To say the Nebraska Cornhuskers 2021 soccer team is one of the better 3-4 college soccer teams in the country is a gross understatement.
After another heartbreaking loss, this time to the unbeaten Michigan, Husker fans continued to throw the verbal bombs over how this team will miss out on yet another bowl game. My responses to these comments are to review what happened this season and where this team is going in the future.
Granted, when you look at a 3-4 season record, it’s hard to get excited about our beloved Huskers until we break that loss record apart.
Nebraska lost to fourth-placed, undefeated Oklahoma Sooners on the road at 23-16, lost last weekend at home to eight-placed, undefeated Michigan with 32-29, and lost to tenth-placed, undefeated Michigan State on the road by 23-20 in Overtime. Nebraska led late in the Michigan and Michigan State games but found ways to tear defeat from the jaws of victory with more mistakes.
With the exception of the 30-22 opening game in Champaign, Illinois on August 28, the Huskers have battled some of the best undefeated teams in the country. Nebraska is so close to 7-0 in the season. Can you imagine what the game Ohio State will be playing in a few weeks?
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The defeat against the Wolverines last Saturday was particularly difficult to cope with. Nebraska came back from a 13-0 halftime deficit and built a 29-26 lead late in the game. The Huskers overcame some of the worst public officials the Big Ten had seen in several years and were so close to causing a big stir. The signature gain that this program so urgently needs was pending.
If Adrian Martinez hadn’t fumbled the ball away, the Huskers would likely have won the game. But after everything Martinez has done for this team over the past few weeks, I refuse to blame him for the loss. It’s just a lack of “Husker Magic” that Nebraska needs and will soon find on a regular basis. I am now more confident than I have been in a long time that the Huskers are almost at the corner where they will soon turn around.
For years, Tom Osborne had a tough time defeating the Oklahoma Sooners. Nebraska would have messed up games in the fourth quarter only to see “Sooner Magic” raise its ugly head and Nebraska stumble to another narrow defeat.
Not long after that, in the mid-1990s, the Huskers had the chance to win five titles in five years. That kind of success may never return to Lincoln, but an occasional conference title and possible college playoff appearance are just around the corner for the Huskers.
Maybe not 7-0 this year, but a winning record and a bowl appearance are real options. We shall see soon.
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Contact him by email at [email protected]
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