Nov. 10, 2011
Garrett Getschow scored the game-winning goal in the fourth minute and Matt Underwood posted his fifth shutout of the season as the Air Force men's soccer team defeated Denver 2-0 in the first round of the 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament Thursday night at CIBER Field at the University of Denver. The Falcons improve to 12-5-2 and will face the tourney's No. 2 seed CSU Bakersfield in the semifinals on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
"This was a heck of a win for our program," said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. "To beat a good team twice in a week, especially on their home field when they are looking for revenge, says a lot about the character of our players."
Getschow scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season just 3:32 into the game, knocking in a rebound after Denver goalie Oliver Brown saved a header by Air Force defender Eric Tise. The Falcon defense and Underwood dominated the rest of the game. AFA's back line allowed just nine total shots by the Pioneers and Underwood saved all four shots on goal as Air Force won its first conference tournament game since defeating UNLV 3-1 on Nov. 13, 2003.
Kevin Durr notched his sixth goal of the season with just 15 seconds remaining with a shot from the top of box after Conor Henry beat the Pioneer defense and sent a pass to Brian Klazura, who found Durr for the insurance tally. Air Force's 12 wins are the most in one season since it posted a 13-5 record in 1997 and its current six-game unbeaten streak is the longest since winning six straight during the 2001 campaign.
Air Force had 16 total shots, including a team-high three from Durr and Caleb Downey, and put six shots on goal against Brown, who made four saves.
"The key tonight was 11 players tracking back and playing solid defense whenever the game demanded," said Hill. "I am so proud of the way we came out tonight but we have a very short turnaround to play a very good team that is rested. We will have to rely on our depth, which has been an asset for us all season."
The No. 5 seed San Jose State upset No. 4 Sacramento State 4-2 in the other first-round game and will face top-seed and No. 1-ranked New Mexico in the other semifinal matchup Friday at 5 p.m.