PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The No. 24 Creighton men’s soccer team defeated the No. 22 Providence Friars 2-1 during the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Championship Presented by Jeep on Thursday night at Chapey Field.
With the victory, the Bluejays advanced to the championship match and will face No. 15 Butler on Sunday.
Creighton improved to 11-5-3, while the Friars fell to 12-6-0.
Providence took an early 1-0 lead during the seventh minute with a goal from Danny Griffin, forcing Creighton to play from behind.
During the 31st minute, Ricky Lopez-Espin scored his fourth goal in three matches to even the score at one. Joel Rydstrand launched a free kick from beyond the 18-yard box towards the far post where Lopez-Espin one touched the ball into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
About 10 minutes later, Myles Englis gave Creighton a one-goal advantage with a header into the left corner of the net. Karim Sawaf crossed the ball from the right side of the 18-yard box to just inside the six-yard box where Englis headed the ball inside the far post to give the Bluejays a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes to play in the first half. The goal was Englis’ third of the postseason and fifth on the season.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Kapp preserved the lead with four first-half saves.
During the second half, Providence held a 7-3 advantage in shots, but Kapp added to his save total with five following the break to match his career-high with nine overall.
The Friars ended the match with a 12-10 edge in shots and 9-3 in corner kicks.
In Thursday’s other BIG EAST semifinal match, the Butler Bulldogs defeated Villanova 1-0 in double overtime.
The Bluejays will play the Bulldogs for the 2016 BIG EAST title on Sunday. Kickoff from Indianapolis is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central and will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 2.
Creighton defeated Butler earlier this season, 1-0 at Morrison Stadium on Oct. 7.