Las Vegas, Nevada - Air Force notched five goals in its 15th win of the season against UNLV, Friday evening, at Peter Johann Memorial Field, Las Vegas. The eighth-ranked Falcons, who are on a five-game win-streak, improve to 15-2 with an 8-1 mark in league action. The Rebels fall to 9-8-1 overall with a 4-4-1 mark in WAC play.
Early and often was the name of the game for Falcons' in the first half. 2017 first-team All-American Tucker Bone lit the scoreboard at the 2:06 mark with a ripper from 16-yards out of the left corner for his 11th goal of the season. Senior teammate Luis Martinez was credited with the assist; he leads the team with seven this season.
In the 17th-minute, Klint Parker took a stolen ball to the bank, beating a defender and getting the UNLV keeper way off line for a quick tap into an empty frame. UNLV found a way to keep the game within reach as Daniel Moran notched a goal in the 21stminute.
The Falcons lead was extended yet again as Danny Han found an opening from the right side of the box for a tap in and his third goal this season. Han's goal marked the third time this season that Air Force recorded three goals in the first half of a match.
After the halftime break, Air Force's 3-1 lead dwindled a notch as Timo Mehlich stole the ball on the Falcons' side and capitalized with a goal of his own just 76-seconds into the second half.
In the 84th-minute, Air Force took the wind out of the Rebels' sails again as Parker's shot on goal was deflected into the possession of 2018 Hermann Watch List midfielder Bone, who found the ball a home in the Rebels' net, adding his 12th goal of the season.
Just under three minutes later, Parker, who may have felt the last attempt belonged to him, added an insurance goal with a straight shot from the left side of the box, increasing Air Force's lead, 5-2. The goal marked Parker's sixth of the season. Senior team captain Austin Dewing was credited with his fourth assist of the season in the goal. Parker led the team with four shots on the match.
The Rebels were unable to get anything going in return, finalizing the contest at 5-2. The Falcons' 15th win marks a single-season career-best for head coach Doug Hill, which also ties the program record previously set by a younger Doug Hill and the 1980 team in the RMISL. The only other team to have as many wins was the 1993 team in the MPSF conference.
"It was the closest 5-2 win we've had," said coach Hill. "There were some intense moments, UNLV came out with good power in the second half and scored right out of the break so we knew we had to dig in and play defense. They kept us on the ropes for little longer than we wanted and weren't really out of the thick until the final 10 minutes or so where we broke out."
"Overall, it was a tremendous win for the team," continued Hill. "Our shots were remarkable tonight and that helped us get ahead early and get over that 14-win hump. I liked the way the team responded to their goals and the defense kept us in it. We have some things to work on and get better at but I think we're in a good place and we're up to the challenge of a good Grand Canyon team at their home stadium."
Air Force will play in its final road contest of the regular season as the Falcons travel to Phoenix, Arizona to take on the Lopes of Grand Canyon University. GCU hangs in the balance as they are currently No. 7 in the conference, making these final matches critically important for playoff contention. The Falcons lead the Lopes, 4-1-1, in the all-time series.