Creighton soccer coach Elmar Bolowich isn't going to worry about what might be.
He's just concerned about his team taking care of what it can control when the 12th-ranked Bluejays face Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in Sunday's Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship at Peoria, Ill.
A victory would likely put Creighton in position to claim a top-16 seed and a first-round bye in the NCAA tournament. Bolowich, though, has been around long enough to know that there are no guarantees this time of year.
“I was on the soccer committee for four years,” Bolowich said. “A lot of things can happen this last weekend. Things can get arranged. Things can happen and you can pick up spots in the RPI but you can also slip. There are just too many variables.
“We're just going to concentrate on winning the game and then wait until Monday to see what happens.”
The NCAA will announce seedings and pairings for the 48-team tournament Monday afternoon. The top 16 get a first-round bye, which means they don't play until next Sunday rather than facing first-round games Thursday.
Creighton earned its spot in the Valley title game with a 3-2 double-overtime victory against Drake on Friday. The Bluejays came into the tournament as the top seed, with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville the No. 2 seed.
The Cougars posted a 2-0 win against sixth-seeded Central Arkansas to advance to the championship.
Creighton posted a 1-0 double-overtime win against the Cougars Oct. 6 in Omaha. The victory was the second on a winning streak that has grown to nine and an unbeaten streak that has hit 10.
The Bluejays' last loss came Sept. 25 at Tulsa. Creighton went through a stretch where it lost three of four games, allowing eight goals in that span. The Bluejays have surrendered five in their past 10 games, posting shutouts in seven of those matches.
“Since we hit that bump in the road, guys have really worked hard on playing their roles and doing what we need to do to win games,” Creighton sophomore Eric Miller said. “We're playing with a lot of confidence. We know that when we play our game, we have a chance to beat anybody.
“We feel we are capable of doing something special.”
Like his coach, Miller is unconcerned about trying to sort out where the Bluejays might land in the big picture.
“We just have to concentrate on winning another championship,” he said. “If we take care of business, things will take care of themselves.”
Contact the writer:
402-679-2298, email@example.com; twitter.com/PivOWH