Nov. 1, 2013
Freshman Jake Schenk had a career-high nine saves and the Air Force men’s soccer team posted its first shutout of the season Friday night with a 0-0 draw against UNLV at Cadet Soccer Stadium. The Falcons, who tied for the fourth consecutive game, are now 1-9-5 overall and 1-1-5 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the Rebels are 6-9-1 and 4-3-1 in league play.
Schenk played solid for the entire 110 minutes and made several big saves, including one off a point blank shot by UNLV’s Kyle Mellies after a corner kick with three seconds remaining in the first half. That was UNLV’s best scoring chance of the night as the Falcon defense played inspired soccer in front of Schenk.
“The most positive thing that we will take from tonight is getting the shutout,” said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. “Our defense played really well and Caleb Downey did a great job organizing our team the entire night from the back line.”
The Rebels outshot Air Force 16-15 in total shots and 9-5 in shots on goal. Air Force’s best chance of the game came 90 seconds into the first overtime when junior Matt Payne had a good look from about 10 yards out but sent his shot just wide of an open net. UNLV goalie Ryan Harding saved all of AFA’s five shots on goal.
“We had some really good looks tonight, but were just a couple of inches away,” said Hill. “I thought we controlled the midfield which gave our forwards some space.”
Payne attempted a game-high five shots, while freshman Blake Elder and UNLV’s Salvador Bernal each had four. UNLV held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The Falcons return to action on Sunday, Nov. 3 against CSU Bakersfield at Cadet Soccer Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., and AFA’s four seniors, Mitch Kim, Michael Thrasher, Brian Klazura and Downey will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.