After releasing opening season polls, the Omaha men’s soccer team was picked by The Summit League coaches to finish second, right behind reigning conference champion and program rival, Denver. The Pioneers, who ranked 15th in the NCAA by College Soccer News’ preseason poll, received 36 total points and six first-place votes, while the Mavericks received just 29 points and no first-place votes.
Mark Moulton was named as ‘a player to watch’ in the conference. The senior forward/mid-fielder was selected first-team all-Summit League the past two seasons, placing second in the conference in points (20) and goals (7) in 2015. Moulton also led the Summit last year in shots with 51, and is the school-record holder in assists with 18 in his career to date.
The Mavericks started things off on Aug. 10 with the annual black-white scrimmage. After a couple of lightning delays, redshirt junior midfielder/defender Jacob Weiler scored early for the black team off a corner kick by Moulton. Freshman forward Elvir Ibisevic scored an unassisted goal later in the first half to make it 2-0, black squad. Moulton scored the game’s final goal off a penalty kick to make it a 3-0 advantage for the black team, which ended as the final to the inter-squad scrimmage.
UNO traveled to State College, Pennsylvania on Aug. 13 for an exhibition match against Penn State, where the Mavs fell in a Saturday morning match 2-1. UNO showed a shade of the 2015 season’s team after acquiring an early lead off sophomore forward Noor Hamadi’s goal from the box with an assist by Moulton. The Nittany Lions would score a pair of goals to take the lead 2-1.
Omaha scored an equalizer in the second half, but had it called back for offsides. Ibisevic had a chance to tie the game with under five minutes to go but couldn’t convert the penalty kick.
Omaha will kick their regular season off with a home-opener at Caniglia Field against San Francisco on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by the women’s match-up with Creighton.