Rebels Trick The Bulldogs
Oct. 31, 2012
SAN DIEGO (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV dominated every aspect of the game on the way to a 3-0 shutout of Fresno State on Wednesday night in the first round of the 2012 Mountain West Women's Soccer Championship at the SDSU Sports Deck. The Rebels improved to 12-3-4 on the year, which ties for the second-most wins in school history, and advance to the MW semifinal round for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
Just four days after claiming a 1-0 win on Fresno State's home field, UNLV took control right from opening whistle, limiting the Bulldogs to just four shots total on the night, two in each half. Even more impressive, Rebel goalkeeper Kylie Wassell was not called upon to make a save until the final minute. Wassell would finish with her 10th shutout of the season, which ties the school record set by Alicia Lugo in 2007.
It wasn't just the Rebels' defensive effort that was playing at a high level. UNLV's three goals marked the most by the Rebels in the past six weeks, and tied for the second-most ever scored by UNLV in MW tournament play. The night's first goal came from junior forward Jenn Wolfe, who scored off an assist by Erica Meier with a shot to the upper right corner in the 26th minute. That score was Wolfe's 12th of the year, moving her into sole possession of second all-time at UNLV for goals in a season. It also gives her 26 points on the year, which ranks as the third-best season total in school history.
After taking that 1-0 lead into halftime, the Rebels would add a second goal 13 minutes into the second half. This score came from sophomore Denali Murnan, who scored off Julie Owens' corner kick with a shot to the right side of the goal in the 59th minute. It was Murnan's fourth score of the year. The Rebels scored their third goal when freshman Susie Bernal looped a high shot over the goalie and into the FSU goal with just five seconds left on the clock. It marked the third straight game that Bernal has scored in, and it was her fourth goal of the season.
UNLV's final shot advantage was 14-4, and 5-1 on shots on goal. Katie DeVault played the entire 90 minutes for FSU and posted two saves. The Rebels took all four corner kicks of the night.
The Rebels will now face the host San Diego State Aztecs, this year's top seed, on Friday night at 7 pm. In the first meeting this season between the two, SDSU rallied with two second half goals for a 2-1 win in Las Vegas on Oct. 12. UNLV is 2-1 all-time against the Aztecs in MW tournament play, but the last meeting was back in the 2005 tournament, a 2-1 overtime win by UNLV in Las Vegas in the semifinals. The Rebels will be looking to reach their first championship game since the 2007 tournament, where they lost in the championship game to host BYU.