Nov. 8, 2004
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV women's soccer team received its first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament as the 2004 selections for the 64-team tournament were announced on Monday. The Rebels, Mountain West Conference regular-season champions, will open play on Friday against San Diego in the first round at Drake Stadium in the UCLA regional in Los Angeles at 4:30 pm. UCLA and Pepperdine will play in the second game, with the two winners to meet on Sunday in the second round game at 1 pm.
"We're very excited to get in, it was a five-year goal of mine when I took over the program to reach the NCAAs in five years, and it feels great that we were able to receive a bid this year," said fifth-year UNLV head coach Dan Abdalla. "The team really worked hard all year, played a great season, and it's a very nice reward to get into the tournament."
UNLV, which is in the seventh year of the program, has turned in the best season in school history with a 12-4-2 overall mark and a 5-1 record in conference play. They have also been ranked regionally for the first-time in school history. The top seed in the MWC Tournament, they fell to eventual tournament champion Utah in the semifinals, but were awarded an at-large bid to the NCAAs.
The Rebels have already met San Diego once this year, and took a 2-1 victory over the Toreros in Las Vegas on Sept. 24. It was the second-ever meeting between the schools, San Diego took a 1-0 win in San Diego on Sept. 9, 2003.
"San Diego is obviously a very good team, and they have gotten better and better as the season has gone on after our game, so it'll be a good matchup between our teams on Friday, with the improvement both have shown," said Abdalla.
NCAA Soccer Championship Schedule at Drake Stadium (Los Angeles) First Round (Friday, November 12) Game 1 - UNLV vs. San Diego - 4:30 pm Game 2 - Pepperdine at UCLA - 7 pm Second Round (Sunday, November 14) Game 3 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner - 1 pm