Garcia’s late goal gives UNO draw

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September 24th, 2013

Omaha, NE – Things could not have gotten more personal on the soccer pitch.

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The University of Missouri-Kansas City was leading 1-0 with less than 28 minutes to play in regulation. That’s when the University of Nebraska at Omaha men’s soccer team attempted to drive down the pitch to score the tying goal. A shot was fired into a cluttered goalkeeper’s box when the ball was grabbed by the goalie for UMKC.

Head Coach Jason Mims (left) reacts to a play in overtime. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

Head Coach Jason Mims (left) reacts to a play in overtime. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

Just then, the Kangaroos Kevin Corby threw a punch at UNO senior forward Craig Buettner, connecting with a jab to the chin. Buettner fought back and a melee ensued. Both players were red carded and subsequently ejected for the episode. UNO was able to alleviate pressure when freshman forward Christian Garcia hit a shot from 25 yards out to tie the game, 1-1. Head Coach Jason Mims called the moment special.

“Absolutely wonderful, you know he has been trying so hard to get a goal, almost too hard,” Mims said. “So finally to get his goal, kind of feel like his pressure now is relieved and he can actually concentrate on playing its wonderful. Right before conference season, I think that kid is going to have some confidence now. He was lacking a little confidence in front of goal as you can see he is a skillful player he just wasn’t putting that ball in. For him to get that goal it was incredible.”

Garcia was pretty excited about the goal–the first of his collegiate career.

“I just got the ball and I tried to put it in the net,” Garcia said. “But yea I was waiting for that goal and thank God I got it.”

Fouls were a big part of Tuesday’s game, perhaps too big a part. Leading up to the UMKC game, UNO committed 85 fouls in their first six games for an average of 14 fouls per game as a team. UNO was called for a whopping 30 fouls Tuesday night including a stretch where the Mavs were called for 15 consecutive fouls. Part of this could be attributed to the Mavs aggressive play and part should be credited to messy and inconsistent officiating. Mims would not blame officials, but would like to know how his team was fouled so much.

Freshman defender Sam Langston collects a pass from a teammate. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

Freshman defender Sam Langston collects a pass from a teammate. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

“You’ve seen our team play I think we play hard and (we play) aggressive but to have 30 fouls against us in a game I mean…that is a lot of fouls. I don’t think we are that physical, we haven’t seen it this year. So I will have to go and watch the tape to see how aggressive we were but year that is a lot of fouls against us.”

After two overtimes, the game ended in a draw. UNO (1-5-1) out-shot the Kangaroos (1-3-3) 22-6 and seven Mavs had at least two shots. Mims says it is starting to click with his team, but they still need to get the proverbial monkey off their backs.

“We need a result. We’ve been playing so great lately and losing games and at least today we got a result. We got a point, we tied, (and) it is going to give or guys some confidence.

Saying hey we were down a goal playing against a great team for us to come back and get that goal to tie with little time left and almost win it, it is going to give them some confidence.”

UNO returns to action Saturday with a game against Western Illinois University at 4 p.m. The game will be played at UNO soccer field at 68th and Spring Street in Omaha.

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