UNLV men’s soccer drew with the No. 24 ranked Loyola Marymount University Lions 0-0. This comes after the Rebels drew with No. 22 ranked Santa Clara last week.
“I’m proud of them, I really am,” UNLV head coach BJ Craig said in a release. “It takes a lot of character and grit to keep up that fight against some of the best teams in the country.”
The scoreless results came despite 23 combined shots from both teams.
The first 10 minutes belonged to the Rebels. UNLV’s Kai Lange gave the Lions trouble early, winning a free kick on the edge of the box and having a close-range shot blocked by LMU’s Callum Stretch.
The Lions suddenly found their footing after 15 minutes. LMU’s Gianluca Arcangeli began to shine in a spell of possession which led to several free kicks, corners and shots for the Lions.
The Rebels could not keep possession of the ball and the frustration began to show. UNLV’s Daniel Rojas was given the first yellow card of the game in the 26th minute.
The first big chance for the Lions and their only shot on target in the first half came in the 37th minute. LMU’s CJ Neville had his shot wonderfully saved by UNLV’s goalkeeper Andrew Sway.
Four minutes later, Neville had another chance, but this time he put it wide left of the goal. The first half ended 0-0.
The second half began with a second booking for the Rebels. This time, UNLV’s Gabe Sanchez received a yellow card.
The Lions continued to exert their dominance. Neville hit the left post this time in the 54th minute.
It looked like the Lions might pay for their wasted opportunities as the Rebels broke forward in the 62nd minute.
UNLV’s Hayden Prasad appeared to have a good look at goal, but he chose to pass the ball across the box to Lange who had his shot saved by LMU’s goalkeeper Mitchell Wilson.
The Rebels squandered another chance four minutes later when Frankie Martinez hit the crossbar. Wilson made the save and prevented a follow-up shot from UNLV’s Louis Hiepen.
As the game entered the 80th minute, it appeared both teams were tired and most of the action occurred in midfield.
The scoring opportunities were not done yet. LMU’s Stefan Reuter hit the crossbar this time in the 82nd minute.
The Lions had the better of the game in the closing minutes, but they could not find a breakthrough. The game ended 0-0.
The draw halts the Lions winning streak at two games, but also leaves the Rebels without a win or a goal so far this season. Although the Rebels have yet to concede a goal this season.
Prior to the game, the Western Athletic Conference named UNLV’s Louis Hiepen the Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
Hiepen played a pivotal role in the Rebels’ opening game against Santa Clara.
Next, the Rebels open their home campaign as they take on California State University, Northridge on Sep. 4 at 7:30 p.m. They travel to San Diego State on Friday at 7 p.m.