Nov. 1, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - UNLV junior forward Katie Carney picked up right where she left off at the Mountain West Women's Soccer Championships, as she scored her fourth goal of the year with just two seconds left to give the Rebels a 1-0 win over Wyoming on Wednesday afternoon from Ute Field.
The win moves the third-seeded Rebels (9-10-1) into Thursday's semifinal game against BYU at 3:30 pm, in a game televised live by the mtn. The game will also have live audio, available via a link on the UNLV athletic website (www.UNLVRebels.com). Sixth-seeded Wyoming saw its season finish with a 7-9-3 record.
"Wyoming did a great job in the first half having some dangerous chances," noted UNLV's head coach Kat Mertz. "I think we played better in the last third of the game. It's a tournament game and anything can happen. We are very fortunate that the ball bounced out Katie Carney's way."
The goal marked the second straight MWC Tournament game won by a Carney game-winner, as she scored the lone goal of the game in UNLV's 1-0 overtime victory over New Mexico in the 2005 championship game. Carney, the 2005 Tournament MVP, also scored the game-winner in UNLV's quarterfinal victory over TCU in 2005, giving her three game-winners in UNLV's last four tournament games.
It was also the second time in three games that UNLV scored a game-winner against Wyoming in the final 10 seconds. The Rebels most recently achieved the feat when Ashly O'Harrow scored with seven seconds left on Oct. 9, 2005, in Laramie, Wyo,
Though UNLV held control of the ball for the majority of the first half, Wyoming actually got off more shots, 13-8. Also in the first half, Rebel goalkeeper Ciera Nero was forced to come out of the game after suffering two collisions while coming out to make a pair of saves. Freshman Alicia Lugo came into the net for UNLV, and played very strong while seeing her first action in over a month, as she finished the game with five saves.
"I was kind of nervous, because it was my first actual game against a conference team, and then coming in here for the MWC Tournament, which is win you stay, lose you go home, but I felt better as the game went on," said Lugo.
The second half was a different story for UNLV, with a 20-7 advantage on shots. However, the Rebels could not find the back of the net as Ashley Sheppard kept making outstanding saves in goal for Wyoming. The pressure finally paid off for the Rebels in the final minute, as were awarded a free kick following a foul with under 30 seconds left. As the clock ticked down to 10 seconds, Brie Kuhne sent a kick into the box that was tipped by Tanya Roberts towards the goal. Sheppard cleared the ball towards the middle of the field, but Carney tracked down the ball, and quickly sent a high lob shot that just fell in over Sheppard's reach for the goal with two seconds left on the clock.
"When I saw the free kick I decided I wasn't going to go in because I saw the goalie was going to get it, and then the ball came back to me and I just wanted to send my shot high", said Carney of her game-winning shot.
UNLV finished the game with a 28-20 edge on shots, and 7-5 advantage on corner kicks. Nero finished with two saves, and Lugo five as the pair combined for the shutout, while Sheppard was credited with 11 saves in the loss for Wyoming.