The Omaha Creighton Prep product who evened Wednesday’s match with a perfectly placed free kick midway through the second half didn’t take the field against his hometown team with a plan to score.
But as soon as the referee placed the ball just outside the right edge of the box, senior defender Peter Schropp had an idea.
He hadn’t taken a free kick for Georgetown in his four-year career. He was goalless coming into Wednesday’s regular-season finale.
There was something about that moment, though. It’s the stadium he visited regularly as a kid. He had family in the stands. Plus, his team needed a spark.
Schropp asked midfielder Kyle Zajec what he thought.
“I went up to him, I’m like, ‘do you think I should just hit this?’ ” Schropp said. “And he was like, ‘get on the ball, Peter.’ ”
Schropp made the most of his chance.
His 20-yard strike tied the match in the 65th minute. The Hoyas (10-4-3, 6-2-1 Big East) then won three minutes into overtime when a corner kick bounced at the feet of sophomore Derek Dodson, who guided the winner past keeper Paul Kruse.
It was a stunning defeat for the Bluejays (11-4-2, 7-1-1), who hadn’t lost a Big East match all year. They earned the league’s regular-season crown outright Saturday — so they’ll be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next week. But the result will serve as a reminder that there are some vulnerabilities for CU to address.
No. 14 Creighton has surrendered too many throw-ins, free kicks and corner kicks lately, coach Elmar Bolowich said. He indicated that defending with discipline has been a point of emphasis. DePaul nearly came back Saturday because CU didn’t manage the game well enough late, Bolowich said.
“I think we struggled through our games more than actually being in control, and (Wednesday) it finally caught up with us,” he said. “They were opportunistic and they deserved to win the game.”
The Hoyas couldn’t have done it without Schropp’s strike.
He hit it low with his left foot, curled it around the Jays’ five-man wall and buried it into the far corner of the net. A couple of teammates patted Schropp on the back as he stood along the sideline after the match, watching a replay of the kick on his dad’s phone.
The goal was big, yes. But the comeback was a reflection of the team’s resiliency, Schropp said. Now they have to build off it.
“We just told ourselves at halftime that there’s 2,000 fans here that don’t want you to win,” he said. “It’s just us — 24 people in this locker room that are going to win this game. We came together.”
Sven Koenig scored his Big East-leading 10th goal of the season in the 25th minute for Creighton, which honored its six seniors — Mitch LaGro, Joel Rydstrand, Akeem Ward, Koenig, Anthony Macchione and Jack Robinson — prior to the match.
Schropp and the Hoyas could be back in Omaha in 10 days. If CU and Georgetown both win Wednesday, they’ll meet for the league tournament title Nov. 11 at Morrison Stadium.
Georgetown (10-4-3, 6-2-1)..........0 1 1—2
At Creighton (11-4-2, 7-1-1)..........1 0 0—1
Goals: G, Schropp (1), Dodson (9). CU, Koenig (10)
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No. 25 Ty-Shon Alexander, men's basketball: He could be in store for a breakout season. The Jays are looking for someone to help fill the shoes of Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas. Why not Alexander? Click here to read more.
No. 24 Taryn Jakubowski, women's soccer: She’s usually the hardest-working player on the field, and her evolution as a scorer will be something to watch. The Jays will be relying on her again this season. Click here to read more.
No. 23 Naomi Hickman, volleyball: There’s a vacancy in the middle of Creighton’s alignment, and Hickman would be well suited for the role. Click here to read more.
No. 22 Jacob Epperson, men's basketball: He has quickness, agility and hops. He is still working to add strength. But the ceiling is incredibly high for the Australian. Click here to read the story.
No. 21 Olivia Elger, women's basketball: She had two 20-point games last year. She scored in double figures in eight of the final 13 games. Her 44.2 shooting percentage from 3-point range was tops on the team. Click here for more.
No. 19 Luke Haakenson: The junior midfielder was responsible for one of the most thrilling moments of the year — when he sprinted behind Tulsa’s defense, won a one-on-one battle with the goalkeeper and guided home a game-winner in overtime. Click here to read more.
No. 18 Nate Vontz: His breakout moment might have come this summer. Competing at the Indian Creek Invitational, Vontz set a course record with a 6-under 66 on one day. Click here to read more.
No. 17 Kuba Polat: The sophomore midfielder attempted nine shots last year, recording one goal and four assists. Click here to read more.
No. 16 Mitch Ragan: He produced a 1.97 ERA over his last five outings, striking out 34 in 32 innings. Click here to read more.
No. 15 Mitch Ballock: He averaged 11.6 points per game during the Jays’ final five contests — which was third-best on the team behind Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas. Click here to read more.
No. 14 Kiele Miller: If Creighton is going to build off its second-place Big East finish, it’ll need Miller to carry over her successes to 2019. Click here to read more.
No. 13 Ashley Ishimura: She went 15-5 for CU — losing just once in her final 14 matches. She earned a spot on the All-Big East second team. Click here to read more.
No. 12 Isaac Collins: Collins has spent his summer showing off his skills in the Cape Cod League. He batted .308 (11th-best in the league) during the regular season, leading his team with five stolen bases and finishing second with 27 runs scored. Click here to read more.
No. 11 Ashley Cantu: Cantu scored 45 runs — her rate of 1.05 runs scored per game ranked ninth nationally. Click here to read more.
No. 10 Davion Mintz: He showed flashes of his potential toward the end of his sophomore season, averaging 9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists his final five games. Click here to read more.
No. 9 Megan Ballenger: She serves, blocks and (occasionally) sets. Ballenger’s hitting percentage (.304) was third on the team last year. Click here to read more.
No. 8 Joel Rydstrand: He is Creighton’s top returning point scorer — that’s largely based on his ability to create chances for others. Click here to read the story.
No. 7 Brittany Witt: The reigning Big East libero of the year will patrol the back row again. Her intangible impact — she always brings high energy and effort — will help the Jays remain on the right track. Click here to read the story.
No. 6 Will Robertson: The Jays will need a slugger at the center of their lineup. Robertson fits the mold. He’s in store for a special 2019 season. Click here to read the story.
No. 5 Jaylyn Agnew: A versatile defender (able to guard multiple positions) and a skilled scorer (she shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range last season). Click here to read more.
No. 4 Martin Krampelj: He averaged 15.2 points and 10.8 rebounds, shooting 66.0 percent from the floor in his first five league games. Click here to read more.
No. 3 Audrey Faber: She had two 30-point games last season, and five of 20-plus. She was sixth in the Big East at 14.8 points per game. Click here to read more.
No. 2 Taryn Kloth: She was at her best at the end of last season, averaging 3.08 kills per set and hitting .329 during the final 10 matches. Click here to read more.
No. 1 Jaali Winters: The program’s all-time kills record is likely to be Winters’ by the end of the season. She’s already fourth in school history. Click here to read the story.