Late goal gives Falcons 1-0 win over Griz
Aug. 19, 2012
Leah Bratt scored on a free kick from just outside the top of the box in the 80th minute and it stood up as the match's only goal in Air Force's 1-0 victory over Montana Sunday afternoon at Colorado Springs, Colo.
The win kept the Falcons (2-0-0) unbeaten on the season and dropped the Grizzlies, who won at Wyoming Friday, 2-0, to 1-1-0.
Like Friday's match against the Cowgirls, Sunday's match had a low number of quality scoring opportunities for either team. Air Force took nine shots for the match, Montana seven. The teams combined to put 11 shots on goal.
The score remained deadlocked until the 80th minute when Air Force's Megan Dozier, who scored twice Friday in the Falcons' 3-0 victory over Lamar, was fouled 20 yards out after getting behind the Montana defense.
"They played a through ball and got inside of us. We were not in the right position to defend it," Montana coach Mark Plakorus said.
Bratt took the ensuing free kick. Players from both teams were fighting for position in front of the Griz goal, and the ball deflected off a Montana player and past a hapless Kristen Hoon, who played 90 strong minutes in goal for the second consecutive match.
The unassisted goal was Bratt's second of the season.
Ashley Tombelaine, Erin Craig and Shannon Lindsay all took shots in the final eight minutes, but Air Force keeper Kelly Stambaugh, who finished with five saves, held on for her second shutout of the weekend.
"It was a pretty even match," Plakorus added. "Air Force is always going to be competitive and battle hard, and they did that today.
"We played hard, but it was not our best game. We were reactive and a step slow all day and not as aggressive as I was hoping we'd be in our attack."
Montana took seven shots, equaling its output Friday against Wyoming, and put five on goal. Tombelaine, Craig and Lindsay each took two shots.
Hoon made five saves and ended the weekend with just one goal allowed in 180 minutes in net.
"It's never satisfying to come back with a loss, but I thought this weekend was a good start," Plakorus said. "You can never really evaluate your team until you've been in a game situation. It's the only time you get a real read on your team.
"We've got a good picture now of what we need to work on going forward."
Montana will face another challenging road trip next weekend when the Grizzlies travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to meet TCU and Texas Tech at the Horned Frogs' four-team tournament.
TCU (0-0-1) and Texas Tech (2-0-0) will both enter the tournament unbeaten through one weekend of play. The Horned Frogs went on the road Friday and tied New Mexico, 1-1. The Red Raiders swept a pair of home matches Friday and Sunday against Idaho, 2-1, and New Mexico, 2-0.
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