Missouri Western’s game against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Thursday ended in a 1-1 tie in double overtime.
Western dominated the first period with good possessions and movement and Nebraska-Omaha did the same during the second period. Neither team balked at the challenge of taking the game to its full 110 minutes.
Head coach Jeff Hansen thought the team played well.
“We played a good game against a team that’s 7th in the region, who are right on the cusp of playing in the National Tournament,” Hansen said. “We all wanted to win, but it was a good effort.”
The Griffons controlled the pace during the first period, with the majority of the play centered in Maverick territory. The first goal of the game came at 6:47, when Audrey Henderson escaped her defender, stole the ball from the Nebraska-Omaha goalkeeper and scored with a kick from the 10-yard line into an empty net.
The Griffons continued to play tough defense, but Nebraska-Omaha made a push toward Griffon territory and the Griffons were able to clear it out of bounds. Unfortunately, this lined up the first corner kick for Nebraska-Omaha, who continually practice corner kick opportunities. Maverick forward Nicole Baier shot the ball into a mass of Griffons and Mavericks, where her teammate Jerica Kuncl managed to put a foot on the ball that soared into the Griffons net.
Griffon goalkeeper Jenna Weis played a great game, finishing with four saves. However, she was not happy with the goal the Mavericks scored.
“I’m a little disappointed with the goal. I think I hesitated a bit which led to the corner kick,” Weis said. “But I thought we played a good game, and I was happy with our performance.”
During the second period, the teams swapped roles with Missouri Western being pressured for most of the period. The Griffons defended well but were not able to get many possessions. The Mavericks had seven corner kicks during the second period but were not able to capitalize on them, and Coach Hansen was increasingly surprised as the game wore on.
“To be honest, we dodged a bullet; we got away with one,” Hansen said. “If you had told me we had given away 11 corner kicks in the first two periods, I would have said we were not playing well.”
Both teams looked tired toward the end of the second period, but neither team gave up any openings, and they were both held scoreless.
The first overtime was uneventful with neither team taking control. During a shot attempt by the Mavericks, Missouri Western’s goalkeeper, Jenna Weis, was hit by an opposing player and sent to the ground. Fortunately, Weis was able to get up and continue play. The last seconds ticked off the clock and the Griffons headed into the final overtime.
The Griffons continued to play their hardest in a battle of wills. By the second overtime, eight players had over 100 minutes of field time. The game came down to a last second corner kick by Nebraska-Omaha. Western and UNO players crowded around as the ball soared into the pack, glanced off a Western player’s head and sailed clear. The horn sounded, and the game ended.
The Griffons’ record after Thursday’s game is 5-9-1, 3-7-1 MIAA. Western will hope for revenge against Emporia State this Friday after losing to the Hornets in their first meeting of the year. The game will be at Emporia on Oct. 29 at 4:00 p.m.