BIG EAST... Providence finished the regular season with a 7-2 record. The seven BIG EAST wins tie a program record from 2006 for most BIG EAST wins in a single season. The Friars won the seven BIG EAST games in consecutive games. All seven wins are part of the Friars’ current eight-game win streak.
REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS... The Friars were the first team to clinch a spot in the BIG EAST tournament after defeating Marquette, 2-1, on Oct. 26. On Oct. 29 the Friars claimed at least a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title with the 1-0 win at Creighton. The Friars took the regular season outright on Nov. 3, defeating St. John’s, 1-0. The title is the first ever for the program.
MAJOR AWARD WINNERS... Providence’s leading scorer Julian Gressel was tabbed the BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year with 16 points in BIG EAST play. Colin Miller earned the BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year nod with a 0.56 goals against average, 0.875 save percentage, and three shutouts in the BIG EAST. Craig Stewart and his staff were unanimously selected as the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year, leading the team to their first BIG EAST regular season title.
UNANIMOUS ALL-BIG EAST SELECTIONS... Four of Providence’s six All-BIG EAST selections were unanimous including Gressel’s selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team, and Danny Griffin and Joao Serrano’s selection to the All-Freshman Team. Miller and Mark Jecewicz also were selected to the First Team and Liam Wilson was selected to the All-Freshman Team.
YOUTHFUL LOOK... Providence’s starting 11 consists of eight are underclassmen, including four sophomores and four freshmen. Five freshman have seen minutes for the Friars in 2016, and four have tallied at least one goal. Danny Griffin has scored five times, and each has been a game-winner. Braden Kilne, Alex DaCosta, and Liam Wilson have each found the back of the net once this season.
A RECORD YEAR... Providence’s 7-2 BIG EAST record ties the program record of most BIG EAST games won in a single season (2006). Julian Gressel currently ranks second in all-time career points with 74. The Friars had six All-BIG EAST selections, with three First Team and three Freshman Team selections. The last time the Friars recorded six All-BIG EAST selections was in 2014 with five athletes on the Second Team and one on the Freshman Team.
LEADING THE NATION... Red-shirt sophomore Colin Miller leads the nation in goals against average (.360) and save percentage (.913).
LEADING THE BIG EAST... A member of the Providence soccer team leads in nine of the 13 categories in the BIG EAST statistics. Gressel leads in points (27), goals (11), goals per game (0.65), and is second in points per game (1.59). Griffin is tied with Gressel for the lead in game-winning goals, each with five. Miller leads in nearly every goalkeeping category: goals against, save percentage, shutouts (seven), and shutouts per game (0.64).
SCOUTING NO. 24 CREIGHTON... The Bluejays open the BIG EAST semifinal as the No. 4 seed after finishing the regular season with a 5-3-1 record. Creighton faced No. 5 seed Xavier in Omaha, Neb. for the BIG EAST Quarterfinals, and defeated Xavier, 3-1, to improve to 10-5-3 overall. The Bluejays boast a 3-1-1 record against the five ranked opponents they have faced in 2016. Since losing to Providence on Oct. 29, Creighton has won two straight games, defeating Gergetown, 3-0 (Nov. 3) and Xavier. The Bluejays average 1.78 goals per game and Providence is one of only four teams to held Creighton scoreless.
PLAYERS TO WATCH... Creighton has six players who have recorded more than five points in 2016. Lennon Riggs leads the Bluejays with 20 points on 10 goals. Ricky Lopez-Espin has 17 points from eight goals and one assist. Alex Kapp shared the BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year with Miller, posting a 10-5-3 record. Kapp holds a 0.69 goals against average and .814 save percentage across 1700:00 minutes of play.
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