U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Junior midfielder Jack Flynn notched the Falcons’ first hat trick of the season in the 11-5 home-opener loss to No. 4 University of Denver, on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium. The 17th-ranked Falcons fall to 0-2 on the season after taking on two-top five programs in the opening weeks of collegiate lacrosse action.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early lead, netting the first goal just 28-seconds into the game. Just over a minute later, Denver added the second goal to the scoresheet via Danny Logan’s attack. The Pios held Air Force scoreless in the first half while netting seven goals of their own.
At the half, both team took 15 shots, while Denver scooped up the majority of ground balls, 10-5. Falcon face off man, Trent Harper, had his work cut out at the face off X as he took on the nation’s leading face off man in All-American Trevor Baptiste, who went 4-4 in first period face offs. Harper battled back in the second period winning four-of-five face offs against the Tewaaraton hopeful.
After a halftime snow removal, the Falcons struck first as Flynn notched his first of three in an unassisted attack at the 13:54 mark. Junior attacker Trey Lervick followed up with his own goal via Nick Hruby’s assist a minute later, reducing the Pioneers’ lead, 7-2.
Denver responded by rattling off three goals led by Austin French who netted two consecutive goals in the third period. An unwavering Flynn continued his attack on Denver’s defense, finding an opening for a shot and goal with 2:29 remaining in the third period.
In the waning second of the period, sophomore Kevin Cox maneuvered his way into Pioneer territory where he slung the ball in for his second goal of the season, narrowing Denver’s lead, 10-4, going into the fourth period.
With an early Air Force possession in Denver territory, Lervick fed Flynn atop the crease where the Dominion, Virginia, native redirected the ball into the nylon 38-seconds into the final period for his first career hat trick.
Denver’s French would match Flynn’s hat trick with one of his own, scoring his third goal at 5:35 remaining. It was the final goal of the game. The 2017 Big East champions sealed the deal over the defending SoCon champions, 11-5.
Flynn led the Falcons with eight shots, putting three on frame. Roman Rohrbach fired off six shots while Cox sent five of his own. Harper finished the day going .500 at the face off X against Baptiste who is on the 2018 USILA Player of the Year watch list. Freshman goalie Noah Schwab recorded 12 saves in the Falcons’ cage.
Air Force returns to action as the squad travels to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to take on the Marist Red Foxes, Sat., Feb. 17, at noon (ET).