Standouts Cayla Nielsen and Luke Bailey finished off their Blair Bear careers Saturday during the Nebraska High School Soccer Senior Showcase at Omaha Skutt.
The all-star matches benefitted Special Olympics Nebraska with Olympians Jazmin Oviedo, Mikayla Neill, Ricky Rodriguez and Will Stoneburner earning some playing time taking penalty kicks. Nielsen, whose dark team won 3-2, said those team captains made the game feel unique.
“It means a lot that we get to do this for a good cause,” she said. “To get to work with Special Olympics is just something that is really cool.”
Nielsen was playing her final soccer game after 14 years on the pitch. In college, the multi-sport Bear will make a noteworthy step into college athletics with the Creighton Bluejays softball team. Though she's more than excited for the opportunity, she noted that she will miss soccer.
“It's something I've always had in my life, so I'm not sure if I'm ready to give it up,” Nielsen said. “But I feel like getting to play with kids from all over Nebraska for my last game is really cool. I just really enjoyed it.”
Bailey waved to the crowd during introductions with a grin, seemingly enjoying the opportunity to play in the boys' Showcase soccer match at Skutt. He subbed into the game at defender early on and helped his team clean up a few strenuous positions early on. His white team wound up falling 6-2.