Mavericks fall to Bluejays in Dodge Street Derby, now prepare for Summit League play

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Jordan McAlpine
SPORTS EDITOR

Senior Ed Port has scored one of the Mavericks’ three goals this season. Photo courtesy of Omaha Athletics.

What’s turned into ​one of the most anticipated matches on the Omaha soccer scene during the last few years, the Omaha and Creighton men’s soccer teams faced off last week for the fifth edition of the Dodge Street Derby. In this year’s match, it was the Bluejays who came away victorious with a 1-0 win.

To add insult to the injury, the eventual winning goal came off the foot of former Maverick Diego Gutierrez in minute 17.

After winning last season’s match by a 3-0 final at Caniglia Field, which was the program’s first win over their cross-town rival, Bob Warming’s squad ventured down Dodge Street for a showdown under the lights at Morrison Stadium. What proved to be a defensive showdown, the Mavericks went toe-to-toe with the Jays for most of the night, but ultimately fell short.

Omaha fired four shots on goal and put up a strong fight, especially in the second half. Although Creighton outshot Omaha 9-8, only three of those nine were on net as the Maverick defense kept the Bluejays at bay and limited most of the high-danger scoring chances.

Goalkeeper Nathanael Sallah made two saves between the pipes, but the Mavericks were unable to find the back of the net in front of him. As if that 1-0 final isn’t indicative enough of how the night went, neither team recorded a shot on target over the final 20 minutes of the back-and-forth defensive showdown.

With the loss, the Mavericks now sit at 2-4-1 on the 2021 season. It hasn’t been the start some might’ve hoped for this fall record-wise, but that record isn’t completely a reflection of how the team has played. Although the Mavericks have struggled to score and generate much offense in the early going, they’ve been in every game.

Every regular season match has been decided by one goal this fall, and the loss to Creighton was the third time Omaha has lost by a 1-0 final this season. As frustrating as it has to be for those on the pitch, it’s not time to ring the panic alarms just yet.

The Mavericks are just seven matches into their 16-game schedule, so there’s still a lot of season left to be played. Make no mistake, there are areas that need to be cleaned up, but Warming is optimistic about what his group can do the rest of this season. They’re still improving in his eyes too.

More importantly, Omaha hasn’t even jumped into Summit League play yet. They head into their conference-opener against Kansas City as the Summit League preseason favorite. The conference slate features home matches against Kansas City, Oral Roberts and Western Illinois this season while the Mavericks travel to Eastern Illinois, St. Thomas and Denver.

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