The UNLV Rebels came into this match from a 1-1 draw at Colorado while San Jose came from a 2-2 draw at San Diego. The Rebels put up a great fight shooting 22 shots. However, the Spartans simply had a fantastic understanding of each other and were able to outplay the Rebels in a 3-0 win making UNLV’s record 5-3-4.
This game had a galore of standout players. Starting with the Spartans, both goalkeepers kept a shutout, with second-half goalkeeper Shayla Sugai saving a penalty. Along with them is their engine of the team, Sabrina Weinman, an incredible playmaker and scored on a freekick and forward Bella Flocchini who was pivotal on the attack with one goal and one assist having a complete game.
Meanwhile, the Rebels had the likes of Jules Dominguez who was the glue keeping her team together as a leader with excellent direction, passes, tackles and totaling the most shots of any place on the pitch with five. Along with her is Trinity Buchanan who made great runs, dribbles and took dangerous shots to pressure the Spartans.
In the first play of the match, San Jose No. 10 Weinman got the ball on the left wing and struck a low power shot caught by UNLV shot stopper Hanne Breur.
The duel would prove to be a midfield battle as Dominguez and Weinman were the engines of their respective teams as they both controlled the tempo of the game along with possession and opportunities created.
In the 8th minute of the match, the Rebels would get an early yellow card with Sarah Martinez after a foul on the Spartans.
In the following play, Weinman would play an excellent through ball that Flocchini’s first touch would put in the hands of keeper Breur.
In the 19th minute, Mimi Mendoza was disposed of by Flocchini who dribbled past two defenders and was able to put a powerful shot past Breur to put San Jose up 1-0 against the Rebels.
In the 26th minute, Tatiana Cunningham made a great dribble past three UNLV defenders before being taken down for a freekick just outside the 18-yard box.
Weinman would strike a beautiful freekick going over the heads of the UNLV wall and past Breur to put the Spartans 2-0 up.
In the following play, Weinman played the ball in front of the goal without a goalkeeper, but the slow pace of the shot gave UNLV defenders enough time to clear it.
Straight into the second half, Flocchini played an excellent through ball to Cynthia Flores for a one-on-one chance that Flores was able to slot away putting the Spartans 3-0 up.
In the 61st minute of the game, Buchanan found herself with space just outside the 18 and struck a rocket that barely flew past the goal.
In the 68th minute, Viviana Cera found herself with the ball at the 18-yard box and put in a curling shot that skimmed the post and went out.
In the 73rd minute, Cassie Villanueva found herself one on one with the goalkeeper and put a shot on but an incredible clearance just on the line from defender Phoebe Rapoza kept the Spartans with a shutout.
In the 76th minute, UNLV were awarded a penalty which Dominguez would take. Dominguez put a powerful shot on the left side, but Sugai read the shot and made a fantastic diving save and kept a clean sheet for the Spartans.
In the 84th minute, Dominguez went for a left footed rocket around 25 yards out that once again skimmed the post and went out.
In the 89th minute of the match, Dominguez struck a powershot that Sugai leaped to with one hand parrying the ball to the crossbar and denying the Rebels a goal.
Despite dominating in shots, the Rebels were unable to break the Spartan deadlock and fell 3-0 to the Spartans at full time.
The Rebels stay at home to play against Fresno State on Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. The game will be available to watch on the Mountain West Network.