UNLV Storms Back Twice; Falcons Again Beat No. 9 Lobos

MPSPORTSDOTORG Caleb Downey, Air Force
MPSPORTSDOTORG
Caleb Downey, Air Force
MPSPORTSDOTORG

Oct. 15, 2012

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UNLV (5-9-1 Overall, 3-2-0 MPSF) finished off the first round of the MPSF schedule with a pair of road victories, both achieved within remarkable second-half comebacks, and thus entering the second round of play just one point from the top of the Pacific Division. In Friday's 2-1 win in Seattle, Sal Bernal scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the 65th-minute winner. In a 3-2 win at San Jose State, the Rebels trailed 2-0 before Bernal assisted on the first UNLV score in the 65th. He tied the game in the 79th-minute, before UNLV would deliver the winner in the 88th.

AIR FORCE (6-6-2 Overall, 3-1-1 MPSF) Caleb Downey scored his second game-winning goal against No. 9 New Mexico Friday in a 2-1 home victory, as the Falcons took two wins in a season over UNM for the first time since 2001. Downey headed in a pass from Jake Jones in the 75th-minute, while he and his back-line held the Lobos to just four shots on goal and none for Devon Sandoval. Seattle U and San Jose State visit the Academy this weekend. Entering the week, the Falcons and Spartans lead their respective divisions with 10 points apiece.

SAN JOSE STATE (6-5-1 Overall, 3-1-1 MPSF) with five seconds left in regulation, senior midfielder Diego Ochoa took a corner kick and bent it just inside the far post to propel San Jose State to a 1-0 home win over CSU Bakersfield last Friday. The Spartans handed the Roadrunners both of their MPSF losses in the first-half of the conference schedule. Next up is a road trip to Denver Friday (Oct. 19) and Air Force Sunday (Oct. 21).

CSU BAKERSFIELD (6-3-4 Overall, 3-2-0 MPSF) Gyasi Zardes became the first MPSF player since 2000, and the fifth all-time in the conference, to chalk up a four-goal game in a 6-2 victory at Seattle U Sunday. The achievement by the MAC Hermann Trophy Candidate was also an all-time CSUB record. CSUB visits Houston Baptist and New Mexico this week.

NO. 9 NEW MEXICO (10-3-0 Overall, 3-2-0 MPSF) James Rogers was part of the scoring action for both of UNM's goals in their 2-0 victory at Denver on Sunday. He scored the first goal in the 50th-minute off a pass from Blake Smith. Twenty-one minutes later, Rogers fed Devon Sandoval for the second Lobo goal of the game. UNLV and CSU Bakersfield visit Albuquerque this weekend.

DENVER (6-4-3 Overall, 1-3-1 MPSF) Zach Bolden scored a pair of goals on his only two shots in a 6-0 home win over Houston Baptist this past Friday. Both goals came within the first nine minutes, in which Denver raced out to a 3-0 lead. Josh Wren scored and assisted within the first 23 minutes. The Pioneers host Pacific Division leader San Jose State Friday (Oct 19) before a visit from Seattle U Sunday (Oct. 21).

HOUSTON BAPTIST (3-6-2 Overall, 1-2-2 MPSF) sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Suarez returned from injury to help the Huskies tie conference-leader Air Force, 1-1, in Colorado Sunday. He made three saves, none bigger than his third, on a header attempt at the buzzer of the second overtime. HBU hosts second-place Pacific Division teams CSU Bakersfield and UNLV this weekend.

SEATTLE U (2-9-1 Overall, 0-4-1 MPSF) dropped a pair of home games to UNLV, 2-1, and CSU Bakersfield, 6-2 over the weekend. Miguel Gonzalez and Brady Ballew each tallied against the Roadrunners. In addition to assisting once vs. CSUB, Renato Bandeira scored vs. the Rebels. The Redhawks travel to Air Force and Denver this week.

CALEB DOWNEY MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Air Force junior defender Caleb Downey (Evergreen, CO/Home School) scored his second game-winning goal against No. 8 New Mexico Friday in a 2-1 victory over the Lobos. Downey headed in a pass from Jake Jones in the 75th-minute as the Falcons regained first place in the Mountain Division. Downey, who has scored all three of his career goals against UNM, once again was instrumental in shutting down the MPSF's top-scoring team and player, Devon Sandoval. He and his back-line teammates held the Lobos to just four shots on goal while Sandoval attempted none....Also Nominated: Sal Bernal (UNLV); Kevin Suarez (HBU); James Rogers (UNM); Zach Bolden(DEN); Gyasi Zardes (CSUB)...