Oct. 3, 2012
Air Force Falcons vs. #5 New Mexico Lobos
Friday, Oct. 5 / 7 p.m.
UNM Soccer Complex / Albuqueruqe, N.M.
Air Force Falcons vs. Houston Baptist Huskies
Sunday, Oct. 7 / 1 p.m. (CT)
Sorrels Field / Houston, Texas
Falcons Continue MPSF Play on Road This Weekend
The Air Force Falcons continue action in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation this weekend with a pair of road games. The Falcons will face 5th-ranked New Mexico on Friday, Oct. 5 in Albuquerque, N.M, beginning at 7 p.m., and league-newcomer Houston Baptist on Sunday, Oct. 7 in Houston, Texas at 1 p.m. (CT).
Air Force is 4-5-1 and 1-0 in the MPSF after defeating Denver, 1-0, at home last Saturday night. New Mexico enters the weekend with an 8-1 overall record and a 1-0 mark in league play, while Houston Baptist is 2-5 and 0-1.
Air Force Opens League Slate With Shutout
Air Force defeated the University of Denver, 1-0, Saturday night at Cadet Soccer Stadium in the league opener for each team. Denver dominated the stat sheet, outshooting the Falcons 17-4, but AAFA senior Patrick Compton scored his first career goal in the 61st minute. Senior Matt Underwood, meanwhile, came up with three saves and recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
Falcons Up There in MPSF Stats
Senior goalie Matt Underwood is tied for the league lead with four shutouts and is second in, saves (42) and save percentage (.792) and third in goals-against average (1.06).
As a team, the Falcons are No. 3 in the MPSF with just 11 goals allowed.
Falcons Picked Third in MPSF Preseason Rankings
The Falcons were picked to finish in a tie with Denver for third place in the MPSF Preseason Coaches' Poll. New Mexico was predicted to repeat as MPSF champion after advancing to the round of 16 in last year's NCAA Tournament, picked just ahead of CSU Bakersfield, which earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament last year.
Air Force 1, Denver 0
Senior Patrick Compton scored his first career goal in the 61st minute and fellow senior Matt Underwood made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Air Force men's soccer team defeated the University of Denver, 1-0, in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener for each team. Air Force improved to 4-5-1 and 1-0 in the league, while Denver, which entered with a seven-game unbeaten streak, fell to 5-2-2 and 0-1.
Denver dominated the stat sheet, outshooting the Falcons 17-4, but Air Force scored the game's only goal when senior Kevin Durr's free kick was headed by Zane Dydasco in front of the net. Several players from each team surrounded the ball, but Compton found a way to place it past DU goalie Oliver Brown. It was AFA's first shot on goal of the game and the Falcons had only one more the rest of the way.
Underwood, meanwhile, came up big in the 11th clean sheet of his career. Despite seeing only three shots on goal, he was very active on crosses and captured several of DU's 11 corner kicks.
"This is a great way to start conference play," said Air Force head coach Doug Hill. "Our objective was to get three points tonight and we found a way to get them. Matt (Underwood) and our back four played extremely well tonight, especially our two center backs, Jake Jones and Caleb Downey."
The Falcon defense got even stronger after the goal as DU attempted nine shots, but only two on net. DU's Zach Bolden led all players with four shots, while teammates Ryan Dodson and Mark Weigand each had three. Dydasco led the Falcons with two shots.
"Denver is a very good team and against teams like that, we need to put our foot on the accelerator when we have the lead," said Hill. "We need to hold the ball more and control the tempo of the game in the midfield."