Oct. 31, 2010
The Air Force men's soccer team had its three-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 3-0 loss to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation leading CSU Bakersfield at the Main Soccer Field. Sunday's affair featured the top two teams in MPSF play, with both sitting on 15 points entering the match. CSUB (10-4-3, 5-1-3 MPSF) had already clinched the Pacific Division title and a first round bye in the MPSF Championship Tournament. Sunday's loss knocks Air Force (7-10-0, 5-4-0) out of first place in the Mountain Division, but the Falcons have still clinched a spot in the league tourney.
After the CSUB defense absorbed a smattering of pressure in the opening minutes, Chris Widdy moved forward to finish off a corner kick from Jesus Sanchez in the 30th minute.
The 'Runners had a great chance to double their advantage two minutes later when Sanchez slipped a short through ball into the box forcing the Falcon defense to take down Keeyan Ghazanfarpour in the box and earn a penalty kick. But Air Force goalkeeper Patrick Gould guessed correctly and tapped Sanchez's effort just outside the post to keep it a one goal game at the half.
The second half, however, was all CSUB. The 'Runners came out buzzing, peppering the Falcon goal with nine shots within the first 10 minutes, including a shot off the crossbar and another knocked off the line by a Falcon defender. The 'Runners finally broke through the in the 56th minute, when Sanchez cleanly picked off a clearance attempt about 30 yards from goal and split two defenders to reach the top of the box. Gould came off his line to challenge, but he could not prevent Sanchez's sure finish for his eighth goal of the season.
CSUB kept the heat on the Falcons, running their shot advantage to 22-5 by the time Peter Carlson finished a short feed from Zardes to notch his first of the season in the 74th minute.
CSUB goalie Eric Shannon made two stops to earn his eighth shutout of the season, while Gould, making just his third career start in place of starter Matt Underwood, had five saves for Air Force. The Falcons played without leading scorer Kevin Durr, who sat out after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season last Friday at Seattle University.
Air Force closes the regular season next Saturday, Nov. 6 with a match at the University of Denver beginning at 7 p.m. With its 2-0 victory over Seattle on Sunday, DU holds first place in the Mountain Division by two points over the Falcons and New Mexico.