Second Half Rebels|
Oct. 5, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
UNLV MEN'S SOCCER
A three-goal explosion over a 4:47 span lifted UNLV to a 3-0 victory over Grand Canyon in the WAC men's soccer conference opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon at Peter Johann Memorial Field. With the victory, the Rebels tied their win total from a year ago as they improved to 7-2-1 overall, while the Antelopes dropped to 2-6-1 on the season.
The game was tight in the first half, but UNLV came out firing in the second half, taking 13 shots over the final 45 minutes to just four for the visitors. The score remained tied though until Julian Portugal notched the first goal of the afternoon in the 61st minute, taking a short pass from Kyle Mellies and blasting a low shot from the right side 18 yards into the left side of the goal.
"The message at halftime was we had to step up the pressure and play with more intensity and focus," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "The second half we adjusted extremely well. I'm happy with the three points and the shutout."
A free kick set up the next goal for UNLV. Following a foul on Grand Canyon, Portugal send the free kick to the right side of the goal where it bounced off the post and into the middle of the box. Irvin Somera leaped up and headed the ball back into the goal for the score, putting the Rebs ahead 2-0 in the 64th minute. The final score again came after a foul on GCU, this time following a yellow card. Bradley Kamdem took the free kick and send the ball into the box where Jason Khamvongsa collected it and scored on a hard shot to the right post in the 66th minute. All three scorers notched their first goals of the season for UNLV.
"Our opponents know about Salvador (Bernal) and Rodrigo (Fuentes)," said Ryerson. "But to have Jason and Julian and Irvin with goals today was big for us. It's great to have multiple have guys scoring, it shows a team that has depth and composure and gives us a chance to have someone us step up if another is off that day.
Ryan Harding finished the afternoon with four saves in goal for the Rebels to claim his fifth shutout of the season. UNLV finished the day with a 17-11 edge on shots, and 4-3 advantage on corner kicks. Luca Licciardi posted two saves in goal for the Antelopes.
The Rebels will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 10, with a road contest at preseason conference favorite Seattle at 5 pm.