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Owls Break League One Win Streak Record with Seventh Consecutive Victory

September 7, 2023 – United Soccer League One (USL1) – Union Omaha News Release

PAPILLION, Neb. – A quartet of goals propelled Union Omaha to history as the Owls defeated North Carolina FC 4-3 Wednesday night.

All eyes were on Werner Park for the high-profile match-up, as Omaha, tied for second place in points, hosted first-place North Carolina for the second time this season. For the Owls, Wednesday was a massive test that could have huge playoff implications down the line as Omaha looked to avenge one of just two home losses of the year.

Fans didn’t have to wait long for the fireworks to spark, with two of the league’s most dynamic offenses finding the goal early. Marco Milanese used a left footed curler on the free kick to find the head of Pedro Dolabella, the latter diving forward to smash the ball in the back of the net and put the Owls up 1-0 in the 9th minute.

North Carolina was able to equalize quickly, capitalizing off an opportunistic advantage to level the score in the 12th minute.

The first half remained knotted, both teams trading quality looks but unable to convert until the opening minutes of first-half stoppage time when Omaha was able to claw ahead once more. Dion Acoff flew down the right flank to find Dolabella, who tapped the ball for Joe Brito to finish and give the Owls the lead again heading into the half.

“We knew at our home, they would have to respond to us, to our game, and we’ve been very deadly lately,” Dolabella said. “So many players are able to score, and we have a lot of weapons, and it was a great mentality from the team to be able to get a goal before the half.”

Los Búhos didn’t waste any time out of the locker room either, as Steevan Dos Santos burst ahead on the counterattack, taking a flick from Joe Gallardo in stride and beating a defender to set up a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and calmly slot it in for some extra insurance.

The floodgates remained open in the 75th minute, with fresh substitute Noe Meza making a triumphant return back to the pitch with his 10th goal of the season. The team’s leading scorer taking an excellent ball from Luis Gil and beating his man to bring Omaha’s lead to 4-1.

“Noe does what Noe does,” Union Omaha Head Coach Dominic Casciato said. “It’s good for us to have him back. Obviously a great player but we’ve got a whole team of great players and as I said, everybody contributes to the team and you know, just happy to have him back.”

Tensions ran high at the end of the match, as North Carolina was able to score in the 85th minute and again in stoppage time to chip away at the Owls’ lofty lead. In the end, the defense was able to fend off any challenging attacks and capture another three points to set a new League One win streak record.

“It’s a very special, very special day for the team and for the club,” Omaha captain JP Scearce said. “Before this game, obviously, it was a big game with a lot of implications. But with all said that, regardless of the league record at stake or top-of-the-table clash, we’re trying to catch up to NCFC. We just want to focus on the match and 90 minutes and just trying to get three points, but at the end of the day, obviously, we’re all very happy to have accomplished the record.”

“Great achievement for the guys and hopefully we’ve spoken about not getting too carried away,” Casciato said. “A lot of people on the outside are talking about winning seven games straight and being a league record and everything else. For us, I mean our feet are firmly on the ground, and we remember not so long ago we didn’t win in seven games, so for us it’s about keeping things in balance, keeping things in perspective. And just continuing to take it one game at a time.”

The Owls will be right back at home Saturday, September 9 looking to extend the win streak when they face Richmond Kickers for Hometown Heroes Night presented by Woodmen Life.

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