In soccer, each team is allowed to start 10 position players and a goalkeeper. One goalkeeper.
Don’t tell that to Creighton women’s coach Bruce Erickson. In his mind, the Jays have a pair of starters in goal in senior Alicia Montgomery and junior Katie Jo Swanson.
“I think it’s very uncommon to have two goalkeepers as good as we do,” Erickson said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough games to keep them both happy.”
The two have started three games apiece, with Montgomery holding a 1.35 goals-against average and Swanson standing at .31.
Montgomery and Swanson see the situation as an opportunity.
“It helps us to push each other and ourselves to do better,” Swanson said.
“If you don’t have that competition every day, you would never get better,” Montgomery said.
The goalies have split time before.
The past two seasons, Montgomery was on the field the majority of the time. The native of California started 33 of 42 games, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference second-team honors two years ago and MVC honorable-mention recognition last year.
Those other nine starts went to Swanson. The Colorado native didn’t disappoint, boasting a 4-0-2 record during her six starts in 2010. Together last season, they helped lead CU to a conference title, an MVC tournament championship and a NCAA tournament berth.
In the first six games this season, Erickson said he’s been trying to get a feel for how each of the keepers meshes with the back line of the defense. After this weekend, conference play will begin and Erickson expects to pick a regular starter for the remainder of the season. The two goalkeepers are well aware of that.
As much as they’d each love to see more playing time, they have one common goal: win.
“When (the conference season) gets going, I think it’s just like any other position and the best player will play,” Montgomery said.