UNCG (1-0-0) at Creighton (1-0-0), Sept. 4, 8 p.m. ET (7
Omaha, Neb. (Morrison Stadium)
Video: GoCreighton.com (subscription required)
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via GoCreighton.com)
+ UNCG flies to the Midwest this weekend to take on the Bluejays of Creighton. The 944-mile trip (as the crow flies) to Omaha is UNCG's longest regular season trip since September 1992 when the Spartans went to San Francisco for a tournament. The Spartans were sent to Seattle, Wash. and Santa Clara, Calif. for NCAA tournament matches on consecutive weekends in November 1998.
+ Creighton leads the all-time series 2-1-0, but it will be the first time the two teams are meeting in Omaha. Creighton won at UNCG in October 2007, 2-0. The first two meetings were at neutral sites with Creighton winning in Charlotte in 1993 and UNCG winning in Chapel Hill in 1997.
+ This is the home opener for Creighton, which has been outstanding in home openers as of late. The Bluejays are unbeaten in their last 14 home openers, going 10-0-4 in that span. Creighton last lost a home opener in 1995 when it fell to No. 20 Duke, 3-1. Since moving into Morrison Stadium, Creighton is 4-0-3 in home openers. Since restarting its program in 1990, Creighton is 154-27-15 at home (.824), including 52-11-11 at Morrison Stadium.
+ UNCG is coming off a 2-1 win over in-state rival Charlotte on Wednesday night. The Spartans took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Hakan Ilhan scored on a rebound off the post. Charlotte tied things up later in the first half, but the Spartans took the lead for good just 33 seconds into the second half on a 35-yard shot off the foot of Eli Garner. Peyton Ford made it stand up with four saves in the win.
+ The Spartans began the opener with seven of their 11 players being new faces this season. Of the 14 players that played in the game, UNCG had nine new faces in all. The Spartans return just nine players from the 2009 roster.
+ Creighton opened the season with a 2-0 win over Loyola Chicago on Wednesday night. Kris Clark and Jose Gomez scored for the Bluejays, which allowed only two shots and none on goal in the shutout.
+ Creighton narrowly missed its 18th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009, finishing with a 7-4-5 overall record and tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 4-2-4 record. The Bluejays will look to start a new streak this fall under first-year head coach Jamie Clark, who spent the last two seasons at Harvard. The Bluejays return 12 players and six starters from last year's squad. Preseason All-American Ethan Finlay, a first-team all-MVC and all-region pick last year after leading the team with eight goals and 19 points, begins this season as a Hermann Award candidate.
+ UNCG was picked sixth earlier this week in the Southern Conference men's soccer coaches preseason poll. The Spartans' Will Mack earned preseason all-conference honors. College of Charleston was picked to win the league.
+ UNCG is beginning a stretch of three straight matches away from home, although next weekend the Spartans will be much closer to home. UNCG will face Jacksonville and Richmond next weekend at Elon's Tournament on Friday and Sunday.