Going scoreless in back-to-back games would cause some coaches to lose sleep.
But Creighton soccer coach Elmar Bolowich is hardly tossing and turning at night, though his Bluejays have been blanked in their previous two matches.
“Some of it has to do with our injury situation and missing some attacking players,” Bolowich said. “It also has to do with these last two games were away games, and there is a fatigue factor in there.
“Plus, we’re young up front. We’re starting two freshmen and two sophomores, and it takes time. At this point, panic would be the worst thing that could happen.”
Creighton hasn’t scored since Bruno Castro’s goal in the 54th minute of a 2-2 double-overtime tie against Michigan State on Sept. 24. The Bluejays played Big East rival Georgetown to a scoreless tie Sept. 28, then dropped a 1-0 decision at Saint Louis on Wednesday.
Creighton (5-2-2, 1-0-1) will try to get back on track Saturday in a 7 p.m. conference match against Xavier (4-4-2, 0-1) at Morrison Stadium.
After scoring 12 goals in its first five matches, Creighton has scored three in its last four.
“We haven’t had a lot of chances here lately, and that’s probably the most concerning part,” Castro said before Friday’s training session. “We just have to keep working at it and try to get a lot more attempts on goal tomorrow and in the next game and the next game.
“We just have to keep working forward toward that goal.”
Injuries have contributed to some of the scoring problems. The Bluejays have played the last four games without senior forward Sean Kim and the last two without junior Zaberle Kollie.
Freshman Fabian Herbers, tied with Kim for second on the team in points, turned an ankle in the first half against Saint Louis. Creighton also has played its past two matches without No. 1 goalkeeper Alex Bolowich, who is questionable for the Xavier match.
“We have three forwards out, and that’s problematic,” Bolowich said. “We’ll look to other players to move into some different roles and play a little higher up. We’ll have to see how we’re going to rotate this.
“We’re just not as deep as we want to be. If you want to play a pressing style, you try to let guys go hard for 30 minutes, take him out and then bring another three or four in and maintain the momentum. It’s harder to do when you don’t have that luxury.”
Castro acknowledges the injuries have had an impact, but it’s up to the remaining players to keep pushing forward.
“One of the factors is that the teams we’re playing are very organized defensively and have kept it compact,” he said. “We have to work our way through that defense, and we haven’t been really efficient at doing that.
“Teams know we like to possess and get behind them, and they’re keeping things compact on the defensive line. We have to be more effective in breaking them down and being more aggressive in the final third.”
Bolowich said the focus in training has been on fine-tuning the offense.
“We have to continue working on our patterns and work on our common understanding of how the players should run off one another and combine with one another,” he said. “Once we get a better feel for that, goals will be a natural part of that process.”