Falcons Blank Denver, 1-0, in Men’s Soccer Conference Opener
Patrick Compton scored first career goal
USAFA, Colo. — 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, Saturday night 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.”
The Falcons continue conference play as they travel to No. 3 New Mexico next Friday, Oct. 5 beginning at 7 p.m.