Air Force and Denver Advance to MPSF Semifinals

Air Force GK Matt Underwood

Nov. 8, 2012

MPSF Tournament Update

Quarterfinal 1 PDF Box: Air Force 4, UNLV 1

Quarterfinal 2 PDF Box: Denver 2, San Jose State 1

No. 3 Air Force 4, No. 6 UNLV 1

Albuquerque, N.M. --- The No. 3 seeded Air Force Falcons blistered the nets to the tune of four first half goals, and then had to fend off a rally as they defeated the No. 6 UNLV Rebels 4-2 victory in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Soccer Tournament, hosted by the University of New Mexico. The win pushed Air Force to the semifinals, where the Falcons will play the No. 2 seed Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners Friday (Nov. 9) at 5 p.m (MT). Air Force improved to 9-8-3 while UNLV's seasons came to an end at 6-14-1.

The Falcons and Rebels looked like prizefighters for the first 15 minutes, each team feeling the other out. Air Force then tried to deliver an early knock-out blow with a three goal flurry in just over 11 minutes.

Caleb Downey got the Falcons on the board first as he was Johnny-on-the-spot after a Scott McGillivray shot hit the post and bounced right to him. Downey buried it for a 1-0 lead at the 20:37 mark. A little over eight minutes later at 28:53, Air Force struck again.

McGillivray took a slot pass from Zane Dydasco and drilled a shot just inside the post past Joe Vitale for a 2-0 lead. Dydasco then got himself on the board when he roofed a shot from just outside the six for a 3-0 lead at the 31:15 mark.

UNLV got themselves on the board when Eddie Vega hit Salvador Bernal on a through pass, and Bernal one touched it home past Matt Underwood to make it 3-1. It looked to go to the half with that score, but with 4:23 left, Kevin Durr's corner kick was headed home by Conor Henry for a 4-1 halftime advantage.

UNLV had plenty of opportunities in the second half, the best coming after an own goal had made it 4-2. Bernal intercepted a back pass, but his shot was blocked by Underwood, who came out to make the save. The rebound when to Jose Mendoza, but his shot with Underwood out of the net was blocked by Downey. The own goal, at the 66:00 mark, came when Mendoza's free kick from 40 yards out was headed into the Air Force net by a defender.

Underwood was superb in net for Air Force, making eight saves, six in the second half.

No. 4 Denver 2, No. 5 San Jose State 1 (OT)

Albuquerque, N.M. --- The fourth-seeded Denver Pioneers won a wild affair beating #5 San Jose State (8-9-1, 5-4-1 MPSF) on Cole Chapleski's game-winning goal in overtime despite being a man down.

Denver was the first to draw blood in the match-up with the fifth-seeded San Jose State courtesy of Josh Wren's goal in the 25th minute. Wren took a Zach Bolden pass deep in the box and took the shot before a major collision with the SJSU keeper Emmanuel Espinosa. The ball rolled into the goal after the collision as both players lay on the ground.

Wren's goal was the only scoring action of the first half. The game was played in the midfield for much of the first half as both squads took four shots apiece. Each team had two of their four shots on goal.

San Jose State would get an equalizer less than five minutes into the second half. Steven Sanchez dribbled along the left outside edge of the box and whipped a curling cross to the opposite side of the box where Jonathan Salceda played the pass off his chest at the far post and one-touched home the Spartan goal.

After the game-tying goal by the Spartans, San Jose State lifted the tempo. The out-shot Denver 11-6 in the second half as the game took a physical tone. Four total cautions, including one red card, later the match would go to overtime. San Jose State not only had the advantage in shots, but they also held a slight advantage in corners 5-4. Denver played a man down going into overtime after Blake Shannon received a red card late in the second half

The Pioneers would waste no time taking care of business in the first overtime period. On the first attacking run of the overtime period, Denver got the ball to Taylor Hunter along the top of the box. Hunter drove into the left side of the box before electing to leave the ball for Cole Chapleski at the top of the box who buried the game-winning goal to the far post just 1:39 into overtime.

The win pushes Denver (11-5-3, 6-4-1 MPSF) into the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament where they will face number one seed, and host, University of New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 9) at the UNM Soccer Complex.