Despite scoring less than three minutes into the game, the Air Force men’s soccer team dropped its 2013 season opener, 3-1, to St. Mary’s College Friday in Moraga, Calif. Senior co-captain Brian Klazura scored for the Falcons, who continue their West Coast road swing against the University of San Francisco on Sunday.
Klazura took a pass from junior Zachary Modly and found himself one-on-one with SMC keeper Andre Rawls. Klazura placed a shot past Rawls into the lower right corner just 2:55 into the contest for a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Rawls saved all six Falcon shots on goal the rest of the game while his teammates notched three unanswered goals.
Bobby Conner evened the game in the 19th minute with a shot that beat AFA keeper Joey Speshock into the upper right corner. Alex Braman and Rafael Sanchez assisted on the play. The game went to halftime knotted at one with SMC holding a 6-5 advantage in total shots and each team attempting four shots on goal.
The Gaels struck early in the second half as Carlo Eikani directed a header past Speshock at the 46:50 mark of an assist from Alan Williams and Will Kendall added an insurance goal in the 87th minute after taking a pass from Jake Stenberg.
“We played pretty well today, but we can’t give up as many set-piece goals as we did,” said Air Force head coach Doug Hill.
SMC outshot Air Force 16-12 overall and 8-7 in shots on goal. Modly had a team-high four shots, while Klazura and junior Matt Payne each attempted two. Speshock finished his first career game with five saves.
The Falcons face USF at Negoesco Stadium in San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 1 beginning at 2 p.m. (PT).