The birds are in full soar.
Top-ranked Omaha Skutt continued it impressive run against Class B competition, winning its 33rd straight such game and second consecutive River Cities Conference championship with a 2-0 victory against No. 3 South Sioux City on Friday night at Ralston.
Of its last 12 matches, eight have come against teams that were ranked at some point this season. The only loss in those eight came to Class A No. 3 Omaha Creighton Prep — the only team to beat the SkyHawks the last two seasons.
“It seems like every time we've played it's been against a Top 10 team,” Skutt coach Rob Myers said. “We like it that way.”
Friday's match was the eighth consecutive time the teams have played for the boys title. Skutt has now won the last two after the Cardinals had taken five of the first six.
It also happened to be a rematch of last year's state title game, which Skutt won 3-2.
“That's a good team,” Myers said of South Sioux City. “They have a couple of guys that are special. We just played well tonight.”
Forward Jake Sievers converted a penalty kick midway through the first half for Skutt's initial goal. The second came on a hustle play by senior Jared Mertz.
Mertz forced the issue on a ball ahead, creating a mistake between South Sioux City's keeper and a defender. The ball squirted away, right to Mertz, who flipped it in with ease.
“Sievers and Mertz are a handful for anyone,” Myers said.
Cardinals coach Marla Grier said her team has struggled to make significant improvements throughout the season, in large part because of the time it missed due to bad weather. Grier said South Sioux City has had to cancel or postpone eight games.
“It's been really difficult,” she said. “The touch is completely different inside and outside. We just have to keep improving and keep playing.”
The loss was only the second of the season for Grier's bunch. But of its 10 wins only two have come against teams that entered the weekend .500 or better. And just one was this month.
Both teams begin district play early next week. South Sioux City opens on Monday in a district played in Columbus that features three of the other top eight teams (Schuyler, Columbus, Columbus Scotus). Two more in that group — Elkhorn Mount Michael and Elkhorn South — will be in Skutt's home district.
South Sioux City (10-2)............................0 0—0
At Omaha Skutt (15-1).............................1 1—2
Goals: OS, Jake Sievers, Jared Mertz.
* * *
Omaha Skutt girls 1, Omaha Duchesne 0
A late goal helped keep the top-ranked girls team in Class B unbeaten heading into the postseason.
Sierra Adams headed in a free kick from Liz Bartels with less than five minutes to play and No. 1 Omaha Skutt survived an upset bid by seventh-ranked Omaha Duchesne Friday night at Ralston.
The 1-0 win was the ninth straight conference crown for the SkyHawks.
Skutt keeper Ashley Malloy stopped a penalty kick in the first half to help preserve the shutout, her ninth in the SkyHawks’ 11 matches.
Omaha Duchesne (9-5)..........................0 0—0
Omaha Skutt (11-0).................................0 1—1
Goals: OS, Sierra Adams.
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