UNLV Shocks Denver 2-0
Nov. 3, 2006
LAS VEGAS - Freshman Marcos Balladares assisted on the game-winner and scored a goal of his own as the Rebels defeated Denver University 2-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action Friday night from Peter Johann Memorial Field. The win marked many firsts as it was UNLV's first overall and conference win this season, along with being head coach Mario Sanchez's first as head mentor of the Rebels.
The win for UNLV is its first since Sept. 11, 2005 when the Rebels defeated Northwestern 2-1. Amazingly, the Rebels last three wins overall have all come against ranked opponents, defeating #23 Portland 2-1 on Sept. 9, 2005, beating the #15 Wildcats 2-1 on Sept. 11, 2005, and taking down Soccer America's 21st ranked Pioneers this evening.
The first half posted a see-saw battle, as the play was back and forth between the two teams. The best scoring chance of the opening stanza came in the 29th minute, when the Pioneer's Joey Mathot blasted a shot from point-blank range that stung the crossbar, deflecting back into the field of play and out of harms way for the Rebels.
After the intermission, UNLV (1-14-2, 1-8) had a chance to open the scoring in the 75th minute, but was denied when Nicholas Paterson drilled the crossbar. Luckily, only two minutes later, Balladares chased down a ball destined for the end line, sending it across to freshman Peter Rodriguez who headed into the far corner of the net for the 1-0 advantage.
Eight minutes later, UNLV padded its lead when Ben Pisch cleared a ball from deep in his own territory. Balladares ran onto the ball, only to find himself matched up with two Pioneer defenders. The freshman then made two moves and shot from 20 yards out, beating Denver keeper Matt Bredehoft to his left, finishing the match scoring.
Freshman keeper Calvin Bailey recorded his first clean sheet of his collegiate career, making two saves in the Rebels win. The Rebels were outshot 14-11, while Denver (11-4-1, 7-1-1) also held an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The Rebels return to Peter Johann Field Sunday afternoon to conclude the season in another MPSF match, taking on the Falcons of Air Force for Senior Day at 1 p.m.