Falcons Down UNLV, 2-1
Oct. 25, 2009
Jared Gomez scored the game-winning goal with 4:21 remaining in the second half Sunday as the Air Force men's soccer team posted a 2-1 victory over UNLV at Cadet Soccer Stadium. With the victory, Air Force improved to 7-5-1 overall and evened its record at 2-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while UNLV fell to 6-5-3 and 0-3-1 in league play.
Gomez' goal, his third overall and second game-winner this season, came off a free kick following a UNLV foul. Fellow senior Kevin Rosser nudged the free kick to Gomez, who fired a shot from 25 yards out that deflected just enough off a UNLV defender to elude Rebel goalie Roland Swanson. Rosser collected his team-high fifth assist on the play.
"It was nice to see Jared score on a shot like that," said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. "He has worked really hard on his shooting, staying after practice to work on set pieces. We are taking advantage of our home field, now we need to play the same way on the road."
Rosser opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he connected on a penalty kick for the second consecutive game. He fired the shot into the upper left corner past Swanson. The PK was awarded when UNLV's Nick Marshall was called for a hand ball on the goal line off a header by AFA's Eric Wilson following a corner kick. Marshall was given a red card for denying an obvious goal with a hand ball.
Despite playing down a man, UNLV came out strong in the second half and controlled the action for the first portion of the period. After forcing Air Force goalie Mike Mauro to make a couple of saves early in the half, the Rebels got the equalizer in the 71st minute when Zach Kupfer took a back pass from Nicholas DeLeon and put a shot past Mauro, who actually got a hand on the shot but could not stop it.
Falcon midfielder Kevin Durr had a game-high six shots, including two in the second half that came within inches of breaking the 1-all tie. In the 74th minute, he fired a rocket from 30 yards straight out that found the crossbar, then he hit the post in the 82nd minute with a shot from 18 yards out.
Air Force fired 20 total shots on Sunday, but only three were on goal. Swanson made only one save, another shot from Durr that was headed for the back of the net in the 69th minute. UNLV had 10 total shots and five on goal, forcing Mauro to make four saves for his fourth victory of the season.
The Falcons head back out on the road for a pair of MPSF games next weekend. On Friday, Oct. 30, they face Cal-State Bakersfield at 7 p.m., then battle Seattle University on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.