Falcons Host Loyola on Sunday in '08 Home Opener
Sept. 3, 2008
Brendan Eitz (Loyola, `95)
AFA Opens Home Slate vs. Loyola
Robinson Notches First Goal
Gullo Impressive in Debut
A Youthful Team
Tough Time Finding Shots
Last Weekend's Recaps
The Air Force men's soccer team opened its 2008 season with a hard-fought 2-1 loss to 9th-ranked UC Santa Barbara Friday night in front of 2385 fans at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sophomore Ryan Robinson scored the lone goal, the first of his career, for the Falcons.
Senior Chris Pontius, a Hermann Award candidate this year, scored both goals for the Gauchos, who won the NCAA Division I Championship in 2006 and advanced to the round of 16 last season. He opened the scoring in the 36th minute by firing a rocket from 22 yards out past Falcon goalie Jim Gullo. Bryan Dominguez was credited with an assist on the play.
That duo struck again in the 57th minute to give the Gauchos a 2-0 advantage. Nick Perera also gained an assist. UCSB controlled the action most of the evening, outshooting the Falcons 28-8 overall and 10-2 in shots on goal. Pontius equaled the Falcons' total of eight total shots on his own.
Robinson cut the lead in half with the first goal of his collegiate career in the 69th minute when he beat Gaucho keeper Trond Helge Takset with a 10-yard shot after taking passes from juniors Steven Noller and Kevin Rosser. Takset faced only one other shot on goal in the game, saving a shot from Noller in the 80th minute. Gullo, meanwhile, made eight saves and kept the Falcons in the game right up to the final whistle.
Cal Poly 2, Air Force 0
Goals by Wes Feighner and Daniel Cumming sparked a 2-0 Cal Poly win over Air Force before 2,118 fans at Alex G. Spanos Stadium Sunday afternoon in the Mustangs' season opener. Air Force fell to 0-2 on the season.
The Mustangs played most of the match on the Falcons' half of the field, out-shooting visiting Air Force 19-6 for the game.
Feighner got off to a strong start, scoring Cal Poly's first goal in the 24th minute. Goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco sent a clearance three-fourths of the field and Feighner sped past the defense to gather the loose ball. Feighner took one touch to his left to beat a Falcon goalie Jim Gullo then drilled a shot along the ground into an empty net.
Cal Poly struck again in the 51st minute. Jeff Meyer Jr. beat an Air Force defender one-on-one on the left sideline. The ensuing cross was partially deflected into the air and fell right in front of Cumming. Cumming waited one bounce then booted the ball into the upper right to up the Mustangs' lead to 2-0.
The Mustangs had several chances in the first half, but couldn't find that scoring touch. The first came in the 3rd minute as Julian Alvarez pounded the crossbar from 15-yards out. In the 18th minute, Feighner earned the Mustangs a penalty kick. David Zamora took the penalty shot, but his shot found the left post.