An early second-half goal propelled UNLV to an upset win over No. 21/23 Utah Valley University, 1-0, on Friday night at Clyde Field in the 2016 WAC Men's Soccer Tournament. UNLV advances to play Air Force in the tournament championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.
"It's an understatement that we're disappointed," UVU head coach Greg Maas said. "We had better expectations of ourselves today and I thought for a good majority of the game we were pretty good, but we did not execute well in the final third."
Spencer Jackson scored the goal for the Rebels (9-11-1) just more than one minute after the halftime break. Danny Musovski took a pass from Jackson and fed it right back at the top of the box and Jackson scored into the upper left 90.
"Full credit to UNLV. They were a resilient group tonight. I thought we had a lot of opportunities in the first half that we did not take advantage of. That comes back to haunt you when you miss those chances early in the match," said Mass, who was named WAC Coach of the Year on Wednesday night.
It was the first loss in 10 games for Utah Valley, which has gone 8-1-1 in that timeframe, and was the WAC regular season champions. The Wolverines (15-4-1) finished non-conference play at 7-2-0 and were ranked No. 10 in the NCAA's first RPI of the season in late September. They went 2-0-0 against nationally ranked opponents, including a 2-1 win over Washington, which is No. 5 in the latest RPI rankings.
The Wolverines now must wait until Monday and hope their positive credentials result in a second-straight at-large selection into the NCAA Tournament.
"We had a great non-conference schedule, which was top 10 in the country … and this was our first loss in 10 matches," Mass said. "We've been top 25 throughout the entire year. I think our body of work has been very good. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope our name's called on Monday."
The NCAA Selection Show is Monday at 11 a.m. MT. The Men's Soccer NCAA Tournament consists of 48 schools—24 automatic bids and 24 at-large selections.
Clint Burgi is the associate athletic director for communications and marketing at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.