It was no work of art, but wins over conference rivals early in the season rarely are.
That was certainly the case for Class B No. 1 South Sioux City on Tuesday in a 2-1 slugfest with third-ranked Omaha Gross.
It was the first win of the season for the defending champion Cardinals (1-1), who had a season-opening tournament and a match with second-ranked Omaha Skutt postponed in the first week.
“This is one of those things where it’s not pretty, but it’s a win,” Cardinals coach Lupe Gonzalez said. “Gross is a good team, a quality team, great coach. I just feel like we’re not clicking, not meshing yet. We have a lot of work yet.”
Jose Ruiz scored before the midway point of the first half, and teammate Nahum Sabino made it 2-0 in the 47th minute.
Gross got one back a little more than four minutes later when junior midfielder Brandt Vomacka headed a ball down to his feet, settled past a defender and went low for a score.
The Cougars generated a handful of chances down the stretch, but never found an equalizer.
“They’re the best team in the state, and I think we gave them all they wanted,” Gross coach Rick Yanovich said. “They’re an aggressive, physical team. It was definitely an old-school, classic, hard-knock game.”
Asked if his team could take a good amount from a match like Tuesday’s, Yanovich said: “A good amount of Advil.”
His team will need it. The Cougars have three matches in the next eight days, capped with next Thursday’s tilt with Skutt.
South Sioux City, meanwhile, has another trip to Omaha on the slate for Thursday when it visits Class A No. 2 Omaha Creighton Prep.
South Sioux City (1-1).........1 1—2
At Omaha Gross (4-1)..........0 1—1
Goals: SSC, Jose Ruiz, Nahum Sabino; OG, Brandt Vomacka.
Papillion-La Vista girls 1, Omaha Marian 0
Sam Marek’s late goal gave Class A No. 8 Papillion-La Vista a 1-0 win over top-ranked Omaha Marian. It was Marek’s eighth goal of the season and pushed the Monarchs to 5-0. Mollee Swift earned the shutout for Papio, handing Marian its first loss.
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First row: Gwen Lane and Regan Zimmers. Second row: Delaney Gunn, Brian Covarrubias, Lindsey Prokop, Royce Austen, Maddie Smith, Laurin Mertz and Rylie Albers. Third row: Tyler Sanne, Mackenzie Boeve, Emma Wilson, Delaney Stekr, Carlos Salazar, Luka Nedic and Jacob Hardy. Top row: Jonathan Velasquez, Cole Quandt, Novoa, Johan Centeno and Duncan McGuire. Not pictured is Elkhorn's Skylar Heinrich.
Back row from left: Omaha Burke’s Zach Robbins, Elkhorn South’s Hunter Albers, Ralston’s Diego Gutierrez, Omaha South’s Isaac Cruz, Omaha Central’s Jackson Ferris, Fremont’s Nolan Dillon, Omaha Westside’s Jack Finocchiaro, Lincoln North Star’s Jonathan Velasquez, Millard West’s Erik Fahner and Creighton Prep’s Ed Gordon. Bottom, from left: Bellevue West’s Courtney Wallingford, Omaha Marian’s Rachel Johnson, Lincoln Southwest’s Hannah Davis, Millard North’s Bailey Cascio, Omaha Skutt’s Madi McKeever, Millard West’s Sydney Cassalia, Omaha Westside’s Emily Torres, Omaha Marian’s Emma Nelson, Millard South’s Lindsey Prokop, Elkhorn’s Skylar Heinrich. Matt Smith and Kenzie Harte are not pictured.
Back row from left to right: Maddy Henry, Matt Smith, Rachel Johnson, Joe Fehr, Marisa Windingstad, Sydney Cassalia, Jake Bos, Alex Gomez, Charlie Harte, Austin Mishou; Front row from left to right: Brenna Ochoa, Bailey Cascio, Miranda Swift, Ed Gordon, Adam Dejka, Cassie Legband, Alvaro Elizarraga, Hannah Davis, Jack Finocchiaro, Jaylin Bosak are the 2016 All-Nebraska Soccer Team. AJ Wiley and Annie Sullivan are not pictured.
From left to right, Abby Meader, Isaac Armstrong, Vince Nolette, Emily Romero, Michelle Xiao, Angel Jacinto, Alvaro Elizarraga, Marisa Windingstad, Jake Kennedy, Nick Scalora, Maddy Henry, Margaret Begley, Cassie Legband, Sydney Cassalia, Brenna Ochoa, Alec Foltz, Cullen Fisch, Connor Tupper, Jordan Cahill, Susie Dineen and Carsen Lundgren are the 2015 All-Nebraska Soccer Team. AJ Wiley is not pictured.
Back row, from left, Holly Hild, Abby Meader, Elmer Garcia, Paige Phipps, Nick Hinds, Megan McCashland, Jonah Garbin, Madison Henry. Front row, from left, Peter Schropp, Faith Carter, Hannah Schafers, Damien Austen, Justin Wiley, Michelle Xiao, Sarah Woelfel, Chase McCann, Landon Sibole (kneeling), James Narke (sitting), Quinn Nelson. Not pictured: Hannah Davis.
Back row, from left, Abby Meader, Allison Key, Mark Moulton, Megan McCashland, Rachel Brennan, Brock Fitzgerald, Abel Alvarado, Ali Sodal, Taylor Saucier, Michael Kluver, Landon Sibole, Jordan Cassalia. Front row, left to right, Damien Austen, Lucas Venegas, Eduardo Gamboa, Michael Jaime, Emily Roll, Michelle Xiao, Sarah Woelfel, Alex Prusa, Liz Bartels, Maddie Elliston.
Honorary team captains Jackie Tondl of Omaha Marian and Mark Moulton of Omaha Creighton Prep.
Honorary team captains Logan Mendez of Grand Island and Rachel Brennan of Millard North.
Honorary team captains Omaha South's Manuel Lira and Omaha Skutt's Mayme Conroy.
Honorary team captains Molly Thomas of Millard North and Devon Strecker of Millard South.