SEVERANCE, Co. (September 21, 2022) – Union Omaha conceded another late goal Wednesday night, falling to Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC 2-1.
Omaha and Northern Colorado came into the night in two very different positions, with the former on the edge of clinching a playoff spot and the latter attempting to stave off elimination for another week. The Owls have had a tough run of form, dropping two of their last three and giving up five points from a winning position.
Dion Acoff had an energetic, dangerous first half, working well along the right side starting in the 12th minute, when he raced past his man and crossed to Kemal Malcolm, who just couldn’t tap it in on the slick turf.
The hosts pulled ahead early in the 24th minute, with Brecc Evans striking from 30 yards out.
The teams traded yellow cards later in the 40th and 42nd minutes, with Malcolm earning the first of the match before Jackson Dietrich received a caution for the Hailstorm. That was all that would do in a challenging, but ultimately frustrating half for the Owls who worked the wings well but just couldn’t finish through the middle.
It was the 75th minute when Omaha would find an answer. For the third time in as many matches, the Owls were awarded a penalty kick, this time to bring the score even. This time, Noe Meza would be the Owl to step up and take the shot, calmly slinging into the low corner to give the visiting sign some more life.
Back-to-back yellow cards were issued again, with Northern Colorado’s Irvin Parra being booked in the 57th minute and JP Scearce following suit in the 59th.
Omaha looked poised to strike again minutes later, starting with a series of passes from Luis Gil to Acoff to find Corey Hertzog, the last cross forcing a crucial goal-saving clearance from a Hailstorm defender to avoid being put in the back of the net. The save set up a corner kick for Joe Brito to take, which after bouncing around in the box fell to Alex Touche, who tried to tap it in but caught a deflection on its way in.
Acoff put a rip on-target himself in the 77th minute, forcing Hailstorm goalkeeper Thomas Olsen to beat it away.
The plague of late goals against the Owls continued in the 84th minute, when Evans secured a brace, once again putting the Hailstorm up with just minutes to go this time.
Omaha will have to wait another week to potentially punch their ticket to the playoffs but will have some time to rest following the loss. The Owls will try and get back to their winning ways on Saturday, October 1 with another road trip to North Carolina FC. After that, they will cap off the regular season with back-to-back weeks at home, first hosting South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday, October 8 for Hispanic Heritage Night presented by Supermercado, followed by Central Valley Fuego FC on Saturday, October 15 for Fan Appreciation Night.
ABOUT UNION OMAHA
Union Omaha, the 2021 USL League One Champion, is the only professional soccer team in the state of Nebraska. USL League One is a United States Soccer Federation-sanctioned professional men’s soccer league that occupies the third tier of the American soccer landscape, below USL Championship (tier two) and Major League Soccer (tier one). Union Omaha plays its home matches at Werner Park in Sarpy County, also home to the Omaha Storm Chasers of Minor League Baseball. The team is led by General Manager Peter Marlette in the front office and by Head Coach Jay Mims on the field.