By Joe Gabbert, Contributor
Last Saturday, the Mavericks men’s soccer team played their first game at the new Caniglia Field to a great home field advantage.
“It definitely feels likes a home field,” Mavericks goalie Matt Grosey said. “Coming out here, you’ve got this many people out here to watch us, who are behind our back. It’ll be good for the rest of the season, our last two games and good for all these guys who are here next year and years after as the program gets to build. I just hope at this point everyone starts fearing coming to Omaha.”
However, the first game ended in a heartbreaking loss to Oral Roberts when, with nine seconds left in regulation, Wayne Farmer put in the winning goal.
Coach Jason Mimms still has a positive outlook.
“I think that we have a home field advantage, and we do. I’m not going to let the result make us think we’re not good at home because we are,” Mimms said, when asked about this game’s takeaways.
The field has turf specially designed for soccer made by Hellas sports construction.
“It’s so different playing here,” Maverick women’s soccer goalie Meaghan Clark said. “The field is so smooth. There aren’t any bumps or nooks and crannies where the ball is going to jump up or anything. We kicked around on it this morning and it is completely different playing here. It’s just a different field all together. It’s unbelievable. I’m so excited.”
Coach Mimms also commented on the playing surface, describing it as “incredible.”
“Usually when you have a turf field like this, it takes at least six months maybe a year for the field to settle in,” Mimms said. “Usually it’s a little spongy but this fields absolutely incredible. The way the ball is moving, the way it was rolling around, and the guys were sliding out here. I have not seen a better artificial field.”
The atmosphere and attendance saw a big boost from UNO’s former home at Chilli Green. The Crowd was louder, and the stadium held a school record of 1804 fans in attendance.
“It stinks that we lost, but this feels like home,” Mimms said. “You’re not playing at three in the afternoon on a Tuesday at Chilli Greens with family and friends only. You actually get a fan base with the band and students and there was tailgating. It’s so fun. Even if it is only a couple games for our goalkeeper and a couple other seniors. They get to see what it’s going to be like.”