Creighton women’s soccer head coach Bruce Erickson always emphasizes the need to be efficient with his team’s scoring chances. Tonight he saw his young team execute that mantra early and often in a 6-0 rout of visiting North Dakota. The Jays entered the game with extra motivation after dropping their first two matches of the season last weekend. It became apparent in the opening minutes that they Jays brought a level of energy that North Dakota would not be able to match.
Despite it being an undesirable 97 degrees at kickoff Creighton wasted no time establishing possession and putting pressure on North Dakota’s back line. Kirstyn Corder put Creighton on the board in the 13th minute. She gained possession just outside the goal box, touched it once to her right and fired it by North Dakota’s goalkeeper Kristi Hestdalen. It was Corder’s first goal of the season and the first time Creighton has had the lead in their first three games. Plenty of chances ensued over the remaining 32 minutes of the half, but Hestdalen was up to the challenge as she made five saves to keep North Dakota in the game despite her team owning a 15-4 disadvantage in shots in the first half.
The goals came early and often in the second half. Fellow sophomores Alissa Kohmetscher and Alyssa Jara hooked in the 53rd minute to make it 2-0. Kohmetscher entered a pass in front of Jara on the right side. Jara gained possession and sent it to the upper right side of the net.
“I’m glad I got one for my team. We really needed it after last weekend didn’t go so well,” Jara said.
It was her first goal of the season and second of her career. For Kohmetscher it was her second assist of 2013, which is already best her total from 2012.
Goal number three came one minute and four seconds later, but it was over two years in the making for senior Lauren Cingoranelli. The Aurora, Colorado native scored eight goals as a freshman in 2010, but failed to register in goal in her sophomore and junior seasons on the Hilltop.
“As a leader I feel I have to push myself for the younger players, and for everyone really,” she said. “It feels good to get a goal again.”
Her goal from about 35 yards out ended a 41-match drought for the senior, but more importantly it opened the floodgates and put North Dakota in a situation they didn’t appear capable of overcoming.
Lauren Sullivan’s first career goal made it a four-goal deficit in the 64th minute, and her fellow freshman attacker Paige Jarsombeck re-took her team lead in goals, scoring twice in the final 25 minutes to give Creighton’s it final margin in the impressive victory. The freshman duo talked after the game about halftime adjustments and the development of the team’s chemistry.
“We talked in the locker room that we needed to keep going at them and to finish our chances because we had so many,” Sullivan said. “We just wanted to be more clinical in front of goal and put them in the net. Go fast and get them in.”
Jarsombeck spoke a little about the team’s chemistry offensively before practice on Thursday. The excitement about what this team could be capable of was impossible to ignore after the game.
“The chemistry between the forwards today was combining so well. We kept getting at them, and it was goal on goal,” she said. “I think it’s improving tremendously. Today was just great. Goal after goal and we kept getting at them and we didn’t let down.”
Sullivan added to that point.
“You can feel it when you’re on the field. There is a rhythm, and when a team gets into a good rhythm it just feels good. We knew it was going to happen, once we got the second in we knew it was going to be a flood.”
The last time the Bluejays put six goals on the board was on September 17, 2010 when they defeated Wyoming 6-2. That year, Creighton finished with 50 goals on the season, good for second-best in school history. It also was the last year they made the NCAA Tournament. Coach Erickson isn’t about to get carried away with predictions and feels his team will be able to focus on the next game regardless of today’s result.
“I don’t think it’s any different than if you get a tie or a loss. You enjoy the game today and then you forget it,” he said. “We know the team we’ll face on Sunday is going to play a lot better. Our goal going to be recover quick, forget the game, move on to the next one.”
That might be easier said than done given the excitement and emotion that surrounded this victory, but the bottom line as he put it before he was even asked a question.
“It was nice to score some goals.”
The Jays out shot North Dakota 37-6, including an 18-5 edge in shots on goal. The last time they had at least that many shots in a game was back in 2005. Goalkeeper Danielle Rice tied her season-high with five saves in notching the first shutout of her young career.
Creighton women’s soccer will be back in action on Sunday at Morrison Stadium. They welcome Northern Colorado to town for a 5 p.m. kickoff where they’ll look to even their regular season record as well as repay the Bears for a 2011 home loss they handed the Jays the last time the teams played at Morrison Stadium.