Bernal earns third straight first-time honor

Four UNLV players, Salvador Bernal, Rodrigo Fuentes, Kyle Mellies and Ryan Harding were named to the All-Western Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Teams, the league announced on Tuesday.

Bernal becomes only the third player in team history to earn three first team all-conference honors, as he was a two-time first team selection in the MPSF in 2011 and 2012. A junior forward, the Las Vegas native is tied for third in the WAC this season with five assists, while he also has four goals for 13 total points, which ties for second on UNLV. Rod Dyanchenko (2003-05) and Lamar Neagle (2006-08) are the only other Rebels to earn three first-team honors in their career.

Fuentes, Mellies and Harding meanwhile all earned all-conference honors for the first time in their career after being named to the second team. Fuentes, a sophomore midfielder from San Diego, Calif., paced the team in scoring this year with 17 points, which is the third-best mark in the league. His six goals ties him for fifth in the WAC, while he is also tied for third in assists with five.

Mellies, a sophomore and Las Vegas native, has been one of hte top defenders on the Rebels this season, helping them post four shutouts and a 1.52 GAA. He also has a pair of goals this year, including one game-winner. Harding is the final Rebel to be honored, having turned in a career-best year. The junior from Troutdale, Ore., led the WAC this year with a 1.17 GAA and also tied for the conference lead with four shutouts, despite missing the first five games of the season.

Offensive Player of the Year honors went to Miguel Gonzalez from Seattole, while Scott Luedtke from Bakersfield was named the Defender of the Year. Seattle also had the Freshman of the Year, Kyle Bjornethun, while Seattle’s Pete Fewing was named the Coach of the Year.

The Rebels open play in this week’s WAC tournament as the third-seed, and face sixth-seed San Jose State on Thursday at 5 pm (PT) in Colorado Springs, Colo., on the campus of Air Force, this year’s host.

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