SDSU Women’s Soccer Edged by UNLV, 1-0

Sept. 24, 2017

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San Diego State fell victim to an own goal in the 52nd minute that ultimately proved to be the decisive scoring play in a 1-0 home loss to UNLV. The Aztecs fell to 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain West, while the Rebels moved to 9-2 (1-1 MW).

“We’re pretty disappointed to drop that game on an own goal,” head coach Mike Friesen said. “It’s unfortunate to hit the post twice and create tons of opportunities, and not have anything to show for it. A couple times we got in behind and tried to ride out a challenge in the box and couldn’t quite get to it. We played well, but we just didn’t play well enough to get the result. It’s pretty unfortunate.”

The first 36 minutes of the game was an evenly played contest with each team trading possessions and neither controlling the ball more than the other. But in the 37th minute, SDSU provided the game’s first quality scoring chance when Nikolina Musto sent a low, bending strike toward the near bottom corner that was grabbed by UNLV goalkeeper Jordan Sallee.

San Diego State put the heat on the Rebels at a sun-splashed SDSU Sports Deck just before the end of the first half. Following a UNLV turnover, the Aztecs moved the ball quickly downfield and hit Mia Root with a pass along the left flank. The freshman sent her shot toward the far right post and nearly squeezed it inside for the first goal of the game. The result, however, was different from what she had in mind as it clanged off the post 11 seconds before the halftime horn.

Nearly seven minutes after the second half started, UNLV got on the board with the aforementioned own goal. An SDSU foul paused the game momentarily, allowing the Rebels to set up a free kick. The attempt was sent into the box where a scrum ensued. The result was the Aztecs giving the visitors the lead after trying to get the ball out of harm’s way.

Playing from ahead, UNLV took that momentum and started to look for an insurance goal. Its efforts forced San Diego State goalkeeper Gabby English to make a handful of diving and leaping saves, which kept the Aztecs in the game.

SDSU swung the momentum its way with just over 11 minutes to play and tested the UNLV backline. The Aztecs, however, could not find the equalizer as they suffered their first conference loss of 2017.

English, who shutout Nevada on Friday, finished with a game-high-tying six saves. Musto, meanwhile, led the Aztecs offensively with a game-high six shots and four shots on goal.

San Diego State edged UNLV in shots, 13-12, but the Rebels enjoyed a 7-6 cushion in shots on goal. UNLV also attempted two more cornerkicks than the Aztecs, 7-5.

SDSU returns to action on Friday, Sept. 29, when it plays at Utah State. Game time is set for noon MT/11 a.m. PT and the tilt will stream live on the Mountain West Network.

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