Las Vegas, Nev. - San Jose State University took a 1-0 advantage into the halftime break, but the host Rebels of UNLV scored twice in the final 16 minutes, the winner coming with just 62 seconds left in regulation, to earn a 2-1 victory in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s soccer match at Peter Johann Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon, October 12.
With a third consecutive one-goal road defeat to open conference play following a four-game unbeaten run, San Jose State drops to 4-4-3 overall and remains in search of its first MPSF win at 0-3. UNLV improves to 7-4-1 overall and an even 2-2 in league play.
Senior forward Lamar Neagle, the leading scorer in the conference, notched his seventh goal of the year and second game-winner of the weekend at 88:58, unassisted, to complete the comeback for UNLV.
The Spartans had lost 1-0 at Sacramento State on a 77th-minute goal exactly one week ago, and dropped another 1-0 decision at four-time defending MPSF champion New Mexico two nights prior on an overtime goal at 91:58.
The Rebels appeared to have the statistical advantage early, out-shooting the Spartans 4-1 over the first 12 minutes. The game’s first shot on target came from UNLV sophomore Jaime Calvo, with senior goalkeeper Lewis Sweeney making the save for San Jose State just under two minutes into the game.
Junior midfielder Nick Cukar produced the Spartans’ first shot on goal at 7:44, with senior Hawk Mummey making the stop in the UNLV net.
Sophomore forward Daniel Cruz, the 2007 MPSF Newcomer of the Year, had back-to-back opportunities in the 11th and 12th minutes, but was high with his first effort and had Sweeney save the second off a header.
The home side gained consecutive corner kicks in the 22nd minute, but was unable to convert either into the afternoon’s first score.
San Jose State tallied that opening goal a little over seven minutes later, at 29:01, on just its second shot of the match. Sophomore attacking central midfielder Efrain Burgos, Jr., took a pass from junior forward Colby Moore and powered his shot from 15 yards out into the top right corner of Mummey’s net. It was a team-leading fourth goal for Burgos, Jr., and a team-leading third assist for Moore. The score also marked the Spartans’ initial goal in league action this year, and their first in 220:23 of play going back to a 2-0 win at Cal State Bakersfield on September 28.
Shortly after bringing on four fresh pairs of legs in the 31st minute, the Spartans generated two more shots in quick succession from new entrants in the game, with redshirt freshman Robert Jackson’s effort blocked and junior striker Stephen Cordova’s saved by Mummey.
Jackson (Las Vegas HS), along with Brent Young (Bishop Gorman HS), himself a redshirt freshman, each saw action in their return to their hometown.
Each side produced one more shot in the waning moments of the first half, with senior holding midfielder Hiroki Akiyama forcing a third save out of Mummey at 42:44, and UNLV freshman defender Allen Hardison going high 14 seconds later.
That’s the way the half ended, with UNLV holding a 6-5 edge in shots, but San Jose State with the 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
The first shot of the second half by either team did not come until the 62:36 mark, when a Neagle effort went wide. Sophomore Richard Abrego also went wide at 69:16.
San Jose State’s first attempt of the period came from Oscar Yniguez, a true freshman out of Redwood City, Calif., at 72:03, and was blocked, with Cordova pouncing on the rebound, only for his shot to also be blocked away by the Rebels.
The UNLV equalizer came moments later, when senior forward Ben Haugland hit the target for the second game in a row and second time this season, at 73:52, his hard shot from 12 yards finding for the top right corner off a Cruz pass. Abrego also picked up an assist on the play.
The action picked up for the final 15 minutes of the contest, with Ricky Dorrego going high for the Spartans in the 77th and Burgos, Jr., having a shot saved by Mummey at 82:29, around a Sweeney stop on Hardison. Another Burgos, Jr., shot went high two minutes later, with Akiyama’s header saved by Mummey in the 87th.
Neagle had the final say in the end.
The game finished with UNLV holding a 12-11 edge in shots, though San Jose State had six of its attempts on target to just five by the home side. Sweeney collected three saves for the Spartans, while Mummey had five for the Rebels. Burgos, Jr., Cruz and Haugland all shared the game high with three shots apiece. Burgos, Jr., and Akiyama each had two shots on goal.
Having finally concluded a season-long five-game road stretch, San Jose State returns home and resumes MPSF play against the Denver Pioneers on Friday night, October 17. Kick-off at Spartan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.
San Jose State (4-4-3, 0-3 MPSF) - 1 0 - 1
UNLV (7-4-1, 2-2 MPSF) - 0 2 - 2
SJSU - Efrain Burgos, Jr. (4) (Colby Moore), 29:01
UNLV - Ben Haugland (2) (Daniel Cruz, Richard Abrego), 73:52
UNLV - Lamar Neagle (7) (Unassisted), 88:58
SJSU - 11
UNLV - 12
SJSU - 3 (Lewis Sweeney-3)
UNLV - 5 (Hawk Mummey-5)
SJSU - 6
UNLV - 3
SJSU - 5
UNLV - 11