Musovski's PK Lifts Rebels To Fifth Straight Win|
Sept. 20, 2015
SAN DIEGO (UNLVRebels.com) -
UNLV MEN'S SOCCER
Las Vegas native Danny Musovski converted a penalty kick in the 89th minute for the third of three goals in the final 22 minutes for UNLV, who rallied past previously undefeated San Diego State 3-2 on Sunday night in men's college soccer action from the SDSU Sports Deck. It was the fifth straight win for the Rebels (5-2), matching their five-game win streak in 2014 to start the season. For the Aztecs, they suffered their first loss of the season after starting out at 4-0-2. The three goals allowed Sunday night matched the total number of goals San Diego State had given up coming into the contest.
"This was a huge win for us tonight," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "What was key for us tonight, they had a very good first half but only got one goal out of it. We came out and had a very good second half and scored three times, and that was the difference."
In the first half, the Rebels were limited to just three total shots, while the host Aztec squad took eight. SDSU would get on the scoreboard early in the 9th minute, thanks to a score from Casey Phillips.
That was the only score of the first half, and in fact, the game would go the next 60 minutes without a second goal. UNLV finally broke through in the 69th minute. The play first started when Corey Ackley was brought down on a breakaway just outside the box, leading to both a yellow card and a free kick. Rodrigo Fuentes would take the kick from the top of the box, and hit the back of the goal for the score, his first of the year. That tied the game at 1-1.
Just 15 seconds later SDSU tied the game. Jeoren Meefout took advantage of a Rebel defense that didn't mark him immediately and blasted in a shot from 25 yards out for the goal. That put the Aztecs back ahead 2-2, again in the 69th minute.
UNLV did not break from allowing the quick strike, as it kept fighting and would tie the game for the second time in the 77th minute. This time the goal was provided by UNLV freshman and San Diego native Jordan Chavez, thanks to a shot from the top of the box that hit the crossbar and then into the goal. It was the first score of his career.
"We had a huge crowd of supporters for our two players from the area," Ryerson said. Both of UNLV's first two goals were scored by San Diego natives, thanks to Fuentes and Chavez, and both had a significant amount of supporters on hand. "Our fan support tonight was very noticeable, thanks to the family and friends of Rodrigo and Jordan. I felt we weren't focused the way we should have been after Rodrigo's goal and the chance for the team to celebrate in front of those fans, and that led to SDSU's second score. But we were able to bounce back and get Jordan's tying score on a beautiful shot."
With the game just over a minute away from going into overtime, UNLV was awarded a penalty kick after Ackley was flattened in the box by a defender with a hard high body tackle. Musovski took the attempt for the Rebels and converted the penalty kick for the game-winner with just 80 seconds left on the clock. It was Musovski's team-leading fourth goal and second game-winner of the season.
For the first time this season UNLV was outshot for the game, by a 15-10 margin. However, the Rebels did hold the edge on shots on goal, 7-5. Corner kicks were 4-3 in favor of the home team. Richard Garness finished with three saves in goal for UNLV, while SDSU's Adam Allmaras posted four.
UNLV is back in action on Sunday, Sept. 27, with a home contest against Gonzaga at 10:30 am. That game will be at Johann Memorial Field and will be part of a doubleheader with the UNLV women's team, who plays Colorado College at 1 pm.