Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #5 Indiana / #12 Creighton Regional Breakdown

Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #5 Indiana / #12 Creighton Regional Breakdown

There is a possibility for a real intriguing matchup in this one. Should national seeds Indiana and Creighton advance, the two schools will have a rematch of the College Cup semifinals in 2012, which Indiana won 1-0. With a number of players back from that team, you can bet that Creighton has their eyes set on that game. Both teams received solid draws and should advance to that point barring an unlikely upset.


#5 Indiana vs. Monmouth/Xavier

Monmouth and Xavier will square off in a battle of two of the nations top defenses. Monmouth leads the nation in goals against average and are fifth in shutout percentage. Goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky leads the nation in save percentage to go along with 12 shutouts. Xavier is 23rd in goals against average and ninth in shutout percentage. This will come down to which team can crack the other’s defense first. Both teams have players capable of doing just that. Dom Saarle, six goals, and Dave Nigro, five goals, lead Monmouth’s attack, while Matt Vasquenza, six goals, and Will Walker, five goals, lead Xavier’s. That looks to be a pretty even matchup, but the game tilts into Xavier’s favor when you take home and away records into account. Xavier is 8-1-1 at home. Monmouth is 3-2-4 on the road. With Klenofsky in goal, Monmouth will have a shot, but Xavier is the favorite in this one.

Indiana was a team with a lot of questions entering the season. Five of last season’s top six scorers were gone, including last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year and current San Jose Earthquakes forward Tommy Thompson. All Indiana did was reload. Thompson’s brother, Tanner has stepped up to lead the Hoosiers. Thompson leads the team with six goals and junior Femi Hollinger-Janzen has added five of his own. Indiana is stumbling a bit at the moment as they have won gone 1-2-2 over their last five, although one of those ties was a penalty kick victory to open the Big Ten tournament. Both Xavier and Monmouth are teams that have the ability to slow down the Hoosiers attack, but it would be very difficult. Indiana should advance easily in this one.


#12 Creighton vs. Oregon State/Denver

Oregon State is back in the NCAA Tournament after a 10-year absence. Leading the way has been the high scoring duo of Tim Mueller, 11 goals, and Khiry Shelton, 10 goals. They will get plenty off opportunities against a Denver defense that has struggled mightily this season. The Pioneers rank 199th out of 200 in save percentage and are 108th in goals against average. That doesn’t look good for Denver. Oregon State struggled in the middle of the season, but turned it on over their last three games, beating two national seeds, California and Washington. Denver will look to the forward trio of Eric Kronenberg, seven goals, Teddy Mullin, six goals, and Kosta Kordistos, five goals to provide a spark in this contest. If Denver is unable to improve defensively though, Oregon State should take this one and advance.

Whoever wins that game will have their work cut out for them as Creighton is a very good team. The Blue Jays have one of the nations top defenses and plenty of experience. The Blue Jays were College Cup semi finalists in 2012 and they will have their sights set on returning there. Sophomore Fabian Herbers, nine goals and seven assists, and Timo Pitter, six goals and seven assists, have provided sparks for Creighton offensively, but as a whole, the offense has struggled in big games. Creighton should be able to ride their strong defense to a win in their opening game, but they will need to figure out the offense when the top caliber teams come around.


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