The UNLV women’s soccer team had its tournament dreams crushed Thursday night after a devastating loss to in-state rival UNR by a final score of 1-0.
The Rebels entered the contest needing just one point with a tie, or win to hold sixth place and earn a bid to the Mountain West (MW) postseason tournament.
UNR, who had already been eliminated from playoff contention, could only play spoiler to the Rebels in this chapter of the Silver State Series.
With 85:50 elapsed in regulation, UNR’s Brooklyn Blake found Hannah Souza open in the box by the narrowest of onside margins. Souza sent in a shot past diving Rebel goalkeeper Riley Liebsack to give the Wolf Pack the late lead. UNLV would be unable to respond in the final minutes.
The defeat dropped UNLV to 5-6 in conference play and eighth place in the standings.
The Rebels finished with 15 points in the conference, the same point tally as now sixth place and tournament-qualifying Boise State. Boise State holds the tiebreaker against the Rebels with a better in-conference winning percentage (4-4-3, 0.500).
On a night when UNLV needed scoring support to extend its season, the Rebels just could not find much rhythm offensively.
The Rebel attack managed three shots on goal in the first half but took just one shot after the mid-game intermission.
The closest scoring opportunity for UNLV came in the first half when Lourdes Bosch’s shot from a free kick a few yards outside the box deflected off the goalkeeper’s hands and the crossbar, sailing past the endline for a corner kick.
Bosch led the team with four shots in the match, a performance emblematic of her scoring supremacy this season. Bosh ended her masterful 2021 campaign leading the Rebels in shots (54), goals (six), assists (seven), and points (19).
The Rebels ended the year with a winning overall record of 12-8, but the loss in the finale left the squad wishing for more as they were just minutes away from seeing their tournament hopes realized.
UNLV will look ahead to next year when they aim to qualify for the MW tournament for the first time since 2016.