By Avery Wenck, Asst. Sports Editor
It was a great night for soccer on Friday night as the Omaha Mavericks took on the Cincinnati Bearcats at Caniglia Field. The Mavericks came into this game on the back of two disappointing losses last weekend against Santa Clara and Stanford. Omaha had played very well in those two games and were unlucky to lose.
Omaha got off to a positive start in the game and looked lively early on. The first 15 minutes were a power struggle in the midfield as both teams struggled to get an attempt on goal. This back and forth play caused the Bearcats to accumulate five early fouls.
The breakthrough goal came in the 17th minute as Mark Moulton lobbed a ball over the top of the Bearcat backline and Felipe Da Silva was able to head home. The Mavericks doubled their lead two minutes later as Logan Mendes played a perfect ball across the face of goal that Moulton was able to finish.
The Bearcats looked to build up some momentum after the two quick goals and would get their only goal in the 27th minute as Alan Rovira sent in an early cross that Terence Carter was able to flick on with his head past Josh Christensen. The Bearcats pressed on, but Omaha was able to hold off any attempt on goal and went into the half up 2-1.
The second half would tell the same tale as the first, with both teams looking to breakthrough the opposition’s defense. The Maverick defense looked stout, with Da Silva and Nick Miller looking impressive as the core of the backline. Omaha looked dangerous, but were unable to find the final ball that would allow a good chance on goal.
They would finally get the game-clinching goal in the 82nd minute as a free kick from Moulton bounced through the Bearcat back line to Miller, who took a touch and finished off the crossbar.
The Mavericks looked poised to win the whole game. Moulton was named Man of the Match with a goal and two assists. He was very upbeat about his side’s performance.
“They were a good side,” Moulton said. “We came out with intensity like last weekend and were hoping to get a result, and we did.”
Head Coach Jason Mims was in high spirits after the game, and praised his side for bouncing back after last weekend.
“We wanted a win and we got it,” Mims said. “We know we are good.We know we can play with anybody, but when you’re 0-2 going into your third game, you have a very tense locker room. We proved the first week that we could compete against anybody, but we needed to prove this week that we could win games.”
Mims didn’t withhold any kind words for Moulton either, claiming that his sophomore captain is an integral part of his plans.
“He’s absolutely incredible,” Mims said. “You know what you get from him every single game. Every time the whistle blows he goes both ways with attacking and defending. Your captain is supposed to do things right on and off the field, and he’s a 4.0 student who takes care of his business in the classroom and on the field.”
Another bright spot in the game was the center midfield pairing of Lalo Gamboa and Joe Marinkovich. Mims talked a little bit about that partnership and their dominance in the midfield throughout the game.
“Lalo is a more defensive-minded player, but he can also Attack. I thought it was good to have two guys to cover ground in there,” Mims said. “I thought they did a good job of containing No. 10 [Ashani Walker] who had been playing well.”
Mims said that midfield dominance allowed Rookwood and Garcia to have a more free role up top. When asked about Garcia’s continued work rate, Mims said. “Christian defines every role we’ve set out for a UNO centre forward. He is relentless; he doesn’t stop and he doesn’t care how big a guy is, and everyone appreciates how hard he works.”
The Mavericks will finish off the weekend against Belmont at 2 p.m.. That game will be following the women’s game at 11 a.m. against New Mexico State. You can listen to those games and all broadcasts on Mavradio.fm and can pick up season ticket scarves from the ticket office for $30.