Dodge Street Derby preview

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Jack Hoover
SPORTS EDITOR

Soccer players from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University battle for the ball.
Omaha and Creighton playing in the Dodge Street Derby in 2016. Photo courtesy of UNO Athletics.

On the night of Monday, Sept. 16, the only two Division I men’s soccer teams in Nebraska will square off for state bragging rights.

After taking a brief hiatus last year, the Dodge Street Derby is finally back this season for Omaha and Creighton men’s soccer.

This year, the match is set to take place at Creighton’s Morrison stadium. This meeting will only be the third time the teams have met in competitive action. The Mavericks have yet to win against the Bluejays, as they trail the series 0-1-1.

Omaha will certainly be eager to pick up a win against Creighton on Monday, as they are still searching for their first win of the season. Playing under head coach Bob Warming, the team is off to a 0-3-2 start and is looking to find their top form in this season.

Meanwhile, Creighton soccer has been playing well in the first five games of the season. Competing against some top-25 teams early on in the year, the Bluejays have accumulated a 2-2-1 record so far.

Creighton can credit this good start to their new head coach Johnny Torres. Despite this being his first year as head coach, Torres is no stranger to Creighton. Torres played for the Bluejays from 1994 to 1998, winning the Mac Hermann Trophy in his senior year. In 2007, Torres returned to Creighton, where he has been a member of their coaching staff ever since.

When Torres and Warming meet on Monday, there will be a good deal of familiarity between the two coaches. Torres served as an assistant coach under Warming from 2007 to 2009.

On the field, the key to success for Omaha will be to find a way to keep their energy and intensity going for the full 90 minutes.

In many of the meetings between the two teams, be it competitive or in an exhibition, the story has been the same: The Mavericks have started these games strong, but often found themselves giving up costly second half goals.

In 2016, Omaha scored in the first half, but a goal in the second half by Creighton leveled the game. In 2017, the two teams played an even first half before a goal in the 77nd minute sunk the Mavericks. Even last season, in what was an exhibition game, Omaha led 1-0 at halftime before two second-half Creighton goals decided the game.

If the Mavericks can maintain intensity for all 90 minutes, then they stand every chance of walking away with a positive result from the match.

One thing that may be different this year from years past is the number of goals scored in the game. A total of three goals were scored in the past two meetings between the teams, but there is a good chance that more will be scored this time around.

Neither Omaha nor Creighton have managed to keep a clean sheet this season. Creighton thus far has conceded eight goals, while Omaha has allowed in 10.

With neither team being able to keep the ball out of the net this season, and with all the offensive power that both teams possess, there could be a high-scoring game on Monday.

Regardless of how many goals are scored, an entertaining atmosphere is guaranteed whenever Creighton and Omaha meet. Kick off for the match is set for 7 p.m., and fans will want to get there early, so as not to miss a minute of the Dodge Street Derby.

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