OMAHA, Neb. -- Northern Colorado Soccer was as hot as the heat wave coming through the Midwest Friday when they shutout Nebraska-Omaha, 4-0, thanks in part to the depth of the squad.
"The conditions were tough as hot as it was," head coach Tim Barrera said. "Both teams suffered a little in the heat but we suffered maybe a little bit more."
Senior Brittany Dunn missed the game with a sickness and junior Juliana Grover missed most of the game with muscle injury. Their absence opened the door for freshmen Paige Morris and Katherine Day to start. It was two other underclassmen, though, that stepped up in scoring.
"Essence (Ortiz-Laneir) is coming off a little bit of an injury so when she got out there and took those opportunities, it was really great," Barrera said. "Shanlie (Anderson) has some speed so we put her on a break away and she scored [later]. The depth off the bench really helped."
Sophomore Ortiz-Laneir scored the first two goals of the day after coming into the game in the 25th minute of the first half. It was six minutes after her entrance that Nebraska-Omaha fouled Ortiz-Laneir, resulting in a penalty shot that she converted.
"It was a closer game than 4-0 but that penalty kick [by Ortiz-Laneir] was huge," Barrera said.
Rebecca Lancia put a corner kick into play nearly 10 minutes later. The resulting play was then kicked by Kassy Castillo to the center of the box that went to Ortiz-Laneir. She then put the assist into the back of the net for her second and final goal of the day.
After halftime, Nebraska-Omaha went on the offensive while putting up three shots in the first five minutes. The first shot of the Bears', though, started as a lob across the six-yard box from freshman Paige Morris. Senior Danielle Birdsall headed in the lob pass to make the score 3-0.
Senior goalkeeper Natalie D'Adamio shined throughout the match as well, saving eight shots on the day. Sophomore Marissa Cooper made her second appearance of the season too, saving one shot.
"We have great maturity (in the goalkeepers)," Barrera said. "We felt good relying on (Cooper's) weight [at the end]."
With just three and half minutes remaining in the game, the freshman Anderson took a passed ball from Day and broke away to score a goal to put the game away.
On the day the Bears totaled nine shots, six on goal. Two of the three first half shots belonged to Ortiz-Laneir's goals.
Both teams ran up the foul tally, which included three yellow cards for Northern Colorado and two for Nebraska-Omaha. Each team took a penalty shot, with only the Bears converting.
"Both teams were playing hard and looking for a win," Barrera said. "The ball bounced a little bit differently so either team could have won that match."
The Bears hope to keep the scoring momentum going into Sunday's match when they stay in Omaha. Creighton will host Northern Colorado at 4 p.m. in Morrison Stadium.
"Creighton is a solid team with a lot of good players," Barrera said. "They are tough at home and it will be on turf with their home crowd. We're looking forward to getting in there."