Omaha men’s soccer punches ticket to Summit League Championship with Oral Roberts upset 

Omaha players celebrate their victory over Oral Roberts. Photo courtesy of Omaha Athletics

Tulsa, Okla. – The Omaha Mavericks outlasted the No. 2 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in a defensive battle in the Summit League Semifinal Thursday. A late goal propelled the Mavericks to a victory over the Golden Eagles for the first time since 2021.

The Mavericks leaned on their defense early, not taking a shot until the 12th minute. Despite the conservative start, the Mavericks and the Golden Eagles both attempted five shots by the end of the first half.  Junior goalkeeper Nathanael Sallah was a brick wall for the Mavericks in his fifth shutout of the season as his four saves worked in tandem with a strong defensive effort to shut out Oral Roberts.

Oral Roberts came into the match scoring 2.29 goals per game on 17.6 shots per game. The Mavericks stifled their offensive attack as they allowed no goals on just 10 shots throughout the entire match. The Mavericks matched the number of shots for the match with 10, but they only had two that were on goal as opposed to the Golden Eagles’ four.

The levee finally broke in the 80th minute after junior Mathis Pilon St. Louis was able to score on a breakaway. Sallah punted the ball to midfield and after bouncing off the head of a Golden Eagle and being tipped by senior midfielder Maruki Kawahara, fellow senior midfielder Sokol Ymeraj made a falling pass to St. Louis who had nobody between him and the goalkeeper. St. Louis attacked and found the bottom right corner of the net for the only goal of the match.

The late-match goal was St. Louis’ third goal of the season, and perhaps the most important goal from anyone on the team up to this point. It didn’t only propel the Mavericks to a Summit League Championship game, but it also helped snap a five-game losing streak against Oral Roberts.

In the title game, the Mavericks will face off against the Kansas City Kangaroos for the third time this season. The Roos managed to knock off top-seeded Denver en route to their championship bid. Both matches between the Mavericks and the Roos this year have resulted in a tie. The championship match will take place in Tulsa, Okla. on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.