SEATTLE, Wash. – A pair of goals in the final seven minutes from junior Duncan McGuire lifted the Creighton men’s soccer team to a 3-1 win over No. 1 Washington during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Husky Soccer Stadium on Sunday, November 20.
With the win, Creighton improves to 11-4-6 on the year and advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 and the 15th time in program history. Washington, however, ends their season with a 15-2-3 overall record.
Washington got on the board early with a Strike from just outside the top of the 18-yard box from sophomore Kalani Kossa-Rienzi. Sophomore Ilijah Paul was credited with an assist after intercepting a pass down the far sideline before feeding Kossa-Rienzi at the top of the box to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes in.
Creighton responded in a big way in the 21stSt minutes of play as a sophomore Owen O’Malley Struck the back of the net for the eighth time this season. Graduate Student Alejandro Maillet played a ball down the far sideline and into the box to McGuire. After saving the pass with a slide, McGuire found the feet of O’Malley, who blasted a shot past the diving Sam Fowler and into the back of the net, evening the match at 1-1.
The Bluejays and Huskies battled the rest of the opening 45 minutes as the match remained knotted at 1-1 at the break. Creighton held a 12-8 edge in shots in the first half.
Both squads fought for the go-ahead goal throughout the second half, as each team had multiple scoring opportunities.
Creighton capitalized on a scoring opportunity in the 84th minute when McGuire slipped his nation’s leading 20th goal of the season past Fowler and into the back of the net to give Creighton a 2-1 lead with 6:18 remaining in the match. Maillet was credited with the assist after playing a perfectly placed ball down the right side of the six-yard box, where McGuire one-touched a shot into the back of the net.
Less than two minutes later, McGuire extended the Bluejays lead out to 3-1 as Maillet once again set up McGuire with a pass into the middle of the field. McGuire did the rest netting his 21St goal of the season in the 86th minute (85:05) of play.
The 21 goals scored by McGuire this season are tied for the second most goals scored in a single season in Creighton history. Keith DeFini also scored 21 goals for Creighton in the 1993 season. McGuire is now just one goal shy of tying Ray Nikodem (1980) for the most goals scored by a Bluejay in a single season in school history.
McGuire’s 21 goals are also the most by any Division I men’s player in a season since Denver’s Andre Shinyashiki netted 28 goals in 2018. It is also the most by any BIG EAST player since Notre Dame’s Ryan Finley had 21 goals during the 2012 campaign.
The Bluejays ended the match with an 18-16 advantage in shots, while Washington held a 13-5 edge in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Paul Kruse recorded four saves on the night, while Washington’s Sam Fowler snagged a season-high six saves in between the posts.
Creighton will now face off against No. 15 Tulsa next week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Last season, the Golden Hurricane ended the Bluejays season with a 1-0 win.