By Avery Wenck, Asst. Sports Editor
Your Omaha Mavericks were in action on Aug. 16 to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second annual South Omaha Classic in front of 1,438 fans.
The Mavs came into the season on the back of a 6-9-1 season in which they went 3-3 in Summit League play, finishing third. The Mavericks have started to show their attacking style, notching 108 shots on goal last season, 28 more than in 2012.
Omaha got off to a slow start in the game, and while they were able to control possession in the first half, they were unable to provide the final ball for a goal, which was evident throughout the whole game. Though they tested the keeper three times in the first half, none were good enough to score.
Nebraska got the first goal in the 44th minute, a clean through-ball down the left side of the 18 yard box by Charlie Trautman for Brandon Roarty who took a touch around rookie keeper Josh Christensen and calmly curled it into the net. Omaha still went into the locker room leading in shots and corner kicks 9-2 and 4-0, respectively.
The second half would be a completely different story for the Mavs, as they came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Right from the offing, the Mavs looked good to score the equalizer. Every player was playing fast, high pressing, attacking football and the chemistry between the backline and the midfield was evident, especially down the wings.
Mark Moulton, a sophomore who captained the side, looked calm and collected down the left side for the Mavs. He was efficient in his passing, while also recycling possession through his midfielders and left back. He also managed to get four shots, three of those on goal.
The Mavericks got their equalizer in the 70th minute through Jesus Perez. Lalo Gamboa worked his way through a couple of Husker defenders before losing his footing. Luckily, the ball bounced right into the path of Jesus Perez, and the junior from El Paso, Texas was able to finish it into the left corner.
Omaha kept applying pressure and had a couple of looks from outside the penalty box, which were saved by UNL goalie Drew Pfeil, who had eight saves to make throughout the match.
Omaha would get their game-winner in the 81st minute from Emir Alihodzic, who blasted a one-hopper from 24 yards to the right of the net into the bottom left corner.
Omaha looked promising throughout the whole match, pressing Nebraska high up the pitch and not allowing their fullbacks to play out of the defense.
The Mavericks ended the game with 27 shots to Nebraska’s three. The Mavs host their season opener against highly-rated Santa Clara on Aug. 29. If you haven’t already, pick up your UNO soccer scarf for $30 from the UNO ticket office.