Conference Play Starts With 2-0 Victory|
Oct. 6, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV scored once in each half and posted its first shutout in almost a year on the way to a 2-0 victory over preseason favorite Bakersfield in the WAC men's soccer opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon at Peter Johann Field. The Rebels improved to 3-6 overall, 1-0 in league play with the win, which broke a five-game losing streak to the Roadrunners (2-6-1, 0-1 WAC).
"It was great to start out the conference with a win, and it's also the first time we've beaten Bakersfield since I've been here, so we're feeling pretty good right now," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson.
The game-winner was provided by sophomore defender Jason Khamvongsa with his first career goal. It came following a foul on Bakersfield, which set up a free kick for the Rebels. Julian Portugal took the kick, and sent it high into the box where Khamvongsa leaped up and headed it to the far back right corner for the score in the 24th minute. UNLV would take a 1-0 advantage off the goal, and take that lead into halftime as the Rebels held a 9-4 edge on shots in the half.
The second half saw UNLV with just a 6-5 edge on shots, but that was still good enough for another goal, while two more scores were called off due to an offsides call. The Rebels' second goal came in the 67th minute, when Carlos Lara sent a through ball that Salvador Bernal outraced the defenders to, and found himself alone against CSUB goalkeeper Anthony Perez. Perez's charge out of the goal caused Bernal to stumble at first, but he managed to keep upright, catch back up to the ball and send in a shot from close range for the score, his first of the year.
UNLV finished the afternoon with a 15-9 edge on shots, 7-5 on shots on goal. Bakersfield did finish with the advantage on corner kicks, 7-3. Junior Ryan Harding posted five saves in the net for UNLV, including an impressive leaping save to stop a blast from the Roadrunners in the 82nd minute. That helped seal the first shutout for UNLV since a 3-0 win over Seattle on Oct. 12, 2012, and was the second in Harding's career. Perez finished the day with five saves for CSUB.
The Rebels return to action on Friday, Oct. 11, with a conference road game at Seattle starting at 7 pm.