The University of Northern Iowa women's soccer team will wrap up their regular season and conference season on Thursday night when they face off with the Creighton Bluejays. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. at the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex. The Panthers are currently sitting in a tie for fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference with the Missouri State Bears. The Bears hold the tiebreaker over the Panthers with their 3-1 victory over UNI on Oct. 6. With a win on Thursday and a little bit of help, the Panthers could go to the MVC Tournament with the third seed. The seniors on the team will be recognized prior to the start of the contest.
The Creighton Bluejays are 3-11-2 on the season, including a mark of 0-5-0 in conference play. The Bluejays have scored victories over South Dakota, Omaha, and South Dakota State. Creighton has been highly competitive in MVC play despite the 0-5 mark, losing four of their matches in conference by one goal apiece. Brittney Neuman leads the Creighton offense with six goals on 48 shots including one assist. Jill Richgels, Kelsey O'Donnell, and and Sarah Kendall have each tallied two goals on the season with Richgels tallying three assists. Katie Jo Swanson has played each minute in goal on the year for the Bluejays, tallying 90 saves for a .763 save percentage. Bruce Erickson is in his 14th season at the healm of the Creighton women's soccer program.
The Panthers clinched a spot in the MVC Tournament for the second-straight season. UNI is entering their sixth MVC tournament in program history and looks to advance to their first-ever MVC Championship game appearance. The Panthers could be seeded as high as third in the tournament but currently sit in a tie for fourth.
Glass Half Fuller
Nine different Panthers have scored this season with sophomore Charlotte Jones leading the way with four goals. With Jones out with an injury, sophomore Caitlyn Fuller tallied her third score of the season versus Missouri State and has stepped up and filled the hole on the scoresheet. Along with the emergence of Fuller, six other UNI players have at least three points this season including four underclassmen.
McClellan, Hagan Shining in Conference Play
Senior Kiki McClellan has stepped up her level of play during the conference season. McClellan leads UNI with four points on two goals, including firing five of her eight shots on goal. Fellow senior Melissa Hagan has rose to the occasion as well. Through five conference games Hagan has tallied one goal and one assist with a team-high 13 shots during that span.
UNI will look for just its second-ever victory over the Creighton Bluejays. Creighton holds a 12-1-3 lead in the all-time series with UNI advancing on a draw, 5-3 PK's, in last year's MVC Tournament. UNI scored their only victory over Creighton during the 2006 season (1-0).
Scouting the Opponents