Air Force Opens Season Against Central Florida and UIC
Sept. 2, 2004
Schedule: Friday, Sept. 3 vs. Central Florida, 7 p.m. (Cadet Soccer Stadium)
This season marks the 49th year of varsity soccer for Air Force. This is Air Force's ninth season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. AFA was a member of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Soccer League from 1956-1988 before joining the MPSF for four years from `92-95. The Falcons then joined the Western Athletic Conference for three years before re-joining the MPSF in 1999. MPSF Preseason Poll
School (First Place Votes), Pts
Four of Air Force's 13 opponents received a bid to the NCAA Division I Soccer Tournament last season. San Jose State, Central Florida, Loyola Marymount and Creighton made the field of 48. Sagastume Preseason All-America
Air Force senior midfielder Marcus Sagastume has been named to the preseason All-America second team by College Soccer News.
Sagastume, from Colorado Springs, Colo., enters his senior campaign as the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Co-Player of the Year after scoring 29 points in 2003. He scored eight goals and tied the school's single-season record with 13 assists. He is 13th on Air Force's career scoring list with 68 points and 4th on the school's all-time assist chart with 26.
The Air Academy High School product helped the Falcons to a 10-9-1 record last year, including a 3-1 victory over UNLV in the first round of the MPSF Championships. He played a role in eight of the team's 10 game-winning goals, scoring two and assisting on six others. 2004 Season Preview
Two players that will have a huge part in answering some of the questions are this year's captains. Seniors Marcus Sagastume and Daniel Bolin have been staples in the Falcon lineup for years. Sagastume was the MPSF Co-Player of the Year last season, while Bolin garnered team MVP honors.
Junior Mike Maynard and sophomore Paul Elsbernd return at the goalie position in 2004. Maynard entered last season as the starter but fell victim to numerous injuries that limited him to action in just six games. Elsbernd joins the varsity after an outstanding spring season.
Juniors Clay McGillivray, David Schill and Todd Myers lead an experienced group of defenders this fall. They played every game last season and McGillivray scored his first career goal, the game-winner in overtime to defeat Oral Roberts, 3-2. Also retuning is senior Joe Gustafson, who appeared in nine games in 2003 and assisted on the game-winning goal in the 3-2 regular-season finale victory over Denver.
If his corps of midfielders perform anything similar to last season, Coach Sagastume will have no worries about that position. Marcus Sagastume and Bolin are two of the best playmakers at Air Force in recent history. Sagastume finished second on the team in scoring with 29 points and tied the school's single-season record with 13 assists. He had a hand in eight of Air Force's 10 game-winning goals last season, scoring two and assisting on six others. He enters the 2004 season No. 13 on AFA's career scoring list with 68 points (21g, 26a).
Bolin, meanwhile, scored four goals and added six assists for 14 points in '03. The transfer from Wake Forest was one of only two Falcons to start every game last year and scored the game-winner in AFA's 3-1 victory over UNLV at the MPSF Tournament. He was an all-tournament selection at the Parent's Weekend and Falcon Invitationals and named to the Verizon Academic All-District team.
Junior Colin Eames, the other player to start every game, finished third on the team in scoring with 22 points (7g, 8a). He really showed himself as a sniper last season as 30 of his 49 total shots were on goal. Sophomore Duncan McNabb also had a successful season, appearing in 18 games and dishing out an assist. Seniors Tino Diaz and Cody Fournier and sophomore Damon Wong (eight games each) along with sophomores Mitchell Reyes (seven games) and Nathan Holloway (three games) round out the midfield returners.
With the departure of Walsh and Chronister, who combined for six goals and 10 assists last season, the coaching staff must find a couple of dominant forwards who can take over a game. A pair of sophomores, Austin Hoxie and Josh Sanders and junior Scott Muir will try to fill those spots.
Sanders led the group with a pair of goals last season in 14 games, while Hoxie notched one goal in 10 appearances. Muir played in 10 games and dished out one assist.
The soccer program brings in 11 newcomers this season, with several competing for varsity positions. Five players, Andy Nigro from Colorado Springs, Colo., Brian Guyette of Phoenix, Az., Casey Leung from Houston, Texas, Ian Hauck of Lake Mary, Fla., and Chris Mathews from Euless, Texas lead the way. Nigro, a midfielder, earned all-state honors his senior season at St. Mary's High School. Guyette was an all-state goalie and went 15-4-1 with nine shutouts as a senior, while Leung, a defender, was an all-district performer in Houston and captained his ODP team. Hauck, a defender, led his high school team to the state finals as a junior and Mathews, who plays in the midfield, was a two-time first-team all-district selection.