COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bradley did not let the end of a long road swing or three days in the Rocky Mountain altitude become a distraction as the Braves (4-2-1) rode a pair of second-half goals to a 2-0 win at Air Force (0-7-0) Sunday afternoon at Cadet Soccer Stadium.
Junior defender Zach Kovacevic scored his second game-winner of the season in the 45th minute and fellow back line mate Grant Bell added some insurance with his first career goal to complete the scoring. Senior goalkeeper Brian Billings made the two goals stand up by making four saves in his fourth shutout of the season and moved into third place on the school’s career goalkeeper minutes list by pushing his time to 6148-minutes, 19-seconds.
Though Bradley was finishing off a 7,500-mile, 5-game road swing in the thin Colorado air, the Braves outshot their hosts, 24-9, and owned a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks. Head coach Jim DeRose may have countered the affects of the altitude by working 24 players into Sunday’s rotation and 13 different players registered at least one shot.
Though Bradley outshot its host, 11-3, in the first half, the teams went into the break locked in a scoreless draw. The game did not remained scoreless for very long after the second half kickoff as Kovacevic’s 10-yard header finished off a Cody Lofgren service and put the Braves in front, 1-0, just 32 seconds into the second half.
Bell netted the insurance strike in the 64th minute when he collected a pass from Wojciech Wojcik 15 yards out and fired a shot just inside the right post to beat Falcons keeper Jake Schenk.
Bradley completed the 5-game road swing, Las Vegas to Connecticut to Colorado, with a 2-2-1 record and will return home Saturday night to host Cal State Northridge in a 7 p.m. match at Shea Stadium. The Matadors are ranked as high as No. 3 in this week’s national polls and are taking a 7-0-0 record into Sunday night’s game against UCLA. Saturday’s game will feature several promotions: World Cup Night, President’s Night Out, Soccer Alumni Reunion and postgame fireworks, presented by Avanti’s. Single-game Bradley Soccer tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for youth (14 and under) and free for Bradley University students, faculty and staff, active members of the military and their immediate families and Little Braves Club members, all by presenting valid ID at the Shea Stadium ticket windows.
Bradley Athletics Mission
Provide every student-athlete the opportunity for both a distinctive education and championship experience
Accountability | Courage | Diligence | Integrity | Respect