Grand Canyon University women's soccer team (0-2-0) came up short against UNLV
(2-0-0) Sunday, falling in overtime, 3-2, in the final game of the UNLV Rebel
Classic at Peter Johann Memorial Field in Las Vegas. Following the afternoon
matinee, the Antelopes will return to Phoenix to prep for their home opener
Friday against Valparaiso.
"It was a fantastic performance today," said head coach Stevie Gill. "That was the best that we have played this year for a full 90-plus minutes. We were very unfortunate as we hit the crossbar twice before going into overtime that could have sealed the deal. We were solid at the back and very dangerous up front as we outshot UNLV with 13 shots."
After the Rebels opened the scoring in the 20th minute, Canyon responded with a Maria Monterroso penalty kick goal in the 31st minute to even the score at 1-1. The goal marked the first of the season for Monterroso, who joined the Lopes this season after previously starring for Lyon College.
The score remained 1-1 for the duration of the first half, as GCU outshot UNLV 8-4 through the first 45 minutes of action. Freshman keeper Blakely Fraasch also picked up a save in the first half of play.
The Rebels jumped back on top in the 66th minute after Chidera Akubuilo found the back of the net to make the score 2-1.
For the second time in as many attemps, Monterroso capitalized on a penalty kick opportunity, driving a ball through the left side of the goal to knot the score at 2-2. The score would stay 2-2 through the end of regulation.
UNLV scored 49 seconds into the extra session to come away with the 3-2 overtime victory.
The Lopes outshot the Rebels again in half number two, firing five shots to UNLV's four. Fraasch made a pair of saves in the second half to make for an afternoon total of three.
Monterroso had a busy day up front, collecting her two goals on five shots. Taylor Layton, Brylee Hawkins, and Sirena Seymour all recorded two shots, while Kelsey Smith and Madeline McArthur contributed with one shot each.
"A number of young players really stepped up and played great," said Gill. "Rachel Mina and Brylee Hawkins were outstanding and won everything in the air. Nikki Stanley had an excellent game in her first start for GCU."
"Wasnt the score we were looking for but I couldn't ask for anything more from the girls today," concluded Gill. "It was a great game to build on as we focus our efforts on conference play and our two home games coming up.
Grand Canyon will host Valparaiso in their home opener Friday at GCU Soccer Field. The Crusaders topped the Lopes 1-0 an overtime contest last season in Valparaiso, Ind. Fans can find more information on Friday's contest at www.gculopes.com.
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