Goals Keep Coming For The Rebels
Sep 8, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV continues to pour in the goals on its home field as the Rebels took down Georgia State by a 4-2 score on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the UNLV Nike Invitational in men's college soccer action from Peter Johann Field. Combined with a 4-1 win over Bradley on Sept. 6, the Rebels claimed the tournament title, and have now scored four or more goals in back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 31, 1991. UNLV moved to 2-2 with the win, while GSU dropped to 0-3.
"I thought it might be hard to repeat our performance from Friday night, especially since we didn't get a normal day of rest on Saturday," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "And it showed in the first half, we looked a little soft on their two scores. But we made sure to come out in the second half and fight hard for the win. To come out this weekend without a letdown and get both victories, I think that is going to be key for us as the season goes on with the knowledge that we have what it takes to sweep a weekend."
The first half saw a flurry of goals scored, starting with Georgia State's first of the season. That was posted by Jamal Keene when he outraced a Rebel defender to a ball and took on goalkeeper Joe Vitale before sending a shot through for the goal, putting the Panthers up 1-0 in the eighth minute. UNLV did not wait long to answer thanks to Irvin Somera's first career score as a Rebel. Joaquin Rivas started the play from the left side of the field, and he passed off to Salvador Bernal inside the box. Bernal then fed Somera, who tapped a shot to the right side of the net for a goal, making the score 1-1 in the 13th minute.
UNLV would only allow a total of three shots in the first half from the Panthers, but GSU went ahead by one in the 32nd minute after drawing a foul in the box during a corner kick. William Mellors-Blair converted the penalty kick, making it a 2-1 lead for the visitors. UNLV would again tie the game just minutes later, and this was set up by a foul as well. Rodrigo Fuentes took the free kick for UNLV, and set a curving shot around the wall and into the right post for the score, his third of the weekend, in the 35th minute.
The Rebels took their first lead of the game in the final minutes of the opening half. Jose Mendoza sent a slow shot towards the left side that at first seemed destined to go wide, but at the last second it squeaked inside of the left post for the goal. That put UNLV ahead 3-2 in the 42nd minute. Julian Portugal was credited with the assist, and the contest would go to halftime with that margin.
UNLV dominated play in the second half, and held a 14-2 edge on shots over the final 45 minutes, but was limited to just one goal. That came in the 86th minute following a corner kick from Fuentes that was headed in by Kyle Mellies for a 4-2 lead, which accounted for the final score.
The final shot advantage for UNLV was 26-5, and 10-3 on shots on goal, while corner kicks were 8-7 in favor for the Rebels. Vitale made two saves in goal for the Rebels, while CJ Cochran finished with six for the Panthers.
Fuentes was named Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament, while Vitale picked up Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Both were named to the all-tournament team, and were joined by Rivas and Bernal.
The Rebels return to action on Sunday, Sept. 15, with a 1 pm contest against Gonzaga.