Rebels Run Over Bradley 4-1|
Sep 6, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Facing a Bradley team that was undefeated, unscored upon and receiving votes in all three polls, UNLV rose to the challenge and exploded for four goals in a 4-1 victory in men's college soccer action on Friday night at Peter Johann Field. Playing in the second game of the UNLV Nike Invitational, the Rebels posted their first victory of the season to improve to 1-2, while the Braves dropped to 2-1.
"I think we played very patient against a team that is both talented and experienced," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "Kyle Mellies did an outstanding job shutting down their top scorers, while we controlled the midfield as well. And Rodrigo (Fuentes) just exploded tonight, we're been waiting for a night like this from him. I was able to play 17 players tonight, and never once did we have a let down. Our bench players played just as well as the starters, and that was a key to holding onto the lead and coming out with this great win."
UNLV did not wait long for its first goal of the night, which came off one of numerous scoring chances over the opening minutes of the first half. Jose Mendoza passed the ball off to Fuentes on the left side, who then fed a streaking Joaquin Rivas as he came into the box. Rivas placed a shot cross cage to the right side of the goal, giving UNLV a 1-0 edge in the seventh minute.
Bradley would tie the score at 1-1 in the 11th minute. A ball was sent ahead to Alon Badat, who fought off several defenders before taking on Rebel goalkeeper Joe Vitale one on one and sending a shot past for the score. UNLV would answer back in the half, following a Brave foul in the 31st minute. Julian Portugal took the free kick, and from 35 yards out sent a high hard shot that Bradley goalkeeper Brian Billings stopped but couldn't coral in. The ball would roll over the goalline for a Rebel score and a 2-1 edge.
Fuentes put the game away for UNLV at the start of the second half. First he drove down the left side, took on Badat one on one before sending a shot over and to the top right corner for the score in the 51st minute. Fuentes then scored the next goal of the game, thanks to a cross send by Rivas from the right side of the baseline. Fuentes let Badat lunge for the ball before calmly tapping it in for the score, giving UNLV a 4-1 lead in the 55th minute.
UNLV finished the night with an 18-13 edge on shots, and 10-6 on shots on goal. Vitale posted four saves in goal, while Badat finished with five, and both teams had one team save in the contest. Bradley did have an 8-5 advantage on corner kicks.
The Rebels will close out the tournament on Sunday with a 1 pm contest with Georgia State. Bradley will play in the first game of the day, against UC Riverside at 10:30 am.