By Avery Wenck, Asst. Sports Editor
The Omaha Mavericks welcomed the Summit League titleholder Denver to town on Saturday night at Caniglia and sent them home with a lot to think about. Denver had three points over the Mavericks going into the game and Omaha had everything to play for. The Pioneers had never lost in the Summit League prior to Saturday’s game and the Mavericks had a title push in the balance.
In a game with a lot at stake, there is always going to be some tough play, and Saturday was no different. The first half was a completely dominant performance from the Mavericks, leading in all statistical categories except fouls.
Senior captain Nick Miller would open the scoring for the Mavericks on a rebounded header that was deemed to have crossed the line. Not even three minutes later, Sophomore Xavier Gomez crossed a ball that Senior Jordan Gealy was able to head home for his first goal of the season.
The Mavericks would continue to get opportunities but were unable to take them, thanks to a couple saves by Ryan Massey and his goalpost.
The second half was much like the first half, with both teams fighting hard to break the other down and getting caught up in scuffles in the process. Omaha would not be distracted by Denver’s games though, as Sophomore Mark Moulton would add to their tally after 52 minutes with a goal of the season contender. Miller played a long ball over the top to Moulton, who volleyed it from outside the box into the top left corner.
The goal was the finishing touch to a fantastic team effort by the Mavericks. Denver would pick up a consolation goal in the 80th minute through Reid Hukari but it wouldn’t matter as the Mavericks would go on to win.
Moulton would finish the game with two assists and a goal, but it took a team effort to put away a very strong Denver side. Head coach Jason Mims said that considering everything the team had to play for in the game, it was their best performance. Mims had a lot of praise for his veteran forward Gealy, who got his goal in the biggest game of the season for the Mavericks.
“I’m so glad for him. He’s a senior who has been with the program since it started,” Mims said. “The team has gotten so much better in the last three years but Jordan hasn’t quit and he’s stayed positive. Now there are injuries up top and we threw him up there and he got his goal.”
The men’s team will welcome Drake to Caniglia on Tuesday night for a non-conference, cross-state battle. The U.S. national team super fans the American Outlaws will be in attendance to support UNO