August was not friendly to the women’s soccer team.
Ending the month with just four losses and a tie, including three games decided by a point or less, the squad, led by coach Tim Walters, was still looking to break through. September provided: Omaha achieved two victories to begin the month over Green Bay and Southern Utah.
The first game of the season Thursday night, on the road against a tough Memphis Tigers team handed UNO their first loss of the 2018 season by a score of 4-0. The Mavericks then traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas on Aug. 19 to face Arkansas State but would end up tying the Red Wolves 1-1 after two overtime periods.
“At Memphis, who is an at-large team every year… then Arkansas, who finished SEC runner-up last year… it’s a tough start,” said head coach Tim Walters.
UNO, still looking for their first win, would be on the road again to play the Arkansas Razorbacks. Unfortunately, the Mavs were shutout again and fell to the Razorbacks 2-0.
Finally, UNO made their home debut against an in-town rival in Creighton University. It took 66 minutes for either team to get on the board, but the Blue Jays prevailed 1-0.
After dropping another 1-0 game on the road against Missouri State, the 2018 women’s soccer season was looking at a 0-4-1 start. The 2017 squad also began 0-4-1.
The Mavericks then played host to Green Bay and neither team scored until the 75th minute. UNO’s Andrea Daves scored her first goal of the year to give the Mavs a late 1-0 lead. Daves’ goal would turn out to be enough as UNO held on to win their first game of the year 1-0 at home.
The Mavericks played another home game on Sept. 8th against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, and they managed to nab a 1-0 win. It would be their second straight victory of the season. Hannah Heinemann scored the first goal of her career in the 37th minute of the match to give the Mavs their 1-0 advantage.
In the past, home field advantage has been moderately significant for the squad: in 2017, the team finished with a record of 2-7-1 away from Caniglia Field. At home, their record was 4-3. Currently, the team is 2-1 at Caniglia and 0-4-1 away.
Five of the eight games that Omaha has played have come down to the wire, ending with a margin of a point or less. Two of those games have been victories.
“I think those moments this year is what’s going to benefit us,” said senior midfielder Emily Romero at the start of the season. “We know how to push, we know how to go into extra minutes.”
Omaha then played Ball State away from home on Friday evening, dropping the decision 1-3. Romero scored her first goal of the year, and fifth of her career.
The team continues against Illinois State on Sunday, Sept. 16.