OMAHA, Neb. - Freshman Jose Ribas scored his first career goal to help No. 2-ranked Creighton beat Missouri State 1-0 in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship match Sunday afternoon at Morrison Stadium. The top defense in the NCAA logged its seventh straight shutout to deliver Creighton its 12th MVC tournament crown.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Holt stopped two shots and kept his backline organized as the Bluejays posted their 16th shutout of the year. Holt was named MVC Tournament MVP for his efforts and he was joined by senior defender Andrew Duran, senior forward Ethan Finlay and sophomore defender Tyler Polak on the all-tournament team.
Ribas scored the game's lone goal in the 38th minute, taking a feed from Kris Clark and creating enough space for himself to launch a shot, despite being surrounded by Missouri State (9-8-2) defenders. His blast found the side netting for his first career score and it held up for the Bluejays, keeping them a perfect 11-0-0 at home this season.
As it has done all year long, Creighton dominated possession in the victory, outshooting the Bears 9-3 in the first half and finishing with a 16-5 advantage on shots. Holt stopped one shot in each half, including a soft header by Cole Alexander in the 86th minute, which proved to be the only threat by the visitors in the second half.
The win was a record-setting one for Holt in goal, as he logged his 54th career victory to pass Jay Fitzgerald for the most wins in school history. The clean sheet was his 14th solo shutout of the year and the 41st of his career. Holt joined Fitzgerald (1994) as just the second goalkeeper in CU history to win tournament MVP honors.
The Bluejays, who entered the MVC tournament with the No. 1 RPI in the nation, will host an NCAA selection show party for fans and media on Monday afternoon. The 48-team NCAA bracket will be announced at 3:30 pm on NCAA.com, and the team will gather to watch the selection show at The Old Mattress Factory (13th & Cass). The Bluejays will be making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 20 years.
NOTES: Creighton is now 11-0-0 at home this year, outscoring opponents 22-1 in Omaha ... CU has not allowed a goal in its last seven matches and its last 657 minutes played, its second longest streak of the year (it opened the year with 752 consecutive scoreless minutes) ... The Bluejays lead the NCAA with a 0.20 goals against average, 93.2 save percentage and 80.0 shutout percentage ... Creighton's 16 shutouts in 20 matches continue to add to its own CU and MVC record ... Creighton has won more MVC Tournament titles (12) than the rest of the league combined (9) ... Creighton had not won the MVC Tournament title since 2008, tying its longest drought between tournament titles ... CU had not won the MVC Tournament title in Omaha since 1994 ... The Bluejays have now won the MVC regular-season and tournament title in the same year seven times - 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2006, 2008, 2011 ... CU is now 7-1-0 against MSU in the MVC Tournament, including 4-0-0 in title matches ... CU is 12-3-0 in MVC Tournament title matches ... CU is now 14-2-1 in tournament matches played in Omaha, including 4-2-1 at Morrison Stadium ... CU has won 12 straight home matches, its longest streak since th eschool-record 15 (1997-99) ... CU is 70-13-12 all-time at Morrison Stadium with 50 of the 95 matches resulting in Bluejay shutouts ... Of CU's 18 wins this season, nine have been 1-0 scores.