U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. – Air Force lacrosse rattled off five fourth-period goals but failed to notch the equalizer in the comeback attempt against Cleveland State, Friday night, in the Holaday Athletic Center at USAFA. The Falcons fall to 1-3 on the season.
Cleveland State netted the first goal at 8:13, which the Falcons’ Roman Rohrbach answered with one of his own a minute later via Andrew Tien’s assist. The teams closed the first period tied at one.
The second period belonged to the Vikings as netted four-straight to build a 5-1 lead going into halftime. The Vikings extended to a five-goal streak as they slung the ball into the Falcons’ cage at 11:32 in the third period.
Sophomore Matthew Schwartz ended the Falcons scoring drought with an unassisted goal at the 6:33 mark. Determined to stop an Air Force uprising, the Vikings rattled off two goals in the final 30-seconds of the third period, extending to an 8-2 lead going into the final period.
Undeterred, the Falcons took the field determined to change the course of the game. The five goal streak started with Tien’s goal at 13:57. Nick Forrest followed up with his first of the game at the 10:20 mark in an unassisted attack. Sophomore Roman Rohrbach was jolted alive by the momentum, plugging in two consecutive unassisted goals to narrow the Vikings’ lead, 8-6. Rohrbach’s three goals marks the first hat trick of his career.
With the momentum in favor of the Falcons, team captain Nick Hruby reminded the Vikings of his presence, taking a feed from Tien and plugging in his first of the game with 3:38 remaining. The Falcons had all the fixings of a monumental comeback, but Cleveland State had other plans. With 45-seconds on the clock and Air Force in possession, the Falcons took a timeout to setup a play.
It was Hruby who was given the green light on the unassisted attack. Cleveland State’s keeper, Stephen Russo, played Hruby’s shot well, deflecting the ball out of the cage. The Falcons had one more attempt on Russo’s cage but the Viking keeper thwarted the final shot attempt, keeping the Vikings atop the Falcons at the final whistle.
Both teams took 30 shots on the game, Rohrbach and Hruby led the Falcons with six shots apiece. Falcon junior Trent Harper dominated the face off X for the fourth time this season, winning 11-17 (.647) attempts on the evening. Harper led the Falcons with six ground balls. Jeremiah Hemme led Air Force with three caused turnovers.
Air Force returns to Falcon Stadium to host Boston University at USAFA for the first time in program history. Last season, the Terriers won the initial meeting between the teams, 8-6, in Boston.