After coming off a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Oklahoma in double overtime, the Nebraska soccer team suffered yet another 1-0 defeat to the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday night.
The lone goal came in the 14th minute after a slip-up led to an own goal for Nebraska.
As a team, the Huskers finished with 22 shots, with six coming on goal. Leading the way in shots was freshman forward Sarah Weber with four in the match, one on goal. Senior midfielder/defender Theresa Pujado finished with three shots, one on goal and freshman midfielder Haley Peterson also had three shots, one on goal.
“We’re getting a lot of chances,” Peterson said postgame. “We’re creating a lot of good things, but we just to finish and capitalize on. That’s what we need to do.”
Omaha attempted to put pressure on the Huskers right out of the gate. However, Nebraska gave the Mavericks a scare nearly five minutes in as freshman midfielder Jordan Zade nearly set the ball up for senior defender Grace Brown. However, Omaha prevented the opportunity with stout defense.
Following another charge downfield, led by sophomore forward Eleanor Dale, the Mavericks were able to send the ball across the field. Junior goalkeeper Makenzie Short, fortunately, didn’t have to worry about a shot on goal as the Husker defense shut down the opportunity.
That didn’t stop Omaha from trying again. But once again, Nebraska didn’t let the ball get close to the net. Passing the 13-minute mark, Dale had an excellent throw-in to sophomore forward Regan Raabe which led to another goal opportunity. The Maverick defense stood tall and stopped the attack.
Following a launch by junior midfielder Kathleen Aitchison, Omaha sent the ball back to the Huskers. In an attempt to regroup, the ball was sent back to Short. But a pressuring Maverick and a partial slip-up led to the ball rolling into the back of the Nebraska net.
“We know we can score goals,” Weber said. “We knew after the score, we couldn’t let it keep us down. We had to bring the intensity, especially for the collegiate level.”
With the score 1-0 for Omaha, the Huskers had to crank up the pressure. The Mavericks also thought about the idea, as both sides began to speed things up. Just over 20 minutes into the match, Nebraska was given another chance to score. As the ball flew in front of the net following a cross, Dale made a sliding attempt to put it in. But Omaha was right there to send it across the net, denying a goal.
The Huskers struck quickly yet again as Weber stormed down the field as the 23-minute mark closed in. After a blocked shot, Pujado fired towards the net, but the Maverick’s sophomore keeper Mia Reedtz Rehde Olesen saved it with a diving catch. Nebraska stayed on the offensive as senior midfielder Dakota Chan sent another shot at the net, but landed in the Omaha keeper’s hands.
Another chance came on two straight corner kicks, but once again, the Mavericks kept the Huskers at zero. Nebraska continued with its strikes as Peterson blasted one towards the net, but once again the ball met the Omaha keeper.
A third corner kick was given to the Huskers as they were nearing the 35-minute mark of the first half. Sadly, the cross went too far. Corner kick number four for Nebraska came two minutes later, which was used to pass it to Brown. Brown put too much power in her shot, however, as the ball sailed over the net.
At the 38-minute mark, freshman midfielder Florence Belzile had a shot on goal, but Omaha’s keeper refused to let it pass. Senior forward Natalie Cooke’s goal attempt met the right post. Belzile had another shot attempt at the 43-minute mark, but that went over the net, marking Nebraska’s last shot of the half.
The Huskers came out attacking in the second half, earning three corner kicks within the opening six minutes. However, the Mavericks kept each effort away from the goal.
Things stayed heated as back-and-forth action commenced for both teams. However, most of the shots taken didn’t have much chance to hit the back of the net. Nebraska soon put the pressure back on Omaha, but its search for a goal was still ongoing.
As the match surpassed the 75-minute mark, things seemed to be dissipating for the Huskers. Despite spending a majority of the half in Maverick territory a goal continued to be out of sight.
With under five minutes left, the aggression was through the roof for Nebraska. But the Omaha defense, along with a questionable call on Weber at the 86-minute mark, left the attempts in vain. Not even two straight corner kicks and a shot by Weber could do anything.
The 90th minute soon hit and the game was over.
“It was tough,” Peterson said. “This game showed there were a lot of things to work on and grow from. Luckily it’s early in the season so we can learn from this.”
With the loss, the Huskers are now 3-2 on the season. The next match will be on Sunday against Loyola-Chicago at 1:05 p.m.