Amanda Sanchez scored her first goal of the season in Thursday's loss.
Nov. 8, 2007
PROVO, Utah - The top-seeded UNLV Rebels advanced to the Mountain West Conference Soccer Championship tournament with a 2-1 win over fifth-seeded Utah on Thursday, Nov. 8. Both Rebel goals were scored by All-MWC second-team selection Jessica Destito.
The contest was an early battle reflective of the regular-season meeting between the two teams, which ended in a 2-2 tie after two overtimes. The Utes, who defeated fourth-seeded Wyoming on Wednesday to advance to the tournament semifinals, managed to hold off the attacking UNLV offense and recorded the first shot of the game in the 11th minute.
However, it was the Rebels who struck first on the scoreboard as Destito netted her second goal of the season in the 21st minute. After being served by Katie Carney, Destito broke free with the ball as a Utah defender and the goalkeeper collided. Destito tapped it in to give UNLV a 1-0 lead. That score would hold going into the locker room at halftime as the Rebels continued to dominate with six shots and three corner kicks compared to just two shots for the Utes.
Destito kept the pressure on to begin the second half as she sent a shot just over the Utah crossbar in the 49th minute. As the minutes ticked by, the Utes felt a sense of urgency as they became the aggressor and kept the Rebel defense on its heels. However, through the Utes offensive pressure, Destito netted her second goal of the day with a crossing shot that curved over the outstretched hands of Utah's goalkeeper in the 72nd minute.
Down 2-0, Utah tried to overcome the deficit with a goal in the 85th minute to cut the lead to 2-1. With a crowd of red and white jerseys bunched in front of the Rebel goal, junior Amanda Sanchez deflected a Katy Reineke corner kick off her midsection and past the UNLV keeper for her first score of the season. Utah's Chelsea Card and Lauren Hair both came close to tying things up with a pair of shots from close range as the clock ticked under two minutes. But UNLV keeper Alicia Lugo kept the Utes from getting the equalizer. Despite outshooting the Rebels 10-4 in the second half and 12-10 overall, Utah fell by a tally of 2-1.