Oct. 19, 2005
LAS VEGAS -
After spending the first two weeks of their Mountain West Conference season on the road, the UNLV women's soccer team (9-4-3, 4-0 MWC) return home for what will be a huge week in the league. The top four teams in the league will all face off against two others in the top four this Thursday and Saturday, and by the time the clock reaches 90 in both games on Saturday, the path to the regular season title and top seed in the conference tournament will be that much clearer.
On Thursday, undefeated and co-MWC leader UNLV (4-0 in league play), will host third-place No. 12 BYU (3-1) at 7 pm, while the other co-leader, Utah (4-0) plays at fourth-place San Diego State (2-1-1). Then on Saturday, the Utes come into Las Vegas in a potential matchup between undefeated conference teams at 1 pm, while BYU will go on the road to SDSU.
While UNLV has never beaten the Cougars in eight attempts, the Rebels are clearly the hottest team in the conference, having won six straight games, all shutout victories. That streak is also the longest active shutout streak in the nation, as the Rebels have been inspired by the return of two-time all-conference goalkeeper Jenna Huff to the field. UNLV has not allowed a goal since her recovery from a broken foot in the preseason, and have outscored its last six opponents by a 13-0 margin.
The Rebels also have the huge advantage of playing its final three games at home, an advantage that will stretch into the postseason as UNLV will host the MWC Tournament for the third time, Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas.
While UNLV brings in a six-game win streak, BYU counters with a defense that has allowed just five goals all year, though one came at home to New Mexico in a 1-0 loss. Utah is also a team not to be overlooked, as the Utes are 10-5 on the year, riding a four-game win streak, and looking to avenge UNLV's 1-0 win on the Utes' home field in 2004.