Air Force Edged by Bellarmine in ECAC Opener
March 9, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A furious third-period comeback fell short as the Air Force lacrosse team dropped an 11-10 decision to ECAC foe Bellarmine on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons had difficulty finding the back of the net in the first half, trailing 6-0 before sophomore Ryland De Pol (Riva, Md.) tallied his first score of the season to put Air Force on the board with a minute and a half remaining in the second period.
After going into the intermission with a five-goal deficit, the Falcons outscored the Knights 4-1, including a pair of man-up scores, in the first six minutes of the third quarter to get within two. Following another Bellarmine goal, Air Force tallied back-to-back man-up goals to cut the margin to one, while Kyle Cassady (Jr., Upper Arlington, Ohio) recorded an unassisted score at 4:15 mark to tie the game at 8-8. The Knights pulled back ahead with two more goals before sophomore Keith Dreyer (Malvern, Pa.) closed out the quarter with a score to bring Air Force back within one going into the final stanza.
While the third quarter featured an offensive explosion, the fourth period was quiet. Bellarmine (5-1, 2-1) scored off the opening face-off to increase its lead to 11-9, but neither team scored again until a goal from Mike Crampton (Jr., Kinnelon, N.J.) in the final 30 seconds of the contest.
Dreyer led the Falcons' offense with a season-high five points, tallying two goals and three assists, while De Pol, Cassady and Crampton added two scores each. Also finding the back of the net for Air Force were Christopher Allen (Fr., Hillsborough, N.J.) and Tommy McKee (Jr., Holt, Mich.), while junior Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) registered an assist.
Air Force (4-3, 0-1) had an overwhelming shot advantage, outshooting Bellarmine 48-30 for the game, including a 27-15 edge in the second half. However, the Knights received a strong performance from goalkeeper Dillon Ward, who recorded 14 saves in the win.
"I give a lot of credit to Bellarmine," said Air Force head coach Eric Seremet. "They buried their shots, while we had too many turnovers to deserve the win. But I'm proud of how our team came back and scrapped to the end."
The Falcons are back in action next weekend, March 16, when they take part in the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic, being held at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Air Force will face defending national champion Loyola Maryland in an ECAC match-up, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.