Three first half goals, an opener by junior Ed Port and a brace by junior Hugo Kametani, along with a solid game-long defensive effort helped the University of Omaha Mavericks to a decisive victory over cross-town rival Creighton University. The game was well-attended safely by supporters from both schools. Today’s win was the Mavericks’ first ever competitive win over the Jays in four meetings. This was also the first time the Mavericks shutout the Jays in competitive play.
The Mavericks put the Jays on the back foot right from the opening whistle. Within 6 minutes, Port, a Reading, England native and Genesee Community College transfer, opened the scoring for the Mavericks after a defensive miscommunication in the backline. The Mavericks kept the pressure up, and two minutes later scored the prettiest goal of the three. Senior Nil Ayats threaded a great ball through to Kametani, who finished well for his third goal in three games. Less than 15 minutes later, Kametani put the game to bed scoring his second goal by finishing a rebound from a Stevie Siy shot.
Save for a couple offside goals called back (one for each team), the second half was fairly sleepy. Creighton was able to create a couple nice moments of build up, but wasn’t able to find the finishing product. Callum Watson was active in both halves trying to create chances for the Jays. The early goals took the edge off the traditional derby feel, but the second half did provide a few hard tackles and a yellow card to Creighton’s Landon Sloan. The Mavericks move to 1-1, and the Jays fall to 1-1.
Both teams return to their respective conference schedules in what will feel more like a sprint and less like a marathon, as both teams play 8 games over the next 5 weeks. UNO welcomes Western Illinois to town for a Thursday-Sunday set of games, and Creighton welcomes Xavier to town for a Saturday morning Big East tilt.
Player of the Game – Hugo Kametani. The junior striker for the Mavericks has scored 4 goals in 3 games for UNO. It will be hard for him to keep up that strike rate, but even if he slows down a little bit, he is going to be a force up top for Bob Warming’s squad. He took his chances really well, and has a great work rate as a lead striker. Hopefully he stays healthy and continues to score goals.
Pulling the Strings – Nil Ayats dished out two assists on the day, and he was fun to watch. He was moving the ball well and playing some great passes. I look forward to seeing how the senior from Spain performs the rest of the season.
Running down the Wing – Stevie Siy, a senior from Omaha Central, was active up and down the wing today. The dynamic right back was present in both the defense and the attack. For me, he was the best local player on display in today’s derby.
Shorthanded Jays – Creighton University was without Musa Qongo, Dominic Briggs, Cameron Briggs, and former Maverick Diego Gutierrez.
Tactical Thoughts – I thought Coach Bob Warming and the UNO staff got their tactics spot on and the Maverick players executed. High pressure early in the game paid off, and the personnel choices in the backline kept the Blue Jay attackers mostly at bay. Ed Gordon off the bench provided necessary work-rate and physicality in the midfield. I don’t think the Creighton coaching staff necessarily got their tactics wrong, but the team as a whole came out flat, made some silly defensive errors, and didn’t execute on the final ball in the attacking third.
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