One glance at the score lines from Omaha women’s soccer from last year to this year seems to indicate that there is a positive trend present.
Last year, when Omaha played the Memphis Tigers, they lost 4-0. This year, the team played the Tigers much closer in a 1-0 loss. Last year, the Mavericks lost to the Illinois State Redbirds 2-0. This time around, the Mavericks scored twice in a 2-3 loss.
On Friday, Sept. 6, the Mavericks faced off against another opponent from last year in the Ball State Cardinals. Omaha was this time trying to avenge a 3-1 loss on the road in Muncie, Indiana.
The revenge game didn’t start of the way that Omaha would have preferred, however. This time playing at Caniglia Field in front of their home fans, Maverick soccer got off to a slow start against Ball State. The first shot from the Mavericks didn’t come until the 22nd minute of the first half.
Thankfully for Omaha, Ball State didn’t get off to a much better start. Within 30 minutes of the game, Ball State only got off two shots of their own.
The offense really started to show up for the Cardinals in the last 10 minutes of the first half. After peppering the Maverick goal with shots near the end of the half, Ball State finally broke through in the very last minute of the half.
Ball State’s Nicky Potts dribbled through the Omaha defense and finished her shot calmly into the far lower corner of the goal. The Cardinals went into half time up 1-0.
“It’s disappointing to give up a goal with 45 seconds left in the half,” said head coach Tim Walters. “We’re defending very well, and then we give up one naive goal a game, so we need to fix that.”
The second half brought a much more energetic performance from the Omaha offense. After mustering just one shot in the first half, the Mavericks got three shots in the first three minutes of the half.
The best opportunity for the Mavericks’ to equalize came with the first of those three shots. Sophomore Amanda Rapaduski fired off a shot from a tight angle that hit the top corner of the Ball State goal before bouncing away to safety. The Mavericks would not be able to get much closer than that. The game ended 1-0 in favor of Ball State.
The Mavericks will now prepare for two road games, as they get set to play away at Iowa State and Oklahoma State on back to back weekends.
“We need to go and continue to learn more about ourselves,” said Walters. “We need to figure out in these next two games how we’re going to generate chances and how we’re going to score goals.”
Omaha will return home on Saturday, Sept. 21 when they play the Missouri State Bears. The game can be streamed online at OMavs.com or listened to on MavRadio.fm.