Sept. 22, 2013
Highlanders 2 – Rebels 1
The UC Riverside men’s soccer team took a trip to the Silver State and once again eluded a loss with a 2-1 victory over the UNLV Rebels.
It did not take long for things to get interesting as Eric Gonzalez’s free kick set Aaron Long up to record his third goal of the season in the fourth minute. With the goal, Long tied freshman Romario Lomeli for the most goals on the team.
With a corner kick awarded to the Highlanders in the 16th minute, Hector Romo capitalized on the opportunity and found Leslie Hayden for his first goal of the year, also giving UCR an early 2-0 lead.
Throughout the first half, UNLV found themselves unable to capitalize on their opportunities. With the same amount of shots and corner kicks as UCR, the Rebels were unable to find the back of the net. Strong play by Highlander goalkeeper KC John also played a major part in UCR’s success, as he allowed four goals in eight matches.
UNLV did what it could to stage a comeback in the second half, outshooting UCR 12-9 with five shots coming on goal.
Shortly after the hour mark, Salvador Bernal found Rodrigo Fuentes to give the Rebels their first score of the game and put them back in the thick of things. Their rally would fall just short though, as UNLV would miss their final three shots in the closing seconds to secure the victory for UC Riverside.
September 26, 2013
Bruins 3 – Highlanders 0
Facing their toughest task of the season thus far and putting their undefeated record at stake, the Highlanders continued their road trip to face the No. 11 UCLA squad.
The Bruins struck first in the 19th minute when a UCR foul allowed Leo Stolz to capitalize on a penalty kick to put UCLA up 1-0 and give him his fifth goal of the season.
UCLA responded again just before the end of the first half, when Gage Zerboni fired a pass to Victor Munoz, who found the back of the net in the 44th minute.
It was a struggle for UC Riverside’s offense in the first half, as they were only able to record one shot at the end of the half, a corner kick by Juan Mendoza that was headed wide by Hector Romo.
Things would quickly start to spiral out of control for the Highlanders at the start of the second period. With four minutes gone in the second half, Gage Zerboni and Leo Stolz found Jordan Vale for a goal that would all but ice the game for UCLA.
UCR’s offense found somewhat of a spark in the second half, totaling nine shots with five on goal, but to no avail. UCR fell to 5-1-2 on the season with the loss, its first of the season.
Coach Tim Cupello hopes that the team will retain its confidence after the loss as they go into their next match against Incarnate Word, as he stated that, “confidence is extremely important at any point in the season … as (confidence) breeds success.”