RENO, Nev. - In front of nearly 600 fans, the Nevada soccer team played to a 1-1 double overtime draw against No. 25 Denver Friday afternoon at Moana Field to open the 2014 regular season.
"We talk a lot about preparation and executing our game plan and I was really pleased with our ability to do the things we asked our players to do," head coach Dr. Melissa Price said. "We executed consistently across the entire game, even through overtime, when you're fatigued so I was really pleased with the performance today."
It was the Pioneers (0-0-1) who struck first in the match, getting a goal in the 21st minute of play. Denver's Jocelyn Loomis rifled a shot far post from about 15 yards out that found its way past Nevada (0-0-1) starting goalkeeper Kelsey Quintos.
Having just entered the game from the bench, a fresh Bobby Reilly nearly tied the game in the 31st minute, splitting two defenders for a one-on-one chance with DU goalkeeper Cassidy Rey. Rey reached out and barely managed a hand on Reilly's low shot, sending it just wide past the goal post.
Nevada did find the equalizer, however, shortly into the start of the second half. At 54:41, freshman Angel Meriwether took a pass from senior Chrisalyn Fonte and put a strong finish on the ball, tipping it in from eight yards out to tie the score at 1-1. For Meriwether, the goal is the first of her collegiate career.
As the game progressed, both teams found solid scoring chances but neither could find the back of the net once more. Before it was all said and done, each side had one additional close call in the second overtime period. For Denver, midfielder Francesca Garzelloni booted a high shot on net, forcing Quintos to jump up and swat the ball out of danger. For Nevada with under five minutes to play, junior Daisha Jones-Oglesby found herself directly in front of the net but took a shot that sailed just high above the crossbar.
The Pioneers boasted more shots in the contest, outshooting the Pack 14-7 overall, 6-1 in the second half. Nevada forced Rey to make two saves, while Quintos stopped a total of seven shots.
Nevada will open play at Mackay Stadium this Sunday at 1 p.m. as the team welcomes in San Francisco for a non-conference match.