For the Women’s Soccer team, the Home Field Advantage is Real

Omaha’s second team looks on as Drake and Omaha players struggle to gain possession of the ball during their match on Sept. 19th. Photo courtesy McKinley Pollett.

Drake Foss

The UNO women’s soccer team is finding its stride at home – but they continue to struggle on the road.

On Sept. 16, the Mavericks would lose to Illinois State 0-2. The first goal of the match came from Kate Del Fava at the 3 minute mark, and a second and final goal would come in the 44th minute, off a goal by Megan McEachern. This would become their second straight loss–their fifth on the road.

The game featured eleven shots on goal, with five of them from Omaha. The Omaha team played cleanly, accruing only three penalties compared to Illinois State’s ten.

But on Sept. 19, the team came back to Caniglia Field, and felt the home field advantage.

The Mavericks would break their slump with a 2-1 win over Drake University. The first goal of the game came off a shot from Bailey Cascio (her first of the season) with the assist going to Andrea Daves. The Mavericks would score again in the 33rd minute off a goal from Tabitha Allberg with the assist going to Cascio and Daves.

Drake wouldn’t go without a fight – they would score in the 70th minute to bring the game to within a point. The goal came off a shot from Alison Walls and was assisted by Cassie Cohen. They were unable to capitalize on the remaining time, and Omaha nabbed their third home win of four home games.

This win puts the Mavericks at a record of 3-6-1 – a similar record to last year’s overall finish at 6-10-1.

The home field advantage at Caniglia Field is measurable – in four home contests Omaha has had an average attendance of 494 fans per game. Opponents have averaged 279 fans per game.

The Mavericks face a tough upcoming conference schedule to start off the season, starting with Oral Roberts on Sept. 27 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then they travel to Denver, Colorado on Sept. 30 to play Denver University. On Oct. 5, they return home to play Purdue Fort Wayne at Caniglia Field.

Last year, the team was just a win away from making the conference tournament and have repeatedly emphasized the need to be prepared for Summit League play.

“One or two bounces here and there, I think we could have been in much better shape… (but we had) the most wins (in conference) we’ve ever had,” head coach Tim Walters said at the start of the season.

Statistically, the team averages .60 goals per game, compared to their opponents’ 1.5 goals per game. They also struggle with offside calls, nearly doubling their opponents’ count of 12 calls to Omaha’s 21.

The team comes home on Oct. 5 to face Purdue Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast on MavRadio.

After time of publication, the women’s soccer team played UTRGV in Texas on Sept. 23.