Jose Gomez and Creighton continued Tuesday night to ride a soccer hot streak.
Gomez started the No. 22 Bluejays on their way to a 3-0 win over Missouri-Kansas City when he scored two minutes and 42 seconds into the match that drew 1,290 fans to Morrison Stadium.
Timo Pitter made it 2-0 in the 14th minute, and Vincent Keller’s first career goal sealed the victory that pushed Creighton’s winning streak to five and its unbeaten streak to six in a 10-3-2 season.
“We’re getting a lot of opportunities and we’re finishing them,” Gomez said. “We’re creating a lot of chances in these last three or four games. When you’re halfway through the season and you can’t find the opportunity to score, that’s hard.”
That’s a problem Creighton faced when it lost three of four games prior to going on its current streak. The Bluejays scored two goals in the three losses, but have 11 in their winning streak and nine in the past three games.
It’s the first time since 2005 that Creighton has scored three goals in three consecutive games.
Gomez’s goal was his fourth of the season and he later assisted on Keller’s goal to run his point total in the past three games to nine (two goals, five assists).
“He’s looking very good right now,” Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich said. “He’s found his playing rhythm and he’s very comfortable. He knows what he’s doing.”
Tuesday’s outcome might have come by an even larger margin had the Bluejays converted some squandered scoring chances. Creighton unleashed 21 shots on UMKC goalkeepers Connor Sparrow and Kevin Corby.
“We had so many clear-cut opportunities in front of the goal,” Bolowich said. “We could have had that game out of reach a lot earlier.”
As it was, Creighton’s 2-0 lead after 14 minutes provided the Bluejays with a nice cushion against the 5-7-2 Kangaroos.
“Getting that lead changes everything,” Creighton goalkeeper Jeff Gal said. “I think it relaxed me and it relaxed the whole team. Guys can be calmer on the ball.”
Gal improved his record to 6-0 with his third straight shutout and fourth of the season. The redshirt freshman from Bartlett, Ill., will continue to play as Creighton’s other goalkeeper, Alex Bolowich, is out with a fractured bone in his elbow.
Bolowich suffered the injury a week ago in the 3-2 overtime win over Princeton. He could be sidelined a minimum of three weeks.
Keller, who missed almost three weeks with a hamstring injury, made his third straight appearance Tuesday, logging 68 minutes after getting 48 and 60 in the previous two. The freshman from Frieburg, Germany, had started the season’s first seven before the injury in the Sept. 16 win over William & Mary.
Keller got his first goal as a Bluejay when he took a pass from Gomez and beat Corby with a shot.
“He gives us a lot of energy and you can see his drive,” Bolowich said. “He understands the game. He has a very good background in coming from Frieburg, and he grew up playing with the same club.
“Tactically, you put him in any situation and he grasps it. He understands what he needs to be doing.”
UMKC (5-7-2) .................. 0 0—0
At Creighton (10-3-2) .................. 2 1—3
Goals: 1, CU, Gomez (Ribas), 2:42. 2, CU, Pitter (unassisted), 13:42. 3, CU, Keller (Gomez), 59:05. Shots: UMKC 6, CU 21. Saves: UMKC, Sparrow 1, Corby 3; CU, Gal 2. Fouls: UMKC 8, CU 7.
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