In a match with limited offensive opportunities, the Creighton men's soccer team made the most of one just before time ran out.
Carlos McCrary's goal in the 87th minute lifted the No. 6 Bluejays to a 1-0 exhibition win against No. 7 Notre Dame in front of a Morrison Stadium crowd of 3,212. It was the first exhibition for both teams.
McCrary also had the lone goal in Creighton's Blue-White scrimmage Thursday, a 1-0 win for the White squad.
The teams totaled nine shots in Sunday's match — an average of one every 10 minutes.
But Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich promised changes to the Bluejays' offensive pace, and he expected it to happen quickly.
“It's a matter of timing,” Bolowich said. “It's a matter of fine-tuning these things. This is not a big deal.
“I think you'll see next weekend, you'll see a little more dynamic movement already off the ball.”
Creighton will complete its exhibition schedule Friday, hosting the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
On Sunday, each team played stout defense from the outset. Then Notre Dame finally buckled with 3:13 left in the match.
Marvin Iskra sent a long through ball in front of McCrary, who was able to split two defenders and advance on former Millard North goalkeeper Brian Talcott.
Talcott rushed forward to stop the attack, but McCrary was able to knock the ball behind the sprawling keeper and then banged it home.
McCrary credited Iskra for his execution of a difficult pass to set up the goal.
“It was really more Marvin's doing. I just found a pass,” McCrary said. “He just found me in, and I got in behind the defender and I just scored.”
The match was a stiff opening test for Creighton, which reached the College Cup semifinals last season before falling to eventual national champion Indiana 1-0.
The Fighting Irish entered the 2012 NCAA tournament as the top seed with a 17-4-1 record, but they were eliminated by the Hoosiers in the third round.
“This is the kind of team you want to play in preseason because it gives you a different measuring stick,” Bolowich said. “If you're playing a Division II or III or whatever team and you win 5-0, you really don't know where you are.”
Alex Bolowich played all 90 minutes and got the win in goal for the Bluejays, making three saves.
Following the opening match, the two sides participated in a 60-minute game using reserve players. That contest ended in a scoreless draw.
CU opens the regular season Aug. 30 when its hosts No. 14 Tulsa.
Notre Dame ............................. 0 0—0
At Creighton ............................ 0 1—1
Goals: CU, Carlos McCrary (Marvin Iskra) 86:47. Shots: ND 4, CU 5. Shots on goal: ND 3, CU 2. Saves: ND, Patrick Wall 1, Brian Talcott 0. CU, Alex Bolowich 3. A: 3,212.