DENVER, Colo. – The Omaha men’s soccer team dropped a heart-breaking 2-1 decision to No.4 Denver in the Summit League Championship game Saturday afternoon at CIBER Field. The Mavericks finished the regular season with a record of 10-5-4.
“Obviously it was a gut-wrenching loss losing in the last 30 seconds of the game,” said head coach Jason Mims. “I compliment Denver on their win and wish them luck in the tournament.”
Denver forward Andre Shinyashiki scored the game-winning goal with 41 seconds remaining in regulation. Shinyashiki headed the ball from seven yards out to the left post, taking a cross from Sam Hamilton.
Neither team scored in a fast-paced first half that saw the Pioneers outshoot the Mavericks, 12-3. UNO goalkeeper Joeseph Ghitis made two impressive saves in the first 45 minutes to keep the game scoreless.
Jacob Weiler gave Omaha the lead in the 58th minute with a header from the left side of the net. Fazlo Alihodzic crossed the ball from the right side of the 18-yard box to just inside the six-yard box where Weiler headed the ball between the legs of Denver goalkeeper Nick Gardner to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. The goal was Weiler’s second of the season.
Shinyashiki leveled the game in the 75th minute from six yards out. Blake Elder and Graham Smith assisted on the goal.
Omaha had a chance to regain the lead less than five minutes later. Seth Rinderknecht fired a throw into the penalty area, where Mark Moulton rose above the defense and headed it towards goal but Gardner was able to touch it away to keep the Mavericks at bay.
“We took a huge step forward this season as the program finishing first in the conference regular season,” said Mims. “I am proud of all the guys in the locker room today for their exceptional commitment to Omaha and all their hard work.
“I also want to thank all the fans that traveled all the way to the game today and promise them we will be back next year even stronger and are looking forward to hosting in Omaha.”
Omaha’s outgoing senior class –Alihodzic, Moulton, Lalo Gamboa and Jake McCain – helped the Mavericks to an impressive 35-24-8 record over the past four years.
UNO finished 7-2-1 in the last 10 games to close out the season.
Senior midfielder Mark Moulton capped his Maverick career ranked first in school history for points (49), assists (21), games played (70) and shots (137). He ends his career second all-time in goals scored with 14.
Moulton tied a Summit League Tournament record with two assists in Thursday’s semifinals against Eastern Illinois.
Senior forward Fazlo Alihodzic’s 25 points were the highest single-season total in program history.
Omaha tied a program record with 10 wins this season.
Scoring Summary Omaha 0 1 - 1 Denver 0 2 - 2
Individual Scoring Jacob Weiler (Omaha) at 57:44 (Fazlo Alihodzic) Andre Shinyashiki (Denver) at 74:38 (Blake Elder/Graham Smith) Andre Shinyashiki (Denver) at 89:19 (Sam Hamilton/Chandler Crosswait)
Goalkeeper Saves Joseph Ghitis (Omaha) – 4 Nick Gardner (Denver) – 1