Late Game Heroics Lead UW Comeback Over Air Force

Sept. 18, 2005

Box Score

DENVER - Washington men's soccer staged a dramatic rally, scoring three goals in the last eight minutes to overcome a two goal deficit and defeat Air Force, 3-2, at Pioneer Field in Denver, Sunday. Sophomore forward Spencer Schmidt scored the improbable gamewinner in the 89th minute capping the Huskies' late game heroics.

Washington's first goal at 82:12 was an own goal by Air Force, credited to sophomore Nick Loveless, while sophomore Brett Hite nailed the equalizer in the 84th minute. Washington has won three consecutive matches and improves to 4-1-0, while Air Force drops to 2-3-1.

'It was an incredible game,' Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger said. 'Probably the greatest comeback I've ever been involved in at Washington. This game should go down as one of the special ones.'

Air Force took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on a header by Scott Muir, a score that stood throughout the first half despite many scoring chances for Washington. Looking to bolster the offense, Wurzberger started to commit players forward in the second half. Despite the effort, Air Force added to their lead with a score by Steven Locker in the 69th minute.

With a four-player frontline, the Huskies continued to launch their attack. Senior midfielder Mike Chabala served a cross that was mishandled by an Air Force defender and headed into their own goal in the 83rd minute. The score was credited to Loveless, the closest UW player to the ball at the time.

'That goal lit a fire under us because we know just one was all we needed to get some momentum,' Wurzberger said.

Indeed that was the case as almost two minutes later, Hite's first goal of the season provided the equalizing score. Not waiting for overtime, Washington came back yet again. Schmidt got loose on the far post, dribbled around a defender and shot a bullet from right to left and past Air Force keeper Paul Elsbernd at the 88:08 minute mark.

UW senior goalkeeper Chris Eylander tallied six saves while Elsbernd grabbed seven. The Huskies held a slight advantage on shots, with 17 to 14 by Air Force. Hite, making his first start of the season, led UW with five shots and Colin Eames led Air Force with four.

Washington returns home for the first time this season, hosting the Husky Fever Classic Sept. 23 and Sept. 25. UW's home opener will be versus Wisconsin, Friday at 7 p.m., a match preceded by Portland versus Hartwick at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Portland will face Wisconsin at 11 a.m. and Washington will counter Hartwick at 1:30 p.m.

No. 21 Washington 3, Air Force 2
Pioneer Field, Denver, Colo.

Scoring - 1, AF, Scott Muir (Colin Eames), 20:59. 2, AF, Steven Locker (Damon Wong), 68:50. 3, UW, Nick Lovless (own goal), 82:12. 4, UW, Brett Hite (Evan Cummings), 83:55. 5, UW, Spencer Schmidt (unassisted), 88:08.
Shots - UW 17, AF 14
Corners - UW 6, AF 5
Saves - UW 6 (Chris Eylander), AF 7 (Paul Elsbernd)
Fouls - UW 11, AF 8
Offsides - UW 2, AF 1
Attendance - 137