The Omaha Mavericks beat the Denver Pioneers on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie to punch their ticket to the Summit League championship. The number-one-ranked Pioneers were the favorites, but penalty kicks propelled the Mavericks to their third title match appearance in four years. Omaha went 3-2 in penalty kicks, which allowed them a shot at the number two-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Omaha jumped out to a quick lead in the 13th minute after sophomore Alyssa Kellar converted on a header from Norwegian senior Emilie Erland. The Pioneers’ leading scorer Kaitlyn Glover evened the bout with a goal in the 27th minute.
In the first few minutes of the second half Summit League Offensive Player of the Year Sophia Green found Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Regan Zimmers for the Mavericks’ second goal of the match. Danish senior Goalkeeper and 202 Summit League Goalkeeper of the Year Mia Reedtz Rehde Olesen held solid in her sixth start of the year as saves in the 51st and 72nd minutes allowed the Mavericks to remain in the lead.
With only 52 seconds left on the clock, Denver was finally able to get past Reedtz to equalize and send the match to overtime. Reedtz made four saves in overtime which forced the two semifinalists to battle it out with penalty kicks.
Six-foot-one sophomore Emma Konsmo subbed in for Reedtz during the penalty kicks and she was unable to prevent the first penalty kick from finding the back of the net. Green was able to find the top right corner of the net to even up the score. The second round of penalty kicks did not see any scoring as Konsmo was able to make a stop and sophomore Reagan Bourgeois bounced one off the left post.
The Mavericks took a 2-1 lead in the third round as sophomore Marissa Gohr was able to sneak one into the lower right corner. Denver was unable to put one past Konsmo as they bounced their third-round attempt off the post. The third round saw Erland find the left side of the goal to keep the Mavericks in the lead despite Denver’s successful penalty kick.
The fifth and final round came to a close with Konsmo making a diving save. Konsmo’s save sent the Mavericks to the Summit League title match for the second year in a row. The title match will be played on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1:00 p.m. in Brookings, South Dakota.