Fans have been piling in to the bleachers to see what University of Nebraska at Omaha’s soccer teams can do. Currently, both the men’s and women’s teams have had a fair start to the 2016 season, but it has only just begun. The men are currently sitting at 2-1-2, while the women are 2-3.
The men’s team had their work cut out for them this week while Omaha’s best went head-to-head Sept. 5 for a Labor Day smackdown. UNO and Creighton University played an intense match at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium. Both student sections were filled with roaring fans, all hoping for their team to come out on top as Omaha’s best soccer team.
UNO goalkeeper Jospeh Ghitis explained what the rivalry is like between the two teams.
“The rivalry between us and Creighton is a big one,” Ghitis said. “But in all honesty, we care more about the rivalry than they do because we’re a smaller, new program that is trying to make a name for themselves, rather than Creighton who is a big established program that has already shown what they can bring to the table.”
The match was intense, leaving the crowd of fans on their toes throughout the duration of the game. The second half ended with a score of 1-1 and after two over-time halves the match ended in a draw—UNO’s first tied match of the season.
“It was definitely nice to play in front of a huge crowd,” Ghitis said. “The atmosphere was great and I would love to play in another game like this.”
Women’s soccer played against Kansas State Sept. 4 at Caniglia Field. The match ended 0-1, resulting in the team’s third loss of the season.
“Our game against K State was a heart breaker. It would’ve been our program’s first win against a BCS school during regular season play,” UNO defender Emily Michaels said. “We beat Iowa State two years ago but it was exhibition play.”
During the first half, both teams were head to head. It was not until the second half that UNO began to lose their grip of a win.
“The second half is where we fell short,” Michaels said. “K State seemed to want it more than we did and they did what they needed to do to get on the board and eventually win.”
Michaels said that the loss against Kansas State has not left the team discover aged, but has in fact
sparked something in them that they might find useful for the remainder of the season.
“Moving forward from that game, we’ve learned that nothing is going to be given to us.” Michaels said. “We’ve got to earn every call, every goal, every win and prove to everyone that we can do it.”
Michaels said that the team hopes to use the rest of the season to prove to those who do not believe in the team’s potential that they are wrong.
Though the year has started out a little rough for the women, they have their minds set on some strong goals for the remainder of the season.
“Although we obviously wanted to win the games against Creighton and Kansas State, it’s still early in the season and they were good games that left us with so much room to continue growing,” Michaels said. “Moving forward, our focus will be on winning and performing well in conference and I think we’ve set ourselves up nicely to accomplish those goals.”
With a couple of weeks to go before the start of conference games, both teams still have a long season ahead of them and have their eyes fixed on winning. Season schedules for both the men’s and women’s teams can be found online at OMavs.com.