Men’s and Women’s soccer ready for home openers

Photo by OMavs

Ray Koch

Two games. One night. Maverick soccer fans won’t have to go anywhere on Aug. 25 when the men’s and women’s teams will play back-to-back games to headline the home-opening night.

The men’s soccer team, coached by Jason Mims, will be playing Grand Canyon University (GCU) at 6 p.m. Immediately following that game, the Lady Mavericks, coached by Tim Walters, welcome Northern Iowa (UNI), which is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m.

The men played an exhibition game last week against a Top-10 team in Notre Dame, which they lost 2-0. Head coach Jason Mims is hoping that the things they did well against Notre Dame will help the Mavericks in games against other teams.

“Obviously if there’s things we can do successfully against Notre Dame, we are probably going to be successful against other teams with that as well, and vice versa,” Mims said following the loss to Notre Dame.

Against a team with a lesser caliber than the Fighting Irish, the Mavs will likely be able to experience more freedom on offense. Controlling possession and creating chances can be so difficult with a team as good as Notre Dame; but even the Mavs were able to do that at times.

The Mavericks experienced this last year after their hard-fought game with Marquette. In the home opener against San Francisco, Omaha found the back of the net three times in a 3-1 win. I’m expecting the same results when Omaha takes on GCU.

The women’s team will be looking to bounce back from a rough season opener last Friday. Traveling to Cheney, Washington, the Mavericks kicked their season off against Eastern Washington in a game that started off tart–then turned sour.

In the third minute of the game, the Eagles scored on a shot from 15 yards out, and the Mavs were staring at an early 1-0 deficit.

The Mavericks refused to go down without showing some fight, however. Late in the first half with the Mavs down by two, Omaha Senior Natalie Johnson took a pass from Cydney Skinner and scored the first goal of the season for the Mavericks. That goal cut the lead to 2-1 at the end of the first half.

The second half was—unfortunately— all Eagles, as they scored three unanswered goals to win the game 5-1.

The Mavericks will look to get back on track against Northern Iowa. Ironically, junior midfielder Erinoelle Clifton is a transfer from UNI, and will be playing against her former team. Hopefully that motivation, and a home crowd, will be enough to bring in two Maverick wins.