Air Force Drops Season Opener to Rutgers, 11-10
Feb. 19, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A late fourth quarter rally fell short as the Air Force lacrosse team opened its 2012 season with an 11-10 neutral-site loss to Rutgers Sunday in the Carrier Dome.
With the Falcons trailing 11-8 in the final stanza, sophomore Mike Crampton (Kinnelon, N.J.) tallied a pair of goals in the last 55 seconds of action, including a man-up score with just six seconds to play, but it was not enough for Air Force to come away with the win.
"The guys played hard," said Air Force head coach Eric Seremet. "They played 60 minutes and they didn't quit. I am proud of them for coming back."
Sophomore Tommy McKee (Holt, Mich.) led the Falcons' offense against the Scarlet Knights, tallying three goals and an assist, while Crampton added three goals. Newcomer Keith Dreyer (Fr., Malvern, Pa.) had an impressive debut for the Falcons, scoring a goal and a team-best three assists.
For Rutgers, Will Mangan and Scott Klimchak each notched two goals, while Nick DePaolera scored a game-high five points (2g, 3a).
Air Force scored the first goal of the contest with a tally from Kyle Cassady (So., Upper Arlington, Ohio) less than two minutes into the game, and held a 2-1 advantage after one period. However, Rutgers (1-1) notched four straight goals to take a 5-2 lead with 1:38 remaining in the second period. Meanwhile, the Falcons cut the margin back to one with back-to-back scores by McKee just seven seconds apart.
In the third period, the Scarlet Knights regained a two-goal advantage, but Air Force was able to come back to tie the score at 7-7 with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter. Rutgers tacked on another score in the final minute to go into the fourth quarter with an 8-7 lead.
The game was tied once more following Cassady's second score of the day, tallied at the 10:38 mark in the fourth quarter. However, the Scarlet Knights went on another run, scoring three straight goals to gain an 11-8 advantage with just over two and a half minutes to play.
Both teams scored on each of their EMO chances, with Rutgers scoring four man-up goals, while Air Force registered two man-up scores. The Scarlet Knights had the edge on face-offs, winning 15-of-25, including 11-of-14 in the second half.
"We made some mistakes on man down, missed some shots early that we needed to have and had trouble at the face-off X," said Seremet. "We'll learn from this and get better."
The Falcons return to action next weekend, Feb. 25-26, when they head to the annual Pioneer Face-Off Classic, hosted by Denver. Air Force will take on Robert Morris on Saturday, while meeting Division I newcomer Michigan on Sunday. Both games are slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
Rutgers 11, Air Force 10
Rutgers Scoring: Goals: Mangan 3, Klimchak 3, DePaolera 2, Diehl, Goss, Hover. Assists: DePaolera 3, Hover 2, Goss, Lefferts, Contino.