The Omaha men’s soccer team is still looking for their first win of the season, but they can certainly take away positives from their game against the Michigan Wolverines.
After a tough stretch to start the season – one that saw the Mavericks get off to an 0-3-1 start – Omaha was looking to turn their fortunes around on Friday, Sept. 13. In their previous game, the loss for the Mavericks had been particularly frustrating, ending 3-1 against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Michigan was also coming off a loss. The Wolverines played against the No. 13 Washington Huskies on Sunday, Sept. 8 and fell 1-0.
With both teams looking for a big win, it would be the Mavericks who would find a break through first in the match.
In the ninth minute of the game, junior Diego Gutierrez whipped a ball into the box that found the head of junior Aaron Uribe. Michigan goalie Andrew Verdi found himself too far off his line to prevent the header from finding its way into the net. The goal was Uribe’s first of the year and gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
Despite a barrage of shots from the Wolverines, this lead would hold up for almost an hour of play. The Mavericks managed to escape several near-equalizers from Michigan. In the last minute of the first half, a shot from Michigan’s Jack Hallahan ricocheted off the post. Then, in the 60th minute, Michigan was awarded a penalty kick that was saved by Omaha’s Jeremy Pollard.
Pollard, who was playing in his first start for the Mavericks, put on a man-of-the-match performance to keep Omaha in the game. Aside from the penalty kick save, Pollard made eight other saves in the match.
A header from Michigan’s Derick Broche proved to be the only shot that Pollard was unable to save. Coming in the 75th minute of the game off a cross from Hallahan, the shot was the last goal of the game.
Despite a few decent chances coming in overtime, the game ended 1-1. The Mavericks can take confidence from this result as they get set to play cross-town rivals, the Creighton Bluejays, on Monday, Sept. 16 at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium.
After that, things won’t get much easier for Omaha. The Mavericks will travel to play the Air Force Academy on Sept. 21 before returning home to play California State University Northridge on Sept. 27.