Mota Is Gold For Rebels|
Oct. 26, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Senior defender and Las Vegas native Mike Mota had the first two-goal game of his career, including a golden goal three minutes into overtime to rally UNLV past conference leader Air Force 3-2 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men's soccer action Friday night at Peter Johann Memorial Field. The Rebels improved to 6-11-1, and stand fourth in the MPSF at 4-4, while Air Force dropped to 8-7-2, 5-2-1 in the league.
"It was an exciting home game, and it gave us a very necessary three points in conference play to help us get closer to clinching a tournament spot," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "Sal Bernal and Nick Marshall gave Air Force's defense all they could handle all night long with their speed. That helped give us a couple of chances and to draw some fouls as well to earn the free kicks we scored on. Mota took a pair of perfect kicks for us, he was composed and did exactly what he needed from him."
The match was actually scoreless at the half, and the action was mostly one-sided with the Rebels taking eight of the nine shots in the opening 45 minutes. The Falcons came out firing in the second half, and quickly earned a foul from UNLV on the left side of the field. Kevin Durr served up the free kick across the field and into the back of the right post from 25 yards out for an Air Force goal in the 47th minute.
UNLV came back to tie the game in the 62nd minute when Salvador Bernal dribbled into the box, eluded two defenders and unleashed a shot to the top right corner of the goal for the score. That tied the game at 1-1, with Jonny Espinoza assisting on the goal. Air Force regained the lead though, when Zane Dydasco redirected a cross from Jake Jones into the goal from six yards out, putting the visitors up 2-1 in the 64th minute.
Mota then posted his first goal of the game, following a hand ball by Air Force just outside the box. Mota's free kick was a blast to the left side that goalkeeper Matt Underwood had no chance in stopping, tying the game at 2-2 in the 68th minute. Neither team could break the tie over the next 22 minutes, sending the contest into overtime. Marshall was able to draw a foul when he was taken down right outside the box, and again Mota was lined up for the free kick. Just as in the second half, there was no chance of stopping Mota's shot, a blast to the right post in the 93rd minute. That gave UNLV a 3-2 victory on Mota's second career game-winner.
UNLV finished the game with a 17-6 edge on shots, and 9-4 on shots on goal. Corner kicks were also 7-2 in favor of UNLV. Joe Vitale posted two saves in goal for the Rebels, while Underwood finished with six for Air Force.
The Rebels close out the weekend hosting Denver on Sunday at 1 pm. Fans arriving in Halloween costumes will receive 2-for-1 admission.