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AIR FORCE vs. UNLV
Sun., Nov. 13, 1:00 p.m. MT
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AIR FORCE IN THE WAC CHAMPIONSHIP: The Falcons return to the WAC Championship for the first time since playing Fresno State in the 1996 finals match. The Falcons and Rebels are slated for a 1:00 p.m. MT match at Utah Valley’s Clyde Field. A live stream and live stats will be provided by the WAC Digital Network. Fans can access the stream by going to the WAC Soccer homepage and clicking the links in the schedule window.
THE ROAD TO THE CHIP: Air Force held off CSU Bakersfield and WAC powerhouse Seattle U in the first round and semi-finals of the 2016 WAC tournament, respectively. Austin Dewing and John Sims registered a goal apiece in the 2-0 shut out over CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the WAC tournament, Nov. 10. On Nov. 11, a second half surge lifted the Falcons to a 3-1 victory over 2015 WAC champions Seattle University. Senior team captain Cameron Duley logged a career-single game high three assists. Tucker Axhoj, Jaric Marton and Tucker Bone registered a goal apiece in the shutout.
UP NEXT: The winner of the tournament will be awarded an automatic bid into the NCAA championship tournament. The DI Men’s Soccer College Cup will be hosted at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Tex., on Dec. 9-11. An Air Force victory would guarantee the Falcons their seventh trip to the NCAA tournament in program history. The last time the Falcons played in the NCAA tournament was in 2012, Air Force fell to the Washington Huskies, 0-1.
LAST TIME AT THE WAC TOURNAMENT: The last time Air Force played in the WAC tournament was in the 2013 season, in which the Falcons hosted the tournament. In the first round, four-seed Air Force topped five-seed Houston Baptist, 2-1. In the semi-finals, the Falcons fell, 0-2, to Seattle U. Air Force has had three WAC tournament appearances prior to this season (1996, 1998 and 2013), and are now 3-3 while playing in the WAC postseason.
THE SERIES VS. UNLV: The championship match between the Rebels and the Falcons will mark the 38th meeting between the programs. Air Force leads the series, 18-15-3. Earlier this season UNLV edged by the Falcons, 3-2, in what became a second period shootout with UNLV, Oct. 21, in Las Vegas, Nev. When playing at UNLV the Falcons are 5-9-1, when playing at Air Force the Falcons are 11-3-1; on neutral turf the series is tied 3-3-1. The Falcons and Rebels have been to overtime six times. In the 36-match series Air Force has scored 64 goals, while UNLV has scored 45.
THE TALLY: Air Force as a team has logged 131 points from 44 goals and 43 assist; marks higher than the previous five seasons concluded with. In 21 matches, 14 different Falcons have logged goals and five Falcons have double-digit points. If the Falcons win the championship match, they will have tied the program record for most wins in a season (15, 1980,1993)
AIR FORCE IS FLYING HIGH: Air Force is playing amongst the best in DI soccer as they are ranked third in the nation in total goals (44), total assists (43) and total points (131). The Falcons are also fifth in the country in points per game (6.23), eighth in the country in scoring offense (2.05) and twelfth in the nation in assists per game (2.04). Air Force leads the WAC in all aforementioned stat categories
The Falcons displayed their ability to play on the road finishing the regular season road slate at 5-3-1 and extending to a 7-3-1 overall road slate in the WAC post season. In seven of the conference road matches, (including the WAC tournament) the Falcons have registered 15 goals.
In the 1-0 shutout over GCU, the Falcons held the Lopes’ explosive scorers to nil in front of a home crowd exceeding 3,800 fans. The Falcons put up a two-goal shutout over Houston Baptist; a pitch they have had trouble winning on in the past. In the match against Incarnate Word, the Falcons logged four goals; their fourth four-goals plus performance this season. In their only conference loss on the road, UNLV edged by the Falcons, 3-2. In their only tie this season, Air Force left UTRGV’s pitch knotted at one on Oct. 29.