Rebels Jump Past UMKC 3-0 To Reach WAC Championship|
Nov. 14, 2014
SEATTLE, Wash. (UNLVRebels.com) -
UNLV MEN'S SOCCER
On a cold Friday night in Seattle in which temperatures reached the low 30s, UNLV was red hot on offense, scoring three goals for a 3-0 victory over UMKC in the semifinals of the WAC Men's Soccer Tournament at Championship Field. The Rebels are now just one win away from their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988, and will play in their first conference championship final since the 1984 Big West Championship Game.
The WAC final will be played on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 pm, against the winner of Friday's second semifinal game between host Seattle and Bakersfield. It will be shown live on the WAC Digital Network, which can be reached off of UNLVRebels.com.
UNLV now stands at 14-4-2 on the season, which ties for the fifth-most wins in school history and the most since the 1987 squad finished 14-5. With the three goals, the Rebels have now scored 43 goals total this year, which currently ranks them third in the nation and is the most by a UNLV squad since 1991.
There's no doubt who was the star of Friday night's victory, as Las Vegas native Danny Musovski terrorized the UMKC defense all night long. The freshman had a hand in all three goals as well, starting with a give-and-go with Julian Dragomir near the end of the first half. Musovski took a pass from Dragomir, and then fed it back to him as he streaked into the box. Dragomir then slotted a shot to the left side that was slightly deflected before sneaking inside the left post. That put UNLV ahead 1-0 in the 41st minute.
"Without a doubt that changed the flow of the game," said UNLV head coach Rick Ryerson . "It made UMKC have to open up a little to try and get a score, and we were able to take advantage of that in the second half. We also came in with rest while they played last night, and that helped to wear them down in the second half as well."
After outshooting the 'Roos 5-2 in the first half, UNLV came out pressuring the attack in the second half, taking the first five shots, including a near miss by Dragomir in the 46th minute, again off a pass from Musovski. The lead grew to 2-0 after Musovski, who had already been pulled down twice in the box, was taken down for a third time and this time a penalty kick was awarded. Kevin Partida took the kick and after a stutter-step run-up, sent the ball down the middle for the goal in the 67th minute.
Musovski sealed the game in the 84th minute after he collected a free kick from Jason Khamvongsa, spun around, and blasted in a shot from nine yards out for a 3-0 Rebel edge. UMKC's best chance at a score came in the final minute with three straight shots from close range. Three team saves from the Rebels preserved the shutout however.
UNLV finished with a 15-7 edge on shots, while corner kicks were 4-4. Ryan Harding posted five saves in goal to move his shutout total to 9.1 for the year, just behind the school season record of 10. Chris McGaughey meanwhile finished with six saves for the 'Roos.