PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
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The Friars will kick off against the Creighton Bluejays in Omaha, Neb. for the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be held at Morrison Stadium and is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s Third Round game will be streamed online via FoxSports Go and can be accessed at http://www.foxsportsgo.com
NCAA All-Time Record
Providence is 8-6-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games. The Friars are 5-2-1 under Craig Stewart.
Friars in the Third Round
The Friars are 1-0 in Third Round games and 1-0 under Head Coach Craig Stewart. In 2014, Providence defeated UC Irvine, 1-0.
Battling the Bluejays
Providence and Creighton will meet for the third time in 2016, and have met seven times overall in the history of the two soccer programs. The Friars defeated the Bluejays in Omaha on Oct. 29, 1-0, during the regular season. Creighton defeated Providence on Nov. 10 in the BIG EAST Semifinal, 2-1, in Providence, R.I.
Both being BIG EAST Teams, Creighton finished the regular season with a 5-3-1 record and Providence with a 7-2 record. in the BIG EAST, the only teams the Friars lost to were Butler (Sept. 24, 2-0) and Georgetown (Sept. 17, 1-0). Creighton claimed shutout victories against both of these teams, defeating Butler, 1-0, and Georgetown, 3-0. Creighton’s three losses in BIG EAST play came from Xavier (2-1 2OT), Villanova (1-0) and Providence (1-0).
The only non-conference opponent the two teams share is Clemson. Both teams fell at Clemson in one-goal games. The Friars were defeated, 2-1, and the lone goal came from Julian Gressel from 50-yards out. Creighton was defeated by the Tigers, 1-0.
Julian Gressel leads the Friars with 33 points on 14 goals and five assists. Gressel tallied the first two Friar goals in the NCAA Second Round game, marking his first two goal performance in 2016.
The senior captain has recorded five game-winning goals, including the goal that lifted the Friars past St. John’s, 1-0, on Nov. 3 to give the team their first regular season title.
Gressel was named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, as he scored 16 points during BIG EAST regular-season play on six goals and four assists.
Gressel boasts 82 career points in his four seasons at Providence. In 81 games played, Gressel ranks second all-time at Providence in goals scored (29) and second in assists (24).
A Game of Firsts
In the NCAA Second Round game Providence scored five goals for the first time in since Aug. 29, 2003 in a 6-1 win over Sacred Heart.
Against No. 1 Maryland, the game-tying and game-winning goals were scored by freshman. Steven Kilday and Joao Serrano tallied their first collegiate goals in the game and Nick Sailor’s goal was his first of the 2016 season.
Miller in Goal
Colin Miller holds an 13-1 record in his debut season. The red shirt-sophomore was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week one time (Nov. 7) and Co-Goalkeeper of the Year (Nov. 5).
In his 14 games played, Miller has allowed just 10 goals. He has registered eight shutouts, including one shutout in NCAA Tournament play (Nov. 17 vs. Delaware, 2-0).
Scouting the Bluejays
The Bluejays received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, drawing a home match against Tulsa in the opening round. The Bluejays defeated the Hurricanes, 3-0, and advanced to play 16th-seeded Kentucky in Lexington. Creighton upset Kentucky, 3-2.
Creighton holds a 13-6-3 overall record and a 9-1-2 record at home. The Friars were the only team to defeat the Bluejays at Morrison Stadium in 2016.
The Bluejays have outscored their opponents 41-18 this season, averaging 1.82 goals per game. Creighton has recorded eight clean sheets on the season and have been shut out four times.
Bluejays to Watch
The Bluejays are led by Ricky Lopez-Espin, with 22 points on 10 goals and two assists. Riggs Lennon has also tallied 10 goals in 22 games. Nine other Bluejays have recorded at least one goal.
Alex Kapp has played nearly every minute for the Bluejays (2054:34), amassing 75 saves and an .806 save percentage. Kapp has posted seven shutouts in 22 games played and has allowed 18 goals.
Lopez-Espin and Kapp shared BIG EAST post-season major awards with Gressel and Miller, respectively.
The Last Time
Providence and Creighton last met on Nov. 10 in the BIG EAST semifinal match. Providence held the No. 1 seed and Creighton was the No. 4 seed. Providence took the lead in the seventh minute with a goal from Danny Griffin but gave up two goals, first to Lopez-Espin in the 31st minute and then to Myles Englis in the 41st minute.
Despite outshooting the Bluejays (12-10) and 7-3 in the second half, the Friars were unable to get the equalizer and were defeated, 2-1.
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