Nebraska-Omaha 2, Seattle Pacific
Nebraska-Omaha 2, Seattle Pacific 1Dec. 3, 2005
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - It may have taken three minutes extra to do it, but the Mavericks completed a seven-year journey by winning their first national championship Saturday afternoon at the Midwestern State University Soccer Field. Sophomore forward Brandie Beale riffled a high shot over the goalkeeper's head and into the back of the net 3:03 into overtime to break a 1-1 tie and give Nebraska-Omaha its first women's soccer championship. The Mavs (20-2-0) defeated Seattle Pacific, 2-1, and handed the Falcons their first loss of the year as they completed their fourth straight trip to the final four with a victory and championship trophy.
"This has been four years coming for us," said head coach Don Klosterman after his team battled back from a 1-0 deficit for the second straight game. "These guys don't quit. They've shown it every single game."
Klosterman started the Maverick soccer program seven years ago and has seen his team fall in the final four each of the last three years.
After falling behind early from a SPU goal at 7:24 from Megan Lienhard, junior midfielder Amber Richardson lofted a shot up and into the wind from about 30 yards out. Falcon goalkeeper Jennifer Burns got a hand up and on the ball, but it bounced off her finger tips, onto the crossbar and came down for the game-tying goal.
"With the wind, you just have to shoot the ball and take a chance," said Richardson, an all-tournament team member who finished the season with seven goals.
After tying the game, the Mavs were able to control the flow for most of the first half. The Mavs had a 9-3 advantage on shots in the opening period and were able to battle off Seattle Pacific's chances. With 20 minutes remaining before intermission, freshman defender Whitney Telschaw headed one of SPU's eight corner kicks out of the box that was headed for the goal.
In the second half the Mavs weren't able to create the chances they got at first and SPU was able to a put lot of pressure on UNO that half. Late in regulation Klosterman pulled one of his three forwards back into the midfield to try and create chances.
"We thought we needed a little more help in the midfield," said Klosterman. "It seemed to give us some more support and we were able to win some balls."
The shift gave the Mavs a big opportunity to win the game before the first 90 minutes ran out. With seven remaining, Beale took a the ball through the box and shot it into the hands of a diving Burns..
Beale got another chance just three minutes into the Mavs' first and only overtime of the year. Freshman midfielder Tara Wegehaupt threw the ball in near midfield to Richardson. The junior sent the ball forward to Beale who fired the ball in for her fifth game-winner and 13th goal of the year. She was named the offensive MVP of the tournament after she finished with nine points.
The Mavs, who are now 13-3-1 all-time in the NCAA tournament, will be taking home their first championship trophy to go along with a second- and two third-place trophies.
Senior goalkeeper Amy Price, who made five saves, including a diving one with 10:40 left in regulation, was named the tournament's defensive MVP. Senior defender Meghan Pile, freshman forward Amanda Iwansky, McGill and Richardson were also named to the all-tournament team.
Price, Pile, defender Becca Fritz and midfielder Christen Boeckel all graduate with the championship trophy after playing in all four final fours for the Mavs.
""It's awesome," said Pile. "It's the only way to go out."
-- Courtesy Nebraska-Omaha