Falcons Fall in Shootout to DU at MPSF Tournament
Nov. 12, 2009
The Air Force men's soccer team's 2009 season came to an end Thursday with a shootout loss to the University of Denver in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament in Denver, Colo. The Falcons, who made a furious second-half rally to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime, finish their season with a 7-8-2 overall record since the game is officially recorded as a tie, while DU is 5-9-4 and will face New Mexico in the semifinals on Friday at DU Soccer Stadium.
Denver goalie Joe Willis came up huge in the shootout, saving three of Air Force's four attempts, while the Pioneers connected on all three of their shots, taking the shootout 3-1. Freshman Zane Dydasco was the only Falcon to get a shot past Willis, while seniors Kevin Rosser and Steven Noller and freshman Kevin Durr were denied. Collin Audley, Michael Perry and Kris Banghart each notched a shootout goal for DU.
The Falcons were carrying a ton of momentum into the extra periods and the shootout after scoring twice in the final 15 minutes of regulation to erase a 2-0 deficit. Sophomore Garrett Getschow cut the DU lead to 2-1 with 14:43 remaining in the second half, scoring off a give-and-go with senior Josh Rhynard. It was Getschow's fourth goal of the season, tying him for the team lead with Rhynard, who recorded his fifth assist of the campaign.
Durr then tied the game with 7:48 remaining when he fired a free kick from the top of the box past Willis. Noller had a chance to win it for Air Force late, but his shot with six seconds left sailed wide.
"We responded well being down two goals," said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. "We had some defensive breakdowns in the first half, but also had some good scoring chances. Their goalie just came up big in the shootout. We thought this could be our year, but now we'll regroup and look forward to next season."
Denver struck early when Alex Tarnoczi scored from eight yards out off a pass from Collin Audley just 2:45 into the contest. Jesse Henderson made it 2-0 in the 39th minute, burying a shot past Air Force goalie Mike Mauro into the near post after a long pass from Mark Weigand.
Neither team scored in the two10-minute overtime periods. DU's Audley had the only shot on goal in overtime, but Mauro made the save in the 95th minute. Mauro finished the game with five saves, while Willis had six for the Pioneers.