Senior defender Chidera Akubuilo knocks in a game-winning header goal off an Amanda Galbraith corner kick with under three minutes remaining in double overtime Friday night.
Aug. 26, 2017
UNLV (3-0) found itself in unfamiliar territory – down 1-0 just four minutes into the game on an early Wolverine goal – but was able to refocus and even the score at one in the 17th minute on senior midfielder Sophie Cortes’ second goal of the year. That’s where the score remained for the next 90 minutes, well into in the second overtime period, until the head of senior defender Chidera Akubuilo found Amanda Galbraith’sperfectly placed corner kick with under three minutes remaining in the game. The golden goal kept the Rebels’ record perfect on the year at 3-0 and marked the second straight year the team has started the season with three straight wins.
THE TURNING POINT: With the second overtime winding down and the game looking as if it was destined for a draw, the Rebels continued to relentlessly attack the Utah Valley defense. The pressure paid off as UNLV drew a corner with three minutes left on the clock. Junior forward Amanda Galbraith, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, set up for the corner kick and placed the ball in front of the goal and in the perfect spot for the 5-9 Akubuilo to track it out of the air with her head.
STAT OF THE GAME: For the third-straight game, the Rebels out-shot the their opponent, this time with an 18-10 margin.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Chidera Akubuilo nabbed the game-winner, but the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List selection was all over the place Friday night, thwarting several attacks by the Wolverines from her center back position.
On the early goal by UVU and the late win:
“It wasn’t our best performance, giving up the early goal is not ideal, but after that I thought we settled in. Credit to the players, they responded well [to the early goal|. That was one of my questions, how resilient are we going to be when we get down a goal? So they responded well to that. And then overtime, to me is a gut check, it’s all about heart and desire and they battled. There is a reason Chi is on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List and I think she showed what’s she capable of in winning the game for us. Utah Valley is a good team, so anytime you get a “W”, we’re pleased.” – HC Chris Shaw
On if last year’s loss at Utah Valley was on the returning players minds:
“We decided we aren’t going to talk about last year. We’re focused on this team, this year. What happened in the past is in the past and we are going to keep moving forward because I think this group is a special group and has the ability to do a lot great things.” – HC Chris Shaw
NEXT FOR THE REBELS: The Rebels wrap up their four-game homestand Sunday at 1 p.m. against Southern Utah, who they beat 2-1 a year ago in Cedar City. Purchase tickets at unlvtickets.com.