Rebels Ready For NCAA Play
Nov. 10, 2004
LAS VEGAS -
The UNLV women's soccer team plays in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the seven-year history of the program, as they received an at-large bid after winning the Mountain West Conference regular season and posting a 12-4-2 record.
The Rebels are already familiar with their opening opponent in Friday's first round game at UCLA as they will take on No. 21 San Diego in the second game of the day at 7:30 pm at Drake Stadium. The two teams faced off earlier this year in Las Vegas, with UNLV claiming a 2-1 win on Sept. 24. The Toreros come into the NCAAs having won seven of its last nine, though they have scored just two goals in the last four games. On the other hand, UNLV has also won seven of its last nine, and has scored 11 goals in a four-game stretch before being shutout in the MWC semifinal game by eventual champion Utah on Nov. 4. The first game of the day features 14th-seeded UCLA and Pepperdine, with the winners from both games meeting on Sunday at 1 pm.
In the first meeting earlier this year, the Rebels took an early 1-0 lead in the game, as Annii Magliulo fed Nickie Olson inside the box, and Olson scored from 10 yards out for a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game. San Diego came back to tie the score 11 seconds before the end of the half on a Shannon Sullivan header off a Vanessa Vella corner kick to knot the score at 1-1. UNLV stepped up its offensive attack in the second half, and took the lead when Katie Carney collected a loose ball in the box, and her shot from 15 yards out found the back of the net for a 2-1 Rebel lead at 79:53. UNLV's Jenna Huff finished with seven saves, including two outstanding saves on breakaway attempts for San Diego.
The Rebels are led by senior midfielder Magliulo, the MWC Offensive Player of the Year after posting three goals and five assists for 11 points. Huff was also named All-MWC first team and has a 0.76 GAA, 86 saves, and eight shutouts for the year.
The series betwen the two schools is tied at 1-1. San Diego won the first meeting on Sept. 5, 2003 in San Diego. Michelle Rowe scored the only goal of the game on a breakaway to the right side in the 30th minute to give the Toreros the win, despite eight saves from Huff.
While this is UNLV's first-ever trip to the NCAAs, it marks the sixth consecutive year for San Diego, and the third straight for them to play in the UCLA regional.