Rebels Set For A California Trip
Sept. 13, 2006
LAS VEGAS -
The UNLV women's soccer team goes on the road for the second time this season, and will look to break its current losing streak after a pair of one-goal losses in the Rebel Classic this past weekend (3-2 to UCF, 1-0 in overtime to Denver). It will not be an easy road for the Rebels however, as they will be playing their their third and fourth straight regionally ranked opponents, with San Diego also currently ranked 22nd in the nation by the NSCAA, and Southern California boasting a No. 17 ranking in Soccer Buzz. UNLV will meet the San Diego Toreros on Friday at 5 pm, before taking on the USC Women of Troy in a Sunday 1 pm match.
The Rebels (2-3-1) hope to get their offense back on track. Averaging three goals a game entering last weekend, UNLV looked strong in the first half against UCF, scoring twice, but couldn't find the back of the net for the next three halfs.
For the third straight year, junior forward Katie Carney continues to lead the team in scoring, and in fact is tied for first in the Mountain West Conference in both points with nine, and goals with three. Senior midfielder Tanya Roberts, a first-team all-MWC pick in 2005, has three assists and is always a threat to score for UNLV. Other strong threats on offense including junior forwards Armani Rice (two goals, one assist, five points) and Jessica Destito (two goal, two assists, four points). The Rebels have split the time in goal between their two goalies, and both have a shutout on the year. Freshman Alicia Lugo has a 0.60 GAA (which leads the MWC) this year and 12 saves, while sophomore Ciera Nero has a 1.67 GAA and 13 saves in the net.
While this is the first meeting between UNLV and USC, the Rebels have met the Toreros three times before, most notably during the 2004 season. A 2-1 home victory by UNLV was a key win in helping the Rebels earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and as luck would have it, San Diego was their first round opponent. The teams played a defensive classic, with USD prevailing 1-0 in double-overtime.
San Diego is currently ranked 22nd in the nation after winning five of its first six games on the year, including three straight, with the only loss coming to Ohio State 4-1. Leading the team is Leigh Ann Robinson, who has team-highs in goals (three), assists (three), and points (nine). Three more Toreros have scored twice this year, including Natalie Vinti, who also is tied with Robinson for the team lead in assists with three to give her second points on the year. Just like the Rebels, San Diego splits time in goal between two players, Karen Cook (0.33 GAA, 11 saves in 270 minutes) and Brittany Cameron (2.22 GAA, 14 saves in 284 minutes of action).
Southern California brings a three-game win streak and a 4-1-1 mark into this weekend, with its lone loss coming to the hands of top-ranked Notre Dame on the road, 2-0. USC is also currently ranked 20th in Soccer Buzz. The game against the Rebels will be just their fourth at home this year, after UCSB, UC Irvine, and a game against Eastern Washington on Friday night. Leading the team is Amy Rodriguez, who missed the first few games of the year while playing for the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the FIFA World Championships, but in her first game back, had a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over North Texas.