Bakersfield, Calif. – Klint Parker’s header for a goal in the 75th minute lifted the Falcons to a 2-1 win over CSU Bakersfield, Sunday afternoon, in Bakersfield, Calif. The win puts Air Force (13-1-3, 7-0-2 WAC) in the top spot in the conference heading into the final week of regular-season play.
Air Force gave up the first goal of the match, for only the third time this season, as CSU Bakersfield’s Sebastian Mentel recorded a goal in the 18th minute with a shot from 25 yards out. The goal marked sophomore keeper Andrea Seazzu’s first career goal allowed.
In the 22nd minute, the Falcons returned the favor in a set piece as Tucker Bone serviced a corner kick into the box to be met with a diving header by James Sims which found the back of the Runners’ goal to equalize at one. Bone was credited with his seventh assist this season.
Air Force proved to be the aggressor in the first half, outshooting the Runners, 9-2, with three shots on frame.
In the 75th minute Jaric Marton sent a 30-yard ball across the pitch to Klint Parker in the box who poked it in with a header to lift the Falcons to a 2-1 lead. The goal marked Parker’s fifth of the season while Marton tallied his third assist.
With the Falcon defense dug in, CSU Bakersfield was unable to find the equalizing goal before the expiration of time. Air Force held the final advantage in shots, 12-2; they have outshot 15-of-17 opponents this season. Luis Martinez led Air Force with three shots while seven other Falcons attempted shots on the day.
Seazzu recorded one save in two shots faced to remain undefeated in the Falcons’ cage. The stout Air Force defense displayed its dominance as they held the Runners to only one shot on frame.
“I was really proud of the way the men played,” said head coach Doug Hill. “We learned a little about our patience today. It was unfortunate to go down one-nil, but the guys showed the same character they have all season to not panic and keep fighting and that led us to a quality equalizer from James Sims.”
“I like the way we controlled the pace of the game,” continued Hill. “The defense did a tremendous job in preventing the tie. I’m proud of the resiliency that this team has shown all year and now we’re looking to finishing the last one on top to get that number-one seed in the conference tournament.”
The Falcons will play their final match of the regular season against UMKC, at Kansas City, Sat., Nov. 11. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. CT. Air Force leads the seven-game series, 4-2-1.