In a game full of great saves, tackles, and shots UNLV was able to find the equalizer for a 1-1 draw at home against Gonzaga to make its record 1-3-2.
A clear standout performer was UNLV goalkeeper Hugo Lemos, who had six saves and a spectacular penalty save, which would come in handy when UNLV scored later in the game.
Along with Lemos is teammate Cesar Carbajal, who put in an excellent defensive shift and scored the equalizer for the Rebels.
As for Gonzaga, star performers include Robbie Mora and Stefano Campisi who would be a constant threat for the Rebels every minute they played, including the goal from Mora and assist from Campisi. Gonzaga goalkeeper Wessel Sprangers made an unbelievable reflex save in his three-save performance.
Gonzaga Campisi played a short freekick to Mora who was through on goal and slotted it past UNLV goalkeeper Lemos putting Gonzaga 1-0 up six minutes into the game.
Lemos talked about how it affects the team to concede a goal so early in the game.
“It’s always tough to concede a goal early,” Lemos said. “But we went to half time, we talked about [how] we were only 1-0 down, to keep going, get back in.”
In the 15th minute of the game, Hermann Ragnarsson received a great through-ball and headed straight for goal, but an excellent tackle by Gonzaga defender Sam Dahlin stopped the attack.
In the 48th minute of the game, UNLV Brophy Howard would push down a Gonzaga player at the edge of the box, and a penalty was called.
On the penalty, Campisi struck a mid-left rocket but was denied by an outstretched Lemos who kept the Rebels hope of an equalizer alive.
“I have been like a year without saving a penalty, so it was like I had to save it,” Lemos said. “I conceded like two in the last three games, so that one was really important. Saving a penalty is always a great feeling.”
“The chances that a keeper saves those [penalties] is really rare,” Carbajal said. “You are shooting by yourself against the keeper in front of you pretty close to goal, so to make a save for sure brings energy to the team.”
In the following play, UNLV would get its best chance yet when Michael Vogel played the ball right in front of the goal with nothing standing between him except Sprangers. Vogel would blast the ball at point-blank range, but Sprangers would pull off an acrobatic save with a quick dive to his left, denying the powershot with cat-like reflexes.
In the 62nd minute of the game, Lopez would strike a powerful freekick that would rattle of the post. However, the rebound landed perfectly to Carbajal who hit a low powerful volley and slotted it right into the back of the net and equalized the game for the Rebels.
As a defender, Carbajal does not get a lot of goal scoring opportunities. In his two years as a Rebel, he had only one career shot attempt entering the game against Gonzaga. The equalizer against the Bulldogs was his first career goal as a Rebel.
“I couldn’t believe it. I mean it’s been my second year here, and it hasn’t happened yet, but I mean it’s probably one of the best feelings you can get,” Carbajal said. “I didn’t know whether to celebrate by myself or with my teammates, but obviously, you gotta go celebrate with the team because it doesn’t happen without the team.”
In the 74th minute of the game, Ian Silva gets an excellent scoring chance as he finds himself alone against Lemos. However, Lemos steps off his line and denies Silva keeping UNLV alive.
In the 80th minute with a one-two play by UNLV, Gelebart was set up for a left-footed shot which he released but was caught by Sprangers.
In the closing minutes of the game, Lemos made three crucial saves against the Bulldogs attack to keep the game 1-1 at full time.
The Rebels will once again play under their home lights as they face CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.