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Football

Final home weekend starts with UNLV

29 Th11 2021 | 07:14

The Grand Canyon men’s soccer team is back at home for its final home weekend of the regular season as the Lopes host UNLV on Friday and Dixie State on Sunday for Senior Night.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

  1. LEADING THE WAC: GCU sits at the top of the conference leaderboard with Air Force at 5-1 in WAC play. The Lopes lead the WAC in multiple stat categories, including points (82), goals (29), goals per game (2.42), goals against average (0.91) and shutouts (four).
  2. LOPES HONOR SENIORS: Seniors being honored include Nick BarreiroAnthony MunozEsai EasleyAlexis CanalesHugo Logan and Alejandro Fernandez Alcaide. Players who returned after being honored last season include Ariel AguasJustin RasmussenMarco AfonsoMarios AndreouRey GaytanTosh YasudaWilliam Culhane and Michael Haynes.
  3. GCU HOSTS 1996 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM: On Sunday night, GCU is holding a reunion of the 1996 men’s soccer team in honor of the 25th anniversary of its NCAA Division II national championship. The Lopes defeated Oakland 3-1 on Dec. 7, 1996, to claim their first national title.

SCOUTING

UNLV

The Rebels are led by head coach Rich Ryerson, who is in his 12th season at UNLV. The Rebels are 2-4 in WAC play and 6-7 overall after a 4-1 loss to Utah Valley. Aedon Kyra and Marco Gonzales lead UNLV with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Kyra has a team-leading six goals, which ranks fourth in the WAC, and Gonzales has four goals this season. Behind Kyra and Gonzales is Nicolas Likulia with three. Gonzales is tied for the WAC assists lead at six with GCU’s Justin Rasmussen.

Last season, GCU defeated UNLV 2-1 on the road to clinch the WAC regular-season title, finishing the regular season undefeated at 7-0. The two goals came from returners Marios Andreou and Hugo Logan in the final 17 minutes of play.The Lopes are looking for their first win against the Rebels at GCU Stadium, where they are 0-5 against them.

Dixie State

Dixie State is 1-4-1 in conference play and 2-10-1 overall. The Trailblazers head to Colorado to play Air Force on Friday before coming to Phoenix for a matchup with the Lopes. Daniel Brubaker and Idris Alabi lead the team with two goals apiece. Both of Alabi’s goals have come during conference play. Dixie State leads the conference in saves (65) and saves per game (5.0).

GCU is 9-2 against Dixie State and has won the last four in a row. Last season at GCU Stadium, the Lopes had their largest win margin (5-1) over the Trailblazers. There is a long history between the Lopes and Trailblazers as both competed in the PacWest Conference before both moved to Division I.

LAST TIME OUT

  • GCU men’s soccer fell at San Jose State 2-1 on Saturday night, snapping the Lopes’ eight-game winning streak.
  • San Jose State took an early 1-0 lead in the ninth minute as Preseason All- WAC selection Willy Miranda put the ball in the upper-right corner of the goal.
  • The Spartans extended their lead to 2-0 with an 18th-minute goal, which came on a header from a cross after a corner kick.
  • At the 41:25 mark, GCU fifth-year midfielder Tosh Yasuda cut the deficit in half, scoring the lone GCU goal and his second of the season. Freshman midfielder Kaden Cameron earned the assist, as he sent the ball into the 6-yard penalty box and found the left foot of Yasuda to set up a 2-1 halftime score.
  • In the second half, the Lopes had seven corner kicks and outshot the Spartans 10-5 but couldn’t add another goal to the board.
  • GCU senior goalkeeper Anthony Munoz had a career-high seven saves, including an incredible diving stop in the final minutes to keep the Lopes within a goal.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Up next, the Lopes head to California Baptist for a Thursday matchup at 7 p.m. and then to Utah Valley for a 2 p.m. Saturday match.