Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Jays Fly South to Meet Bills

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Jays Fly South to Meet Bills

Article excerpt

The Creighton Bluejays shouldn't be too upset about having to fly south for a first-round NCAA playoff matchup against St. Louis University on Sunday at St. Louis Soccer Park.

At least the weather should be warmer than it was for the Jays' NCAA opener against Air Force last year in Omaha, Neb. That game featured a 27-degree temperature at kickoff, 15-20-mph winds from the northwest and 2 inches of snow before the game was over.

The Bluejays, who were 19-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation going into the game, didn't prove to be good snowbirds. They lost 2-1 in overtime.

"I think everyone who played or watched this game will remember it for the rest of their lives," Creighton coach Bob Warming said afterward.

St. Louis U. has had its own problems with November weather. In 1988, the Billikens were scheduled to play Southern Methodist in a playoff game at Soccer Park. It began snowing hours before the game, covering the main grass field.

One of Soccer Park's artificial turf fields was cleared hurriedly, but SLU coach Joe Clarke insisted on playing the game on grass. SMU's home field was turf, and he didn't want to give the Mustangs a home-field-type advantage in St. Louis. So a brigade of early-arriving fans, solicited via radio, was recruited to shovel the snow off the grass field, which quickly became a pig sty. The action was comical at times. Players, shivering in shorts, slipping and sliding like toddlers on skates. Numbers on jerseys, hidden by layers of mud, became unrecognizable.

The Mustangs got a goal in overtime and won 3-2. The players and fans thawed out a few weeks later.

There's no snow in Sunday's forecast. But a cold rain is likely, so wrap up.

Rhine Makes Splash: Connecticut freshman Bobby Rhine (Hazelwood Central) made a memorable impression on the Big East Conference this year: 10 goals and five assists for 25 points, second on his team in scoring. …

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