Connor Sparrow found himself in a place he never expected after halftime Sunday .
Sparrow, a sophomore goalkeeper who transferred from UMKC this season, was thrust into the match at halftime with No. 6 Creighton nursing a 1-0 lead following an injury to starter Alex Bolowich.
But Sparrow never flinched as his offense gave him additional support in the second half on the way to a 3-0 win against Cal Poly in front of a Morrison Stadium crowd of 2,653.
Coach Elmar Bolowich said Alex Bolowich, his son, suffered what appeared to be a sprained ankle, but it was too early to assess the severity of the injury.
The younger Bolowich, who was credited with the win in goal, spent the second half on the sideline in a walking boot.
Sparrow, who practiced on the field during halftime while the rest of the team was in the locker room, said he had some nerves taking over in goal.
“I think there’s always nerves coming in just on surprise like that, especially with the atmosphere here,” Sparrow said. “I just didn’t want to mess it up. I just wanted to get the win for the team.”
Ricardo Perez, Eric Miller and Timo Pitter each scored and Fabian Herbers had two assists to lead the Bluejays.
The teams were fairly even through the first 25 minutes of the match. But the field began to tilt in CU’s favor in the final 20 minutes of the first half as the Bluejays forced the Mustangs’ back line to play wider with long passes down the wings.
That tactic paid off in the 36th minute when Sean Kim ran down a long ball deep on the right wing and fired a cross to the mouth of the goal to Perez, who scored the first goal of his career to give Creighton a 1-0 lead.
CU widened its lead in the 57th minute when Miller scored a header off a free kick by Herbers. It was Miller’s first goal of the season.
Sparrow was forced to make his only save of the match two minutes after Miller’s goal when he stopped a shot by Mackenzie Pridham.
He said making that save helped him gain confidence.
“It felt really good just to get my hands on the ball and get settled into the game,” Sparrow said. “And it’s always very important to make the first save just for confidence.”
Pitter’s goal in the 67th minute, his second in two games, capped the scoring. Herbers and Jose Ribas were each credited with an assist.
The goal gave Pitter five points in two games to lead the Bluejays. He also had a goal and an assist in Friday’s 2-0 win against No. 14 Tulsa.
Creighton (2-0-0) will host Columbia on Friday.
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Cal Poly (1-1-0) ............ 0 0—0
At Creighton (2-0-0) .... 1 2—3
Goals: 1, CU, Ricardo Perez (Sean Kim) 35:03. 2, CU, Eric Miller (Fabian Herbers) 56:36. 3, CU, Timo Pitter (Herbers, Jose Ribas) 66:27. Shots: CP 7, CU 10. Shots on goal: CP 3, CU 5. Goalkeepers: CP, Wade Hamilton 90:00 (2 saves); CU, Alex Bolowich 45:00 (1 save); Connor Sparrow (1 save) 45:00. Fouls: CP 6, CU 5. A: 2,653
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>> Video: Highlights from Creighton's win over Cal Poly