UNLV Women’s Soccer draw 1-1 with Hawaii as goalkeepers save the day.

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Kitty Jones-Black (61) takes a penalty kick on Sept. 3, 2023 at Peter Johann Soccer Field in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Kalin Sipes

The UNLV Rebels draw 1-1 with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors to make its record an even 2-2-2.

Entering the match, the Rebels came home after a 2-0 win at Weber State while Hawaii lost its previous game 3-1 to Air Force. 

“[I am] disappointed because I think we had a number of opportunities,” UNLV Head Coach Jenny Ruiz-Williams said. “Hawaii is a very good team which brought us a very physical game which is good for our players to experience.”

There was a galore of star performers in this intense standoff between UNLV and Hawaii. 

Starting off with the Rainbow Wahine, No. 10 Amber Gilbert. She put on a stellar performance by being the main threat to UNLV throughout the game with quick runs and excellent passes, 

Alongside her is goalkeeper Sophie Augustin, who had a total of seven saves throughout the match.

Standout players for UNLV include freshman Trinity Buchanan, who was hungry for a goal with three shots on goal and one that went slightly wide. 

UNLV goalkeeper Lucia Guemes who, despite playing only the second half of the game, made five saves and managed to keep a shutout in her time.

UNLV did a great job with possession and creating offensive chances. Ruiz-Williams even considers offense to be the Rebel’s strongest point of the game.

“Our greatest strength, we were able to attack with two, three numbers pretty well,” Ruiz-Williams said.

Buchanan played a great through ball to Nailah Harpring who made a run into the box and was taken down by Rainbow Wahine defender Riley Simpson, and a penalty was called in the 22nd minute. 

Jones-Black took the penalty and shot a powerful rocket into the bottom right that Augustin, despite going the right way, was unable to reach. The penalty shot gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

Hawaii would respond quickly to this goal with a freekick that went over goalkeeper Hanne Breur and would find Gilbert against two UNLV defenders, but Gilbert calmly struck a low volley in the bottom right corner and Hawaii equalized the game.

In the 32nd minute, Hawaii would get a scoring opportunity when Penelope Noland played a through ball to Gilbert who made it into the penalty box and took a right-footed rocket that would rattle the crossbar, and the rebound by Tatum Porter was blocked by the UNLV defense.

In the 76th minute, after a breakaway by Villanueva, Villanueva passed to Ramirez who played an outward curling cross that was parried away by goalkeeper Augustin with the rebound by Dominguez caught by Augustin.

In the 80th minute, Harpring played a great through ball to Buchanan who was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and shot a low left that was saved by Augustin. The rebound by Buchanan was also saved in an important moment for UNLV with Augustin saving Hawaii in a crucial moment. 

In the closing minutes of the game, Mitchell had a long distance chance that seemed to be the winner, but Guemes came to the rescue with an acrobatic save that denied Hawaii the winner. 

“I mean, when it’s the last minute of the game, the last thing a keeper wants is to make a save,” Guemes said. “I would have loved to celebrate a goal or just not touch the ball because that save gave them a corner that could have hurt us.”

UP NEXT

The Rebels will travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to face New Mexico State on Sept. 7 at 6:00 p.m. The game will be available to watch on ESPN+.

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