Bluejays Advance To College Cup Final Four

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

For the first time in program history, Creighton will make a second consecutive College Cup appearance after a 1-0 win at Connecticut Sunday afternoon.

The Jays advanced on a goal from Christian Blandon with 1:30 left in regulation, coming off a cross from the right end line from Jose Gomez. The score was Blandon's fourth of the fall and second game-winner, while it was the MVC-leading ninth assist of the season from Gomez.

Creighton is now 17-3-3, extending its unbeaten streak to 14 straight, while clinching its fifth overall College Cup appearance (1996, 2000, 2002, 2011). Connecticut ends its season 17-4-1, losing at home for the first time since November 7, 2009 and having its 38-match home win streak snapped.

Connecticut had the best chance in the early minutes as Mamadou Diouf was left unmarked down the right sideline, only to have Creighton goalkeeper Jeff Gal turn him away.

Creighton's first scoring opportunity of the first half came with 17 minutes to play when a Gomez free kick sailed high. The Jays best chance came with just under nine minutes left in the half when Blandon's blast from 12 yards out was stopped on a kick save by UConn goalie Andre Blake.

CU out-shot the Huskies 8-3 in the first half as the Huskies were held without a shot in the final 36:47 of the half.

UConn had a good chance in the second minute of the second half, connecting on several passes in the box, but was unable to get a shot on net.

The Huskies offered three strong chances in succession with 18 minutes to play when Gal lost his footing while hauling down a Diouf cross, but he was able to keep the ball from crossing the goal line. A short time later, Gal punched a curled shot by Carlos Alvarez wide, forcing a corner kick. After the corner kick, George Fochive had a good look from 12 yards out, only to have Gal make a sprawling save.

After Blandon's goal stunned the sold-out crowd, Connecticut had one more chance in the final minute, but an Alvarez header sailed wide. For the match, Connecticut out-shot Creighton 13-10, but Gal made four saves for the shutout.

Creighton played without the services of Jose Ribas, who earned a red card in CU's game vs. Akron last Sunday. He'll be eligible to return when the Jays take the field in Hoover, Alabama Friday night against Indiana (14-5-3) in the national semifinals.

The Bluejays own a 4-3 record all-time against Indiana, including a legendary 2-1 triple-overtime win in the 2000 College Cup that advanced the Jays to its only national championship game in school history.

Georgetown plays Maryland in the other semifinal. The winners meet for the NCAA championship next Sunday afternoon.

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