Nothing is hotter than the Creighton offense right now, not even the weather. After a week off the Creighton women’s soccer team picked up right where it left off last weekend as they tallied six more goals in a 6-1 rout of the visiting Idaho Vandals (0-5-0) on Sunday afternoon at Morrison Stadium.
Senior Kelsey O’Donnell got the scoring started for Creighton in the 16th minute. After a yellow card was issued to Idaho defender Amanda Pease for pulling Creighton forward Alissa Kohmetscher to the ground, O’Donnell took the free kick from the left side and bent it just inside the left post for a 1-0 lead. It was O’Donnell’s second goal of the season, and the fourth of her Creighton career.
O’Donnell, a center back, wasn’t done helping the offense. In the 37th minute she sent a through ball to fellow defender Jill Richgels, who chased it down and beat Idaho goalkeeper Marina Siegl from about 16 yards out for 2-0 Creighton advantage. The goal was Richgels’ first since Oct. 11 of last season.
One thing Bluejays head coach Bruce Erickson always talks about is that once his team gets one or two goals on the board early more will come as they long as the team stays aggressive. That rang true again against Idaho. Fifty seconds after Richgels made it 2-0, sophomore Kyla Booker notched the first goal of her career after nice pass from Lauren Cingoranelli. Booker dribbled past Siegl and scored easily to give the Jays a three-goal lead before halftime.
“It’s exciting … I’m really happy right now,” Booker said about her first career goal. “My parents are watching [the game] back home, so I’m pretty sure they’re really happy right now, too. I’ve been working really hard on placing the ball and finishing, so I feel really good right now getting my first goal.”
As they’ve done in their first four games of the season, the Vandals switched keepers to start the second half, but unfortunately for them the results didn’t change. In the 61st minute, Bluejay freshman Ylenia Sachau hooked up with Cingoranelli for one of the prettiest goals of the season (up to that point). The play began when a corner kick by Richgels was deflected away by an Idaho defender. Cingoranelli ran down the deflection and lofted it in front of the net from about 30 yards out where Sachau charged in and headed the ball into the net.
“I saw the long ball from Lauren, and I was like ‘ok, let’s do this,’” Sachau said. “It was my first goal in two years.”
It was the second assist of the game for Cingoranelli, giving her a team-high three already in the first five games of the season. Her production in the areas other than scoring goals is a pleasant sight for coach Erickson.
“There was just so much pressure for her, a kid who scores eight goals as a freshman, and if you take out the spring she doesn’t score for two full years. We kept talking to her about being a scorer, which really doesn’t mean being the one who scores the goals. It’s just about being involved in our scoring. If it’s assists, great, be the one to send in a great service. It’s nice to see her get on track not only scoring goals, but showing up in the box score with assists. That was a great ball and a good run by [Ylenia].”
An Idaho goal two minutes later by freshman Alyssa Pease brought the Vandals within three with 27:25 remaining, but sophomore Kirstyn Corder and freshman Lauren Sullivan made sure there would be no miracle comeback when they hooked up for Creighton’s fifth goal in the 68th minute. Sullivan showed some brilliant ball-handling skills to freeze the Idaho defenders and send a ball through to Corder who was running down the right side. Vandal freshman keeper Torell Stewart had no chance as Corder scored from a few yards out to make it 5-1, Creighton.
“It was a perfect assist from Lauren Sullivan,” Corder said. “She was about to play it, pulled it back, juked the girl, and then passed it to me. After that it was a one-on-one with the goalie, I just had to slot it in there.”
“The assist Lauren Sullivan had on that goal was unbelievable,” said Erickson. “That was such a great little hesitation and she played the ball through and [Corder] finished it.”
Corder added another goal almost four minutes later to cap off another impressive offensive display for this young and still improving Creighton squad. The 17 goals in the last four games is just one shy of their total output in 19 games last season. The confidence grows with each day and each performance from this group.
“There were games last year where we could’ve scored six or seven goals and we got shutout. This year we’ve got some finishers, I think that’s the big thing. You look at players like [Corder] is a great example. She’s a player who is a natural goal scorer. She doesn’t need a lot of space to get shots off, and doesn’t need to get ten chances a game to score a couple. She’s very efficient, and keeps everything on frame,” Erickson said.
“Our offense is clicking a lot more,” said Corder. “As we’re playing more, getting more practice, and getting our formations and players working together, getting used to each other more it’s really starting to click. We’re getting in a groove.”
“Our offense is really dynamic and talented,” O’Donnell said. “I know that we have the potential to put a lot of goals in the back of the net each game.”
The Jays third straight win improves them to 3-2-0 on the season. They will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with four games in the next 10 days beginning with Tuesday’s road game at UMKC. The Kangaroos came into Morrison and salvaged a tie, so it’s been a game that Creighton is eager to get a result out of.
Kickoff for that match is set for 7 p.m.