Don Klosterman knows just how good his UNO women’s soccer team could be this season.
He’s seen it in the second half of most matches.
“I think we’re going to win a lot more games,” he said. “It’s just convincing ourselves of that right now.”
The Mavericks (2-4) seem to come out tentative most games, then turn it on after halftime. Usually after a few choice words from Klosterman pointing out they are just as good as their opponent.
Against New Mexico State, the Mavs gave up three first-half goals, then scored and didn’t allow a shot on goal after intermission. Against UTEP, UNO gave up two early goals and then dominated the second half.
It was the same story against Wyoming.
Klosterman saw some signs of a shift last weekend against Northern Iowa. After trailing 1-0, the Mavericks scored twice in the last seven minutes to win.
The team is making progress, which Klosterman hopes shows against Montana at 5 p.m. Friday at the UNO Soccer Field.
“The potential is there,” Klosterman said. “It’s just getting over that mental thing at the start of the game.”
Klosterman has seen vast improvement from last year, when the Mavs went 3-15.
The biggest change is depth. The Mavs have gone from a roster of 14 to 23, which Klosterman said has helped tremendously.
“We have much more of a bench,” he said, “that can come in and give us energy.”
Transfers Chelsi Rohloff (Nebraska), Marquette Pick (Iowa State) and Courtney Neville (Memphis) have made a big difference. They are good leaders, hard workers and happy to get more playing time, Klosterman said.
Freshmen Ava Doetsch, Lauren Lawler and Nyoke Dumba also have been contributing.
Klosterman hopes his team is getting to the point where they are tired of digging out of an early hole in every match. They need to soon because Klosterman said once Summit League play starts, every team will be tough, starting with No. 16 Denver.
“Teams in our conference are doing well,” Klosterman said. “I think our conference is not going to be easy.”
UNO men travel to Drake
The UNO men seek their second straight win when they play at Drake (0-3-1) at 8 p.m. on Friday.
It’s the only match of the weekend for the Mavs (1-2) and the first against Drake.
UNO became the third Summit League team to win when it edged Columbia 1-0 last Sunday on a goal by Vance Rookwood. Matt Grosey earned his fourth shutout in goal. Both earned player of the week honors from the Summit League.
The Mavericks lead the league with 14.0 shots per game and 23 corner kicks. UNO has allowed a league-best 0.96 goals per game.