When the University of Nebraska at Omaha Women’s Soccer team headed to the field for their home-opener against Northern Iowa, much of the energy of Caniglia Field had already been used up.
Or at least that’s what it seemed.
Omaha came out as flat as possible, and lost to Northern Iowa 2-0. The Panthers scored a goal in each half and refused to let the home team enjoy any moment of the game. The energy that the Mavericks are capable of showing was not present on Friday night.
“I think the difference was just a mentality thing. We just have a lot of things we need to fix,” said coach Tim Walters after the game.
Coming into his first year as head coach of the Mavericks, Tim Walters knew he had to change the culture and “fix” a lot of bad habits of the players. Those things, he says, are something that he thought they were making progress on but need to be revisited after this game.
“I thought we fixed a lot of things, but we need to go over some of those things; we will get there eventually.”
There are many reasons to trust that the Mavericks “will get there eventually.” Coach Walters has gotten these girls into tremendous shape, even some people go as far as to say that they are in the shape of a men’s soccer team. Plain and simple, this game was not a product of who the women’s soccer team is going to be.
Obviously, it’s tough when you lose the home opener, but even more so after the men had won theirs just before. The hardest part of the game for the Mavs was creating scoring chances.
“We try to do too much, when we got in dangerous spots we just didn’t shoot and would play the ball back,” Walters said.
The good news for the Mavericks is that these are easy things to fix. UNO had possession in offensive territory many times, and they assuredly have top athletes capable of producing goals. These things will come with time. With new players, new recruits and a new coach, it’s bound to take some time to get things figured out. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.
One of those bright young prospects, freshman forward Bailey Cascio, got her opportunity to head the Mavs offense when she was brought to the top of the formation in the second half. Coach Tim Walters liked the way she played.
“She holds the ball well, works hard and she is very committed.”
Walters also said that it’s just a matter of time before she, and the rest of the team starts scoring goals. With great athletes and a great coach, the time for success is a matter of when, not if.