Drake Men’s Soccer Travels To Creighton Sunday For Second Round Of 2015 NCAA Championship

first_imgOMAHA, Neb. – Coming off a thrilling 2-1 win at KentuckyThursday in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, the Drake men’s soccer team travels to Omaha, Neb., to face a familiar foe and longtime rival in the Creighton Bluejays, Sunday afternoon in the second round at Morrison Stadium. First kick with the Bluejays is set for 1 p.m.and the match will be broadcast by on FoxSportsGo.com.Drake (13-4-3) earned its first NCAA win since 2009 on the strength of a pair of goals by two of its veteran defenders. Redshirt junior James Grunert (Muskego, Wis.) scored the game winning goal in the 74th minute for the Bulldogs after the teams swapped goals in the first half.Grunert’s goal came off a beautiful cross by fellow defender sophomore Mason Leonard (Overland Park, Kan.) from the edge of the 18-yard box as Grunert, who was left unmarked, was able to head it in far post. The goal is the third of the season for Grunert, and the first assist of the season for Leonard.Senior defender Alec Bartlett (Overland Park, Kan.), who transferred from Creighton in 2012, scored the first goalThursday in the 19th-minute (18:14). Junior James Wypych(Wellington, New Zealand) sent a corner kick to the left edge of the box that hit Bartlett in the chest and was blocked by Kentucky goalie Callum Irving but Bartlett finished it for his second goal of the season.Kentucky answered with the equalizer just over a minute (19:39) later on its own corner kick as Kevin Barajas headed in ball to the far post by a diving Darrin MacLeod (Waterloo, Ontario). It was the first goal allowed by MacLeod and the Bulldogs defense since the regular season finale versus Bradley on Nov. 7. MacLeod finished with three saves in the game.With the win over Kentucky, Drake is now 4-2 all-time in the NCAA Championship, losing its only contest in 2008, while going 3-1 in the 2009 event, falling one match short of reaching the College Cup.Creighton (17-3-0), who departed the MVC in 2013, earned a first-round bye as the No. 12 national seed after finishing as runner-up in the regular-season and BIG EAST Championship to No. 3 overall seed Georgetown. The Blue Jays are led by Fabian Herbers, who leads the BIG EAST in goals (15), assists (12) and points (42). Herbers repeated as BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2015 and is joined by two-time BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year Timo Pitter, who has eight goals and three assists on the year.The then No. 1 ranked Bluejays rallied to beat the Bulldogs, 2-1, back on Oct. 6. Drake led for nearly 75 minutes of the midweek match before Creighton tallied a pair of goals for the comeback win. Sunday Drake is trying to snap a four-game losing streak to Creighton with the winner advancing to play the winner of No. 5 North Carolina and Coastal Carolina onNov. 28 or 29. Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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