By Jared Meyer, Contributor
The UNO women’s soccer team needed a win in their final match of the season at Northern Colorado to even their record up at 6-6-2. A goal by the Bears in the 84th minute sealed a 1-0 defeat and denied the Mavs a shot at .500.
UNO ends its season at 5-7-2, the first losing season in program history. In a transition year to Division I, the Mavs went 3-5 against D-I opponents.
Four shots by UNO in the first half and one corner kick opportunity produced nothing on the scoreboard. Northern Colorado had nine shots and three corner kicks, but Maverick goalkeeper Katelyn Tschida kept the Bears scoreless.
UNO sophomore forward Katie Pickinpaugh had a header sail over the cross bar late in the first half and had the Mavs’ only shot on goal in the 77th minute. Pickinpaugh had three of UNO’s seven shots.
Late in the second half, the Bears earned three consecutive corner kicks. On the third try Northern Colorado midfielder Kimmie Feilder put a cross into the box that found the head of teammate JJ Wykstra.
Wykstra headed the ball down to the feet of the Bears’ Alexsys Tamayo who scored it on the UNO net.
“We gave up 3 corners in a row, and you can’t give them that many chances to score,” said assistant coach Ted Anderson. “Unfortunately, they scored on the third corner.”
Pickinpaugh ends the year as the Mavs’ top scorer, putting in four goals and one assist. Goalkeeper Tschida finishes 2011 with a 5-6-2 record, a .738 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average.
“It took about 15 minutes to settle in and realize that we could play with these guys, once we figured it out, it was a great game,” said Anderson.
Seniors Maggie Olson, Hayley Renshaw and Hilary Jackson combined for three points on the season. Olson had no points, four shots; Renshaw one assist and Jackson two assists on 25 shots.
The trio are the only players UNO will lose to graduation. Although 5-7-2 wasn’t the season the Mavs were planning on, Anderson says they see a bright future ahead.
“We are going to have a core group of juniors next year, and we feel that our better days are ahead of us,” Anderson said. “We feel like we got a lot better as the season went along and we only gave up one goal in the last three games which is a huge positive. We felt like we were competitive in almost all the games we were in, and I think that is a positive.”
Next season UNO will have seven home games, including matches with Creighton and Iowa State. It will also be the first year that the Mavs will play a full Summit League schedule.
“We’ll be able to see all the teams and talent of the conference and I feel like we will be able to compete right away with the talent coming for next year,” Anderson said. “We want to take on some bigger opponents as well like Iowa State and check out other conferences like the Missouri Valley with Creighton.”