Mother Nature didn’t cooperate this spring, leading to a delayed arrival for the UNO soccer programs at Caniglia Field this fall.
The conversion of the football field to a soccer pitch was originally planned to be completed by the end of July, but the long, wet spring put the project behind schedule. UNO now hopes to play games at Caniglia Field perhaps as soon as mid-September.
Mike Kemp, UNO’s associate athletic director for events and facilities, said conditions allowed only five good work days from April to June.
“It’s just an unfortunate thing,” Kemp said. “We lost two months.”
UNO’s men are scheduled to play two home games before Sept. 15, while the Maverick women are scheduled to play four regular-season games and one exhibition game at home before Sept. 15.
The Maverick men have five home games scheduled between Sept. 17 and Oct. 2.
A men’s exhibition game with Penn State on Aug. 17 is scheduled for Omaha South’s Collin Stadium. Other games for the program are expected to be played at its previous home, the UNO soccer field, near 68th and Spring Streets.
“We realized this spring that we could have issues when the weather was so abnormal,” Kemp said. “And the university did an outstanding job of maintaining the game field. It’s been prepared like it was going to be used this year, and we’re happy with the condition of it — particularly when we don’t anticipate playing a full season on it.”
Kemp said the installation of Caniglia Field’s new artificial turf is expected to start by late August and is a three- to four-week process.
“You get frustrated with it, but there’s nothing you can do,” Kemp said. “It’s just been an act of nature.”