Nov. 5, 2013
Sophomore Gus Jensen scored the game-winning goal with just over three minutes remaining in regulation Tuesday as the Air Force men’s soccer team rallied to beat Grand Canyon University 3-2 at Cadet Soccer Stadium. The Falcons, who extended their unbeaten streak to six games, improved to 3-9-5 overall and 3-1-5 in the Western Athletic Conference and clinched at least a share of the WAC’s East Division title. GCU, meanwhile, fell to 2-13-1 overall and 1-8 in league play.
Jensen, who scored his first career goal with the game-winner on Sunday against Bakersfield, found the ball at his feet at the top of the box and fired a rocket past GCU goalie Joshua Zehring to the far post with 3:04 left on the clock. Sophomore Ben Kern started the play down the right side and centered the ball in front of the net. Freshman Cameron Duley got control and sent it back to Jensen, who has now converted on both of his shots on goal in his career.
The game started ominously for Air Force as the Antelopes took a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of goals by Kyle Ciliento. Ciliento converted a penalty kick in the 13th minute after he was pulled down in the box by Kern, then put a header past AFA freshman goalie Jake Schenk just 1:05 later off a pass from Alberto Sanchez-Garcia.
Schenk was outstanding the rest of the way, making five saves in the game for the second victory of his career. Zehring had eight saves for GCU, which was outshot 22-13 by the Falcons.
Sophomore Connor Dunbaker cut the GCU lead in half in the 29th minute when he followed a blocked shot by teammate Blake Elder and put his own shot top shelf past Zehring from 12 yards out. Duley tied the game at 2-all in the 65th minute with the first goal of his career. Junior Alex Frazier sent a crossing pass from the right side to far post, where senior Brian Klazura headed to Duley, who was standing right in front of the net and placed a header of his own into the net.
“We came out very strong and played well until we gave up the penalty kick,” said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. “We showed a lot of character coming back from two goals down and winning two straight at home gives us a lot of confidence. Friday’s game (at Grand Canyon) is really important for us to keep our confidence going in to the WAC tournament.”
The Falcons close out the regular season with a rematch against the Antelopes on Friday, Nov. 8 in Phoenix, beginning at 7 p.m.