Monday, October 12, 2009

Mavs football upsets No. 12 Washburn

The UNO football team defeated No. 12 Washburn 31-21 on Saturday in front of a Homecoming crowd at Caniglia Field.

Head coach Pat Behrns had a great quote after the game.

"One thing I wanted to make sure when they went out on that field was that they didn’t forget who we are,” he said. “We’re a good program and we’re a good team also.”

The game itself was a game of two halves - offensive fireworks in the first and stout defense in the second.

Washburn came into the game ranking first in the conference in three offensive categories, including total offense and points per game, and they sure played like it in the first half. QB Dane Simoneau made a lot of great throws and his receivers made some fantastic catches to move the ball at will on the Mavs' defense in the first two quarters. After each team had the ball, the score was 14-14.

“You kind of shake your head and wonder when [the scoring] is going to slow down a little bit,” Behrns said. “I thought we played the first half on defense to keep from getting beat instead of playing to win. You cannot play defense cautiously and that’s what we did.”

Eventually, UNO's defense made some stops and the Mavs got a 28-14 lead, thanks to two touchdown receptions by junior tight end Mike Higgins. But Washburn battled on their last offensive possession of the first half and scored a touchdown with less than a minute left in the half to cut UNO's lead to seven.

After the break, however, both teams made adjustments on defense and both offenses were incapable of scoring. The only score was a 29-yard field goal by junior Greg Zeurlein early in the third quarter to give UNO a 31-21 lead.

UNO made many defensive stops in the second half, including stopping Washburn on 4th-and-1 when the Ichabods were at UNO's 9-yard line.

Defensive tackle Nate Wissink talked about the defense's effort.

“I feel like we came out and did what we wanted to do, and that was stop the run,” junior defensive tackle Nate Wissink said. “I think we took a major step today.”

It was a great win for UNO, and it gives the Mavs three in a row in the conference. I expect a top 25 ranking rather soon, as this team seems to be taking shape into a playoff-caliber team right before our eyes.


The Mavs just keep on winning.

The UNO soccer team won two more games this week, defeating Emporia State 5-0 on Thursday and winning 1-0 against Washburn yesterday.

The offense exploded for four goals in the second half against Emporia State, including two goals by redshirt freshman Nicole Baier.

“It had been a while since I had scored, so that was exciting,” Baier said after the game.

Baier talked about how the team is coming together over the season.

“The whole team is playing as a whole, unlike we were at the beginning” she said. “It’s changed, black and white, from game one to game 13.”

On Sunday, the defense shined in the victory against Washburn. The Mavs allowed only three shots total for the game, including one in the first half.

“[The defense] has been amazing,” head coach Don Klosterman said. “[Lauren Fox] has been awesome, the fullbacks have been awesome. They’ve really come together.”

Lauren Fox recorded 1.5 shutouts in both games. She shared the shutout against Emporai State with senior Elizabeth Odorisio. Fox is now 7-1 on the year.

UNO is now 9-4 overall and 8-1 in the conference. However, the Mavs will play 6 of the next 7 games on the road. It will be interesting to see where this team is at when the regular season comes to an end.


The Mavs volleyball team suffered a devastating 3-2 loss to No. 21 Truman on Saturday afternoon in front of a shocked and quiet crowd at Sapp Fieldhouse.

UNO played sloppy in the first two sets and fell into an early 0-2 hole. Head coach Rose Shires was not happy with the play in the first two games.

“We played very poorly, very uninspired in games one and two,” Shires said. “We played very separated and isolated.”

After the intermission between sets 2 and 3, UNO came out looking like they were capable of playing. They took the next two sets in impressive fashion, evening the match at 2-2.

“We just said it’s enough,” senior hitter Kelli Goeser said. “We knew we couldn’t have the attitude we had in games one and two. We knew we had to play with heart instead of playing individually.”

With the match tied at 2-2 going into the pivotal fifth set, momentum was clearly on the side of the Mavs. The girls were fired up and the crowd was rowdy and cheering loudly.

UNO took a 12-9 lead (remember, the fifth set has match point of 15) and appeared on the verge of winning the match. Truman took a timeout, but came back and scored 6 straight points to take the set 15-12 and win the match. Shires talked about what happened at the end of the set.

“At the end we became more passive, and that allowed them to be back in the game,” Shires said. “It cost us.”

It certainly did. The Mavs are now 17-5 overall and 7-2 in the conference. Despite the setback, Rose was proud that her team battled back after a slow start to tie the match. It showed character, and while this is a loss that stings now, there is still plenty of season left in front of them.


UNO won the Mutual of Omaha Icebreaker Tournament held at the Qwest Center over the weekend, going 2-0 against Army and UMASS-Lowell.

The Mavs had to rally in both games after finding themselves facing early deficits.

On Friday against Army, UNO entered the third period down 4-3.

“We kind of lost our step a bit in the second period,” senior captain Jeric Agosta said. “But coming into the third, we did a great job coming back and didn't give them anything.”

In the third, UNO scored three goals to win the game 6-4. Head coach Dean Blais talked about the team's mentality going into the third period.

“We wanted to be in the championship game, not the consolation game,” Blais said. “We felt we were going to find a way to win one way or another.”

After the victory, UNO took on UMASS-Lowell on Saturday night for the championship game. The Mavs once again fell behind early, going down 2-1 at the end of the first period. But the Mavs responded in the second, scoring two goals to take the lead 3-2 before each team exchanged goals in the third.

UNO is 2-0 early, and despite the sluggish start, I don't think there's anything to worry about. The team is still learning to play with coach Blais and each other. Expect the team to get better as the season goes on.

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