Oct. 13, 2013
Despite playing down a man for the final 11 minutes, the Air Force men's soccer team hung on for a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Houston Baptist Sunday at Cadet Soccer Stadium. Junior Zachary Modly scored two goals and Caleb Downey notched another to lift the Falcons to their first victory of the season.
Modly, who scored on a penalty kick in the 12th minute to tie the game at 1-all, scored the game-winner in the 76th minute after taking a pass from freshman Tucker Axhoj and firing a close-range shot to the far post that eluded HBU keeper George Kelley. Three minutes later, Air Force freshman Blake Elder received his second yellow card and was ejected from the game, leaving the Falcons with 10 players.
Houston Baptist (7-3, 2-1 WAC) attempted four shots with the man advantage, but Air Force (1-8-1, 1-0-1 WAC) continued its solid defense and did not allow the game-tying goal.
HBU struck first in the 11th minute when Tobenna Uzo headed a free kick from Thilo Borgmann past Air Force goalie Jake Schenk from right in front of the net for his WAC-leading eighth goal of the season. Modly evened the score with his PK after he was taken down in the box charging the net to take a centering pass from senior Brian Klazura.
The Huskies took a 2-1 lead into halftime when Walter Kromholz scored with six seconds remaining in the first half with a header off a corner kick from Patrick Toh. Air Force coach Doug Hill replaced Schenk with sophomore Joey Speshock at halftime and Speshock made three saves in the second half to post the first victory of his career.
Senior defender Caleb Downey evened the score at 2-all in the 55th minute with a header of his own off a free kick by Elder. Downey, who marked Uzo for the entire game, outleaped everyone in front of the net and placed the shot past Kelley for his first tally of the season.
"I was really impressed with character of our team today," said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. "With the windy conditions and playing at home we felt we could get back on the right track. Our hard work and effort is paying off. Caleb (Downey) played some excellent defense today, marking UZO and clearing many balls. Zach (Modly) made a brilliant move to beat the goalie on the game winning goal and helped us greatly in middle of the field."
Modly and HBU's Gustavo Alvarado each attempted a game-high five shots, while Kromholz had a game-best three shots on goal.
The Falcons continue conference play next weekend as they travel to UMKC and Houston Baptist.