Rebels Reach WAC Semifinals After 3-1 Win Over San Jose State|
Nov. 12, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UNLVRebels.com) -
UNLV MEN'S SOCCER
UNLV continues to have a hot hand on offense, as it has scored seven goals over the past two games thanks to Thursday's 3-1 victory over sixth-seed San Jose State in the first round of the 2015 WAC Men's Soccer Tournament. The Rebels, who improve to 12-6-1 on the year, now advance to Friday's semifinal contest at 2:30 pm against second-seed Utah Valley. This year's tournament is being held at Durwood Soccer Stadium on the UMKC campus.
"We had the result we were striving for tonight and we are looking forward to the challenge of Utah Valley tomorrow," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. The Rebels, the 2014 WAC Tournament champs, will look to improve to 3-0 all-time against Utah Valley after a 1-0 victory a year ago and a 2-1 overtime victory in Las Vegas earlier this season.
Though the Spartans (6-11-2) held a shot advantage in the first half at 10-7, the Rebels kept the ball on SJSU's side of the field for the majority of the half and had several strong scoring runs. UNLV notched the first goal of the game in the 18th minute as Kevin Partida dribbled across the top of the box before stopping and unleashing a hard shot. The ball hit a defender and was deflected into the air and over Spartan goalie Felix Petermann and into the back of the net, giving Partida his fourth score of the year.
Just four minutes later the Rebels added to the lead. With the Rebels on a counter, Rodrigo Fuentes sent the ball ahead to Shota Takada, who beat a defender and shot cross cage to the right side for the goal in the 22nd minute. With Takada's third career goal, all in the last four games, the Rebels went ahead 2-0 and would take that lead into halftime.
In the second half the Rebels would extend the lead with a score in the 72nd minute. WAC Player of the Year Danny Musovski set up the goal as he took the ball into the right corner, eluded several defenders and before sending in a cross to Blake Balelo who sent an easy shot to the far post. That was Balelo's third goal of the game, and gave UNLV a 3-0 advantage. UNLV was looking for a third straight shutout of SJSU in the series, but gave up a goal in the 86th minute on Greg Harte's header off a Jonathan Colunga corner kick.
UNLV was outshot 22-12 for the game, but shots on goal were more even at 8-7 in favor of the Spartans. SJSU also held a 9-2 edge on corner kicks. Richard Garness played a very strong game in goal for the Rebels, which included three key saves back-to-back-to-back early in the first half to keep the Spartans off the scoreboard.