LAS VEGAS, Nev. - UNLV defeated Mount St. Mary's 4-1 in the first game of the UNLV Tournament in non-conference men's soccer action on Friday.
Chris Wheeler (Newcastle, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) continues his fast start to the 2010 season for the Mount (3-4) with his seventh goal in the first seven match of the season. The junior moved into fifth place for career points in the Mount's Division I era with 58 points.
Richard Abrego paced the Rebels (3-4) with a goal and two assists. Stephen Sifuentes added a goal and two assist while Jonny Espinoza and Nick Marshall also round the twine in the winning effort.
UNLV scored a pair of goals in each half to take the lead and never looked back to earn the win in the first-ever meeting against the two programs and give head coach Rich Ryerson the win over his older brother Rob.
With the game tied at 1, Abrego notched his second goal of the year off a Sam Nicholson assist on a long header to the far post at the 32:31 mark to grab a 2-1 lead.
The Rebels added two goals in the second half to seal the victory. Espinoza knocked in a blast from the top right corner of the box off a helper from Abrego at 75:33 to increase the margin to two goals. Marshall capped the win with his third tally of the year off an assist from Sifuentes at the 81:08 mark.
UNLV grabbed the early in the first seven minutes of the game. Sifuentes tapped in a long cross on the right side from Abrego at 6:57 for a 1-0 edge.
Mount St. Mary's struck back four minutes later when Wheeler scored from 20-yards out at 10:58 to even the match at 1, but then the Rebels scored the final three markers to earn the decision.
Chris Davis (Townsville, Australia/Kirwan State) made two saves for the Mount while Simon Cook made one stop and Ryan Harding made three saves for UNLV.
Mount St. Mary's head coach Rob Ryerson returned to his alma mater for the second time as a head coach and first since the 2003 season. Rob Ryerson is the Rebels all-time leader in goals (67) and points (159) and helped UNLV to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Rob and his brother Rich were both part of the 1985 team that went 18-2-2 and finished fourth in the championships. The 1985 team will be inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 1 and were honored at halftime of the match on Friday.
The Mount returns to action on Sunday in the final game of the UNLV Tournament against Cal State-Bakersfield. Match time is 1:30 p.m. EST.