Rebels Claim Tournament Title
Sep 1, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Senior Jenn Wolfe scored her conference-leading fourth goal of the year in what would be the eventual game-winner in UNLV's 3-2 victory over LIU Brooklyn in the final game of the UNLV Nike Invitational on Sunday afternoon in women's college soccer action from Peter Johann Field. The Rebels won the tournament title thanks to a 2-0 record for the weekend, and improved to 3-1 overall, while Portland State would take runner-up honors after a 7-0 win over New Mexico State in the first game.
"We were facing a determined LIU team today, and I felt that we didn't rise to that challenge in the first half, we struggled and looked complacent," said UNLV head coach Michael Coll. "We made a formation change at halftime however and came out determined to put a better effort over the second half."
The day's first goal came from defender Kristin Sankey. Following a foul on the Blackbirds, Sankey took the free kick and sent a blast that deflected off a defender's head before going into the goal from 25 yards out in the 17th minute. LIU would tie the game in the 26th minute, also on a long kick from 30 yards out, as a blast from Madison Gomez just cleared Rebel goalkeeper Kylie Wassell's reach. Jenn Peters assisted on the score. That was the only shot of the half for the Blackbirds, and UNLV would go into halftime tied at 1-1, and holding a 7-1 edge on shots.
UNLV kept up the pressure in the second half, outshooting the Blackbirds 11-2. The Rebels went ahead for good in the 55th minute, following a corner kick that was headed by Denali Murnan into the crossbar. The ball came right to Addy Guida, who placed it in the goal from close range on the right side for her first score of the year, and a 2-1 UNLV lead in the 55th minute.
The Rebels kept possession for the majority of the rest of the contest, and would come up with a third goal in the 80th minute. Jessica Sexton, goalkeeper for LIU, attempted to track down a loose ball in the box, but Wolfe stole the ball from her grasp, and as she attempted to curve around for an angle on the goal, was taken down from behind, drawing a penalty kick. She would take the PK and sent a shot to the right side for the score, putting UNLV up 3-1 with her second game-winner of the season. LIU notched one last goal, closing to within 3-2 after Peters scored from the middle of the box on an assist by Danny Cardenas in the 82nd minute. That would be visitors' final shot of the game, and UNLV closed out for the win.
UNLV's final shot advantage was 18-3, and 7-2 on shots on goal. The Rebels also took all eight corner kicks in the game. Sexton finished the game with three saves for the Blackbirds, while Wassell played all 90 minutes in goal for UNLV. Named to the all-tournament team from UNLV was Wolfe, Denali Murnan, Susie Bernal and Samantha Weber.
The Rebels will return to action on Friday, Sept. 6, with a 2:30 pm contest at Sacramento State.