Soccer player Erinoelle Clifton was used to wearing Panther purple and gold, but on Friday night her uniform will be red and white; and she will be aiming to trounce her former team.
After two seasons and 12 starts with Northern Iowa’s Women’s Soccer Team, Clifton transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha in search of a place she could call home.
“There were a bunch of coaching changes at UNI and it just wasn’t stable enough for me. But when I came to UNO, being closer to my family and everything, I definitely feel more at home,” she says.
The junior midfielder has been a delightful addition to the Mavericks midfield. Whether it’s on offense or defense, Clifton makes her presence known on the pitch. She has the potential to push play up on the sides and create scoring opportunities; and after two shutout losses, Omaha is yearning for creativity to produce scoring chances and goals.
The UNO Mavericks will welcome Northern Iowa on Saturday at 8 p.m., at Caniglia Field. After two road losses to open the season, Omaha can’t wait to be back home and play under the lights at Caniglia Field. Northern Iowa won their opener against Chicago State 5-0, and will be looking to stay undefeated when they take on Erinoelle Clifton and the rest of the Mavs.
Although she is playing her former team, Clifton insists that there is no ill-will between her and her former teammates. That doesn’t mean, however, that she doesn’t have something she wants to prove.
“My former teammates and I still check up on each other and talk all the time, but I still want to show them that things are good here, and that it wasn’t a bad decision,” she says.
Before the season started, Clifton said that the game she was most excited for was this one— against her former team. But her motivation to beat the Panthers comes from her inner-drive, not from haste. “I want to show them that this program is good, and that I left them to be at a place where I can be happy,” she says.
After enduring two turbulent years of her college soccer career, Erinoelle Clifton has finally found herself a comfortable spot to land.