Nov. 8, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
||Peter Johann Memorial FieldFINAL4-1
||Grand Canyon (7-11-1)
|D. Musovski 48’, Gonzalez 59’;||Jackson 50’|
@UNLVRebelSoccer | UNLV Box Score
UNLV freshman Marco Gonzalez broke a 1-1 tie in the 59th minute with his sixth goal of the year, lifting the second-seeded Rebels past seventh-seed Grand Canyon 2-1 Wednesday night in the final game of the first round of the 2017 WAC Men's Soccer Tournament in front of a crowd of 1,203. This year's tournament is being hosted by UNLV at Peter Johann Memorial Field, and the win moves the Rebels (11-9 overall) into Friday's semifinal round. GCU meanwhile dropped its second game to the Rebels in the past five days to end its year at 7-11-1.
After a scoreless first half, all three goals were scored in a 12-minute span early in the second half. UNLV started first when WAC Player of the Year Danny Musovski notched his 15th goal of the year in the 48th minute, thanks to a long pass from the backfield by Oscar Velazquez. Musovski took the ball into the right side of the box before shooting cross cage for the score. GCU tied the game less then two minutes later, as a foul in the box led to a penalty kick, which was converted by Niki Jackson in the 50th minute.
THE TURNING POINT: The Antelopes were called for just two fouls in the second half. One of the two would provide to be costly for the visiting team. Awarded a free kick 25 yards out from the goal, Gonzalez took the kick for the Rebels and sent a ball curving to the right side of the goal, just outside of the reach of diving goalkeeper Jeremy Pollard, to put UNLV ahead 2-1 in the 59th minute.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Gonzalez scored a game-winner off a free kick for the second time in the past month, and the third time this season. It was also his sixth of the year, and he now ranks second on the team with 18 points this season.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV held a 20-9 edge on shots, including 15-6 in the second half.
"He's a good player and he gets a lot of chances. Tonight was a great game for him"
- UNLV Head Coach on Danny Musovski
"Marco's had a fantastic freshman year and we obviously needed that goal, a great great result tonight."
When asked about Marco Gonzalez's game-winner
"Adam (Musovski) and Jordan (Chavez) also had strong games for us tonight, I was really happy with our defense. Now we face a Seattle team that's probably excited for a rematch against us after we beat them in overtime a few weeks ago."
* Musovski's 15 goals on the year ties for the eighth most in a season in team history, along with David Cohen (1979).It was also the 47th goal of his career, giving him sole possession of third place in career scoring at UNLV.
* UNLV is playing in the WAC semifinal round for the third straight year. The Rebels would move onto the championship round in two of those years (2014, 2016), and would go on to win the tournament title both times.
* Friday will be the first-ever meeting between UNLV and Seattle in conference tournament play.
NEXT FOR THE REBELS: The second-seeded Rebels will play third-seed Seattle on Friday night at 7 pm, while the day's first game will see top-seed Air Force and fourth-seed San Jose State kick off at 4 pm. The two winners from Friday's game will meet in the championship game on Sunday at 1 pm at Peter Johann Memorial Field. The UNLV Soccer Foundation will host a free tailgate on Friday night starting at 5 pm, with free food and free drinks.
Single game ticket prices for the tournament are $8 for adults, $5 for youth ages 13-18, while kids 12 and under are free. More information is available at UNLVTickets.com.