Creighton’s players spent the week reminding one another that their mentality in practice would determine whether they’ll be extending their three-match winning streak at Villanova Saturday.

Things are going well for the Jays, who vaulted up to No. 12 in the coaches poll this week.

They’re coming off a convincing 3-0 victory over Butler, last year’s Big East champ.

But now’s not the time to celebrate — especially not in training sessions.

“And I think that’s actually the hardest part,” sophomore midfielder Kuba Polat said. “It’s very important to keep up the intensity, even in practice — because it starts in practice. You always play like you practice.”

The Jays (4-1-1, 1-0) have been in a similar position before — encouraged by a successful homestand, only to be humbled on the road. They haven’t won a Big East match away from Morrison Stadium in nearly two years.

So this CU team will learn something about itself Saturday.

Creighton’s best bet is to set the tone with its defense, according to senior forward Sven Koenig. That will require the same relentlessness and energy that the Jays have used to control the action in the last three matches, when they’ve outscored their opponents 7-1.

“We know always that when we defend well, we’re going to win,” Koenig said. “That’s what’s happened the last three games, and I hope we continue to play that way.”

Reporter - Creighton athletics

Jon covers Creighton athletics, the College World Series and more for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @JonNyatawa. Phone: 402-444-6611

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