A record crowd of 1,678 showed up at Morrison Stadium to watch a resurgent Creighton women's soccer team take on crosstown rival UNO, and Jill Richgels and Kelsey O'Donnell made sure the portion of fans dressed in blue didn't leave disappointed.
O'Donnell scored her third and fourth goals of the season, both coming off free kicks by Richgels and breaking a tie each time, propelling the Bluejays to a 3-2 win that stretched their winning streak to seven games.
The match was the final nonconference tuneup for Creighton (7-2-0), which awaits its Big East opener against Marquette on Thursday.
The Mavericks dropped to 2-5-1 with one nonconference game remaining at home Sunday before beginning Summit League play Oct. 4.
Lauren Sullivan also had a goal for the Bluejays while Nyoke Dumba and Monica Bosiljevac each scored for UNO.
O'Donnell credited Richgels in setting up both of her tiebreaking strikes on the free kicks.
“I knew that we needed to get a goal because we needed the win today,” O'Donnell said. “She put great services in, and luckily I put them in the back of the net.”
Mav coach Don Klosterman said this wasn't the first time this season his team has had trouble defending set pieces.
“We've just had a real struggle on free kicks this year and defending free kicks,” Klosterman said. “It's happened to us too often. It's been a tough deal for us.”
Creighton opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Sullivan sailed a shot from 17 yards out to beat keeper Meaghan Clark for her second goal of the year.
UNO tied it 1-1 in the 40th minute on Dumba's first goal of the year when she received a long pass from Courtney Neville and banged it past keeper Danielle Rice from the left wing.
But the Bluejays responded 40 seconds later, regaining the lead when O'Donnell's header from Richgels made it 2-1 Creighton with 4:46 remaining in the first half.
UNO leveled the match again 6:19 into the second half when CU wasn't able to clear an attack off a corner kick.
Chelsi Rohloff ended up with the ball deep to the right of the goal post, and she elected to cross the ball to the left post where Bosiljevac had an open shot to notch her second of the year.
O'Donnell and Richgels hooked up on the game-winning set piece in the 61st minute when O'Donnell buried a one-timer from 8 yards out off a Richgels' kick.
Bluejay coach Bruce Erickson said that although he was happy to get the win, especially after last season when CU finished 3-13-3, he would have liked to have seen a better effort.
“Well, a year ago I would have been happy with a result like that because we couldn't find ways to win,” Erickson said. “But I was kind of disappointed with the way we played. We did enough. Our standards are higher.”
Omaha (2-5-1) .................................... 1 1—2
At Creighton (7-2-0) ............................ 2 1—3
Goals: 1, CU, Lauren Sullivan (unassisted) 22:11. 2, UNO, Nyoke Dumba (Courtney Neville) 39:34. 3, CU, Kelsey O'Donnell (Jill Richgels) 40:14. 4, UNO, Monica Bosiljevac (Chelsi Rohloff) 51:19. 5, CU, O'Donnell (Richgels) 60:17.
Shots: UNO 11, CU 23. Shots on goal: UNO 4, CU 11. Fouls: UNO 7, CU 6. Goalkeepers: UNO, Meaghan Clark 90:00 (8 saves); CU, Danielle Rice 90:00 (2 saves). Att.: 1,678
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