#14 AIR FORCE vs. UMKC
Saturday, Nov. 4, 1:00 p.m. CT
Durwood Soccer Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
THIS WEEK: The 14th-ranked Falcons play their final regular-season match of the season at UMKC, Sat., Nov. 4, at 1:00 p.m. CT.
LAST WEEKEND: Air Force won the regular season conference title after downing CSU Bakersfield, 2-1, Sunday afternoon in Bakersfield, Calif. On Friday, junior forward Austin Dewing recorded his first career hat trick and a team-high seven-point performance, leading the Falcons to a 4-0 victory over San Jose State a t Spartan Soccer Complex. Dewing and senior midfielder Oscar Chacon swept the conference’s Player of the Week honors following the two-win weekend.
UP NEXT: Air Force has secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, Nov. 8-12, hosted by UNLV. They will play their first post-season conference playoff match against the winner of the fourth and fifth-seeded teams, Friday, Nov. 10, at 4:00 p.m.
THE SERIES WITH UMKC: The Falcons and Roos will be meeting for the eighth time; Air Force leads the seven-game series, 4-2-1. Last season, the Falcons posted a 3-0 shutout over UMKC at Cadet Soccer Stadium, USAFA. In 2015, UMKC posted a 1-0 victory of Air Force in Kansas City, Mo.
A YEAR FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: In his 11th season at the helm of the men’s soccer team, head coach Doug Hill continues to guide the team to new heights, producing his most successful regular-season to date, including a program-best 11-1 record at home. With wins on the road at San José State and CSU Bakersfield, Air Force clinched its first ever WAC men’s soccer title last weekend. Previous to this season, the Falcons’ best finish in WAC play was a second-place finish in 1996, finishing just two points behind Fresno State. This year’s tournament bid marks the second-straight year of the Falcons competing in WAC post-season action. The Falcons’ 10 shutouts are a program-best since coach Hill took the helm in the 2007 season. Last year, Hill’s Falcons were only one win shy (14) of the program record for single-season wins (15); if the Falcons win out the regular season and the conference championship, they can beat the record by one match.
ON THE MAP: Air Force continues its reign in the national polls as the Falcons are ranked ninth in the Soccer America Top 25, 14th in both the College Soccer News Top 30 and United Soccer Coaches Top 25 and 18th in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25. Air Force is 20th in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA, while the United Soccer Coaches West Region Ranking stayed virtually the same this week. Air Force continues to hold down the top spot, followed by Seattle U in second. UNLV remained in sixth in the rankings.
A GLIMPSE AT AIR FORCE: The Falcons boast the top win-loss-tie percentage in the conference (0.853); a mark that ranks the squad fourth-best in the nation. The stout Air Force defense claims the top-spot in the league in shutout percentage (0.588) and team goals against average (0.509); marks thank rank the Bolts ninth and sixth in all NCAA Div. I soccer, respectively. The defense also boasts the conference’s best save percentage (0.850); a mark high enough to rank the team sixth-best in the country. Air Force has only allowed nine goals in 17 games; led by senior midfielder Trey Pujats who has clocked a team-high 1552 minutes played this season; he leads the team with 68 career starts in 72 career appearances.
Senior goalkeeper John Wendt remains one the nation’s best goaltenders as he leads the WAC with a 0.631 goals against average; a mark that ranks the Sylvania, Ohio native, 15th-best in the NCAA. Wendt leads the league in save percentage (0.784), and is second in shutouts (6).
On the offensive side of the ball, Air Force leads the conference with 31 goals scored. The Falcons have outshot all opponents this season, 255-156, and has put nearly twice as many shots on frame as all opponents faced, 110-60. In conference action alone, Air Force has outshot all WAC opponents, 137-83. Junior midfielder Tucker Bone leads the team with 43 shots and 19 shots on goal. Junior forward Austin Dewing leads the squad with six goals. Dewing and Bone lead the team with seven assists each, a mark that ranks the duo first in the conference in total assists and second in assists per game (0.41). Junior forward Klint Parker has notched four game-winning goals; a mark that puts him atop the conference and tied for 10th-most in the nation.
THE WAC-- STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Having clinched their first WAC men’s soccer title last weekend, Air Force leads the league in goals (31), least goals allowed (9), goals against average (0.51) and shutouts (10). Seattle U leads the league in shots (357) and corners (128), while UNLV is tops in points (92) and assists (32). Houston Baptist is the leader in saves (88).
Individually, SU’s Alex Roldan leads the WAC in shots (86). UNLV’s Danny Musovski is the leader in points (30) and goals (12). Air Force duo Austin Dewing and Tucker Bone are tied for the lead in assists with seven each while teammate Klint Parker is the leader in game-winning goals with four. In goal, AF’s John Wendt leads the WAC in goals against average (0.63) and save percentage (.818). CSU Bakersfield’s Detre Bell is the leader in saves with 77 while SU’s Josh Adachi has a WAC-high eight shutouts.
In conference-only play, Air Force leads the league in points (59), goals (20), least goals allowed (6), goals against average (0.63) and are tied with Seattle U for the lead in shutouts (4). Seattle U is also the leader in shots (193) while UNLV is the assists leader with 20. Houston Baptist leads the WAC in saves with 128 in WAC play.
Individually, SU’s Roldan is tops in shots with 47 and UNLV’s Musovski leads in points (18). Kansas City’s Eric McWoods is the top goal scorer in conference play with eight goals while AF’s Bone is the top assist man with six. UTRGV’s Esa Aalto has the low goals-against average at 0.31 and top save percentage at .889. CSUB’s Bell is the saves leader with 48.
DEWING, CHACON SWEEP WAC WEEKLY HONORS: Dewing, a junior forward from Colorado Springs, Colo. (Air Academy HS), led the 15th-ranked Falcons to a pair of wins and the WAC regular season title with wins at San José State and CSU Bakersfield. At SJSU, he tied the WAC record for points in a conference match with a hat trick and an assist as the Falcons earned the 4-0 win. After assisting on the initial goal in the 52nd minute, Dewing tallied scores in the 55th, 61st and 87th minutes. With the big weekend, he now ranks fourth in the WAC in points (19) and is tied for the lead in assists with seven.
Chacon, a senior defensive midfielder from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. (Palos Verdes Peninsula HS), held lead the Falcon defense to a pair of wins as Air Force clinched the WAC regular season title. He totaled 163 minutes on the weekend as Air Force earned the team’s 10th shutout of the season against San José State and then held CSU Bakersfield to just one shot on goal in a 2-1 win.