Freshman's Golden Goal Lifts Rebels To 3-2 Road Win|
Oct. 27, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV's freshmen class continues to step up in conference play, and they helped come up with a big win on Sunday afternoon for the Rebels as freshman Miranda Rawlings scored a golden goal less then two minutes into overtime for a 3-2 road victory over Wyoming in Mountain West women's soccer action from Louis S. Madrid Stadium. Wyoming had come into the afternoon undefeated at home in league play and had wins over the top two teams in the Mountain West. The victory improves UNLV to 9-8-2 on the season, 4-5 in league play, and keeps them in seventh place in the Mountain West, two points behind Wyoming and two points ahead of Nevada, Reno. The Cowgirls meanwhile dropped to 7-9-3, 4-3-2 in the conference.
"Today was a huge win for us, to come into an environment like this and score three times on their Senior Day was an amazing character statement by our young team," said UNLV head coach Michael Coll. "We talked before about being the first conference team to come here and get a winning result, and I am so proud of their fight and belief to win early in overtime after having the game tied late in regulation."
Though the game featured a total of five goals, it was scoreless for most of the first half. UNLV would score the first goal of the afternoon following a scramble for the ball inside the box. Hayley Wilson came away with the ball and scored her first goal of the year to put the Rebels up 1-0 in the 43rd minute, and that would be the halftime score as well.
After being held to three shots in the first half, Wyoming came out firing in the second, taking a total of 10. The Cowgirls tied the game in the 56th minute, thanks to a Sara Paul goal on a breakaway after a pass from Liz O'Reilly. That made the score 1-1. UNLV would go back ahead in the 76th minute when Jenn Wolfe sent in a cross from the left side into the middle of the box. Dakota Blazak and Cowgirl goalkeeper Alex Boehm got there at the same time, but Blazak managed to get a head on the ball, sending it towards the goal for her second score of the weekend.
Holding a 2-1 edge with the game nearly over, a foul was called on the Rebel goalkeeper Kylie Wassell, giving a free kick to Wyoming. Paul took the kick for Wyoming and sent it into the back of the net for the score. That was her second of the game, tying the contest at 2-2 in the 89th minute.
Going to their seventh overtime contest of the year, the Rebels made sure it didn't last long when Rawlings scored on the Rebels' first shot of the extra period. The goal came in the 92nd minute, off an assist from Susie Bernal, and was the first career goal for Rawling as well.
"It was a game of contrasting styles and we knew skill would win out in the end if we matched their physicality," said Coll. "Seniors Kylie Wassell, Courtney Botelho and Jenn Wolfe were tremendous today and they encouraged the youngsters to stick to the game plan and keep playing attractive attacking soccer despite the persistent fouling that wasn't allowing us to get in a good rhythm.
Wyoming held a final 13-11 edge on shots, and 7-5 on shots on goal, while corner kicks were also in the Cowgirls' favor, 4-3. Wassell finished the game with five saves, while Boehm was credited with two.
"Probably the best player on the field today was Samantha Weber, she gets better and better each game, and that is helping out our entire defense," said Coll. "We are now going approach our last home game on Friday evening against Nevada, Reno with lots of confidence and ready to impress a big crowd."
The Rebels end the regular season with a Senior Night contest against in-state rival Nevada, Reno, starting at 5 pm at Peter Johann Field. The game is part of the Governor's Series, sponsored by NV Energy, and all fans wearing red to the game will receive half off admission.