Air Force Routs Sacred Heart, 15-5
March 1, 2009
DENVER, Colo. - Led by a career-high six goals from senior K.J. Landgraf (Cordova, Md.), the Air Force lacrosse team rolled to a 15-5 victory over Sacred Heart Sunday afternoon on the second day of the Pioneer Face-Off Classic, hosted by Denver at Barton Lacrosse Stadium. With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-2 on the season, while the Pioneers drop to 0-3 overall.
Landgraf, who entered the contest with six career goals, tallied his first score of the game at the 11:56 mark in the opening period to give Air Force a 2-0 advantage, and by the half, had five of his six goals for the game. Among his scores was a nifty behind-the-back shot on an assist from Eric Evans (Sr., Ellicott City, Md.) to give the Falcons a 10-2 lead late in the second period.
Getting scores from five different players in the first quarter, the Falcons led 7-0 after one period of action, capped off by a goal with 12 seconds left on the clock. For the third time this season, defender Bryan Gilbreath (So., Bainbridge Island, Wash.) and long-stick midfielder Jeff Pecora (Sr., Dover, Del.) connected for a score following a face-off win by the Falcons. Pecora, who assisted on the previous two goals, was the recipient of Gilbreath's pass this time, for his first career goal.
Air Force's advantage grew to 8-0 following Landgraf's third goal of the game early in the second period, before the Pioneers tallied their first score of the game on a man-up goal with 12:21 left in the half. Another Sacred Heart goal midway through the quarter cut the margin to six goals, but the Falcons closed out the half with three unanswered scores to go up 11-2 at the break.
Despite an even third period that featured three goals for each team, the Pioneers were unable to get any closer than eight goals down the stretch. Landgraf tallied the only score of the final period to ice the 15-5 win for Air Force. The Falcons' 10-goal margin of victory is the largest for Air Force since a 24-3 win over Colorado College in 1997.
The Falcons outshot the Pioneers 64-24 in the game and held a 50-37 edge on ground balls. Air Force was penalized nine times in the game, but was able to hold Sacred Heart to just two man-up goals.
Senior captain Griffin Nevitt (Charlotte, N.C.) added three goals and an assist for the Falcons, while Evans notched a career-best three assists, all in the opening period. Also scoring three points in the game was senior Colin Lockhart (Richmond, Va.), who notched one goals and a career-high two assists.
At the conclusion of the final game of the weekend, the Pioneer Face-Off Classic All-Tournament team was announced. Landgraf (attack), Evans (midfield) and Gilbreath (defense) were all named to the all-tournament team for the Falcons. Landgraf's six goals were a single-game high for the tournament, while Evans also scored six points on the weekend, following a career-high three-goal performance on Saturday. Gilbreath led the Falcons on the weekend with nine ground balls and four caused turnovers, while also tallying three goals and an assist.
The Falcons are back in action next weekend, March 7, when they travel to West Point, N.Y., to take on service-academy rival Army.
Air Force 15, Sacred Heart 5
AF Scoring: Goals: K.J. Landgraf 6, Griffin Nevitt 3, Vinny Sandtorv 2, Ridge Flick, Colin Lockhart, Jeff Pecora, Bryan Gilbreath. Assists: Evans 3, Lockhart 2, Bryan Gilbreath, Dan Gnazzo, Griffin Nevitt, Ridge Flick, Brian Massa.