Old Dominion University men’s soccer hosted the 38th annual STIHL classic on Friday, Sept. 13 suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Creighton Blue Jays.“We had our game plan down, and we executed it very well up until the very end. I thought the boys played incredible, just an unlucky ending for us,” goalkeeper Sean Stowe said.There is a little history between the two teams. ODU upset Creighton in front of their home crowd in their last face off.“That was huge for us last year and we wanted to show everybody we could do it again, especially all of our guys that graduated,” Stowe said.The Blue Jays came into the contest as the number one ranked team in the country, creating a playoff like atmosphere in front of a very spirited crowd.“Coming in, we knew the atmosphere was going to be good especially against a highly ranked team. Seeing a crowd like that really gives us a lift, we love these fans and their support,” ODU head coach Alan Dawson said.Coach Dawson and his team tried not to let the number one ranking distract them or affect the usual preparations.“For us this week was more of a reflection on our loss to William and Mary. The goal was to focus not so much on Creighton but us as a team and what we can do to get better,” Dawson said.Dawson is very familiar with Creighton’s team and staff, contributing to a fast start for the Monarchs.“He knows their coach very well and their style of play and we were able to adapt very quickly,” Stowe said.The Monarchs hard work and preparation showed in the first half. They demonstrated great ball control and created opportunities early on.Controlling the possession allowed the Monarchs to generate pressure and a lot of offense, outshooting the Blue Jays 11-5 in the first half.“It almost looked like a rivalry game out there; both teams played an aggressive game. You could see how badly both of us wanted it,” Stowe said.Creighton’s aggressive play backfired at the end of the first half. A foul in the box led to a goal on a penalty kick by junior forward Ivan Militar.Going into the second half, ODU looked to keep the pressure on. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays were able to capitalize on a penalty kick as well. It came just 13 minutes in to the second half.“That was a tough for us because we knew we had outplayed them up to that point. Simply we had a great first half, they played better in the second half,” Dawson said.At the end of regulation, the teams were dead-locked in 1-1 tie, neither team wanting to give an inch. The Monarchs finished with 20 shots overall and 6 on goal.