USAFA, Colo.—Air Force (10-5-2, 4-3-2 MPSF) handed CSU Bakersfield (10-3-4, 6-3 MPSF) a 2-1 defeat in league play Sunday afternoon at Cadet Soccer Stadium.
The Roadrunners broke the seal in the 22nd minute when Richard Menjivar (Sr., Panorama, Calif., Univ. of Evansville) scored off a Jesus Sanchez (Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., Castle Park HS) pass. It was Sanchez’s 11th assist of the season. The Falcons’ Ben Chavez tied the score with 2:48 to go in the first half when converted an Air Force free kick. Brian Klazura’s header off a Kevin Durr corner kick a little over three minutes into the second half proved to be the gamewinner.
CSUB played a man down for the final 33+ minutes when Gyasi Zardes (R-So., Hawthorne, Calif., Leutzinger HS) was issued a red card. Zardes will have to sit out the regular season finale next Saturday at Seattle University. The Roadrunners have clinched at least a share of the MPSF Pacific Division title as second place San Jose State lost to No. 3 New Mexico on Sunday. CSUB leads San Jose State by three points (18-15).
A Roadrunner win or tie at Seattle will give CSUB the Pacific Division title outright, the No. 2 seed at the Nov. 10-13 MPSF Tournament and a first round bye in the MPSF Tournament. If CSUB and the Spartans end up in a tie, CSU Bakersfield would earn the No. 2 seed via the second league tiebreaker, goal differential in league play.
“We were comfortable at 1-0,” said CSUB head coach Simon Tobin. “We conceded a goal before halftime and the momentum swung to them. We struggled in the second half and playing a man down really killed us.”
Next Saturday’s CSUB-Seattle match will begin at 1 p.m.