Against Sacramento State, it looked as if the game was headed for overtime until a header goal on a corner with less than five minutes remaining ended UNLV’s chance at setting a program record for best start to a season at 5-0.
The Rebels bounced back Sunday against the Aggies thanks to a big performance by junior transfer Cailtyn Kreutz, who assisted on Micheala Morris’ first-half goal and then nailed the eventual game-winner in the second half of the 2-1 victory, helping UNLV to its first road win of 2017. Kreutz was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s National Team of the Week – the third straight week a Rebel has earned the honor – and was also selected as UNLV Athletics’ Outstanding Rebel of the Week for her performance.
Despite UNLV’s winning streak ending at four and its regular-season unbeaten streak coming to a halt a 14, there is still another one that continued. The Rebels haven’t lost two games in a row in almost two years – a span of 39 games – dating back to the end of September of 2015. The Scarlet and Gray will look to continue that streak throughout the rest of the season.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
- Northern Arizona enters Friday’s match at 4-1, having won four straight after a season-opening loss at Houston. This will be the sixth straight season the Rebels and the Lumberjacks have met during the regular season with UNLV looking to make it four wins in a row over NAU. Overall, the Rebels own a 7-1-2 record over the Lumberjacks. NAU has only scored six goals on the season, but has recorded four straight shutouts after giving up four goals in the loss to the Cougars, so look for it to be a defensive battle Friday night.
- NCAA: The Rebels currently boast a top-15 offense in the country, ranking tied for 14th in total points (45), tied for 15th in total goals (15) and tied for 11th in total assists (15). Individually, Sophie Cortes is tied for 20th in the country in total points (11).
- Mountain West: The Rebels lead the MW in nearly every major statistical category, including shots (113), goals, points and assists, while they are fourth in goals-against-average (.83).
NEWS & NOTES
- UNLV started the season 5-1 for the second straight season, dropping their first game of the year on the road this past weekend.
- UNLV’s 14-straight regular season unbeaten streak also came to an end with the loss to Sac St.
- For the third straight week, a Rebel was one of 11 players nationally named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Team of the Week as Kreutz earned the honor this week.
- Midfielder Sophie Cortes has been stellar through the first three weeks, already matching her goal output from a year ago with four to go along with three assists. Her 11 points rank tied for 20th in the country.
- The Rebels sit atop the Mountain West standings and are one of only two teams with one loss or less.
- Chris Shaw is in his fourth year with a 41-23-5 overall record.
- The Rebels were picked to finish third in the Mountain West preseason coaches poll, their highest spot in the poll since 2013. San Diego State and San Jose State were picked to finish one-two, but UNLV’s five first-place votes were the most of any school.
- Akubuilo, the reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, collected several preseason honors. She became the first Rebel to be named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the most prestigious award in collegiate soccer. She was also named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Women’s DI Best XI Third Team and is ranked No. 32 on the site’s Women’s Collegiate Top 100.
- The Rebels return two All-Conference First Team selections in Akubuilo and Cortes, a second team selection in Jordan Sallee and two Mountain West All-Newcomer team selections in Paige Almendariz and Georgia Kingman.
- Sallee also garnered preseason honors as she was ranked No. 66 overall and the No. 9 senior keeper on Everybody Soccer, a site dedicated to collegiate goalkeepers.