Air Force Lacrosse Defeats Army, 8-7, in Overtime
March 13, 2010
USAFA, Colo. -
Sophomore Adam Paranka (Denver, Colo.) scored his only goal of the game with 1:04 remaining in overtime to give the Air Force lacrosse team an 8-7 victory over service academy rival Army Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium. With their first win of the season, the Falcons improve to 1-3 overall, while the Black Knights fall to 1-4 on the year.
Air Force's win over Army was its first-ever in the series, as the Black Knights entered the game with a 16-0 record against the Falcons. It was also the first time that Air Force has hosted Army in men's lacrosse, with the previous 16 games between the two teams held at West Point.
Army took the first lead of the game, scoring less than a minute and a half into the contest before Air Force team captain Vinny Sandtorv (Jr., Centereach, N.Y.) knotted the score at the 11:08 mark with an assist from Paranka. The contest quickly turned into a defensive battle, with neither team scoring until a man-up goal by Zack Carroll (Jr., Freehold Township, N.J.) with just under two minutes to play in the opening period.
The Falcons increased their advantage to 3-1 with another man-up goal, this time by Sandtorv, with 8:44 on the clock in the second period. The defense continued to dominate the game, with neither team scoring until Army's Garrett Thul tallied his first score of the game just two seconds before the intermission.
Air Force went back up by two points with 12:15 on the clock in the third period on an unassisted goal by Carroll, while senior captain Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) scored off the ensuing face-off with an assist from John DeBonis (So., Sayville, N.Y.). A score by Sandtorv with just over 10 minutes remaining in the period gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the game with a 6-2 advantage.
However, the Black Knights came storming back, as Thul closed out the period with three unanswered goals, cutting their deficit to a single goal entering the final stanza. A score from Army's Jeremy Boltus with 12:33 to play in the fourth period tied the score at 6-6.
After several minutes of back-and-forth action, the tie was broken as the Black Knights' Devin Lynch scored his second goal of the game with 3:19 to play, giving Army the 7-6 lead. It was a familiar situation for the Falcons, who dropped a pair of one-goal games last weekend after holding early leads.
This time, Air Force was able to come up with an answer. On the Falcons' next possession, Flick picked up a loose ball after a save by Army goalkeeper Tom Palesky and fired a shot into the back of the net to tie the game at 7-7 with just under two and a half minutes left on the clock.
Both goalkeepers came up with crucial stops in the final minutes, including the Falcons' Brian Wilson, whose save in the waning seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime.
Army took control on the opening face-off of the overtime period and retained possession for the first two minutes. Another big save by Wilson kept the Falcons' chances alive and a strong defensive play by Sandtorv put the ball back in Air Force's hands. Palesky countered with a stop of his own, but the Black Knights' failure to clear gave the Falcons yet another opportunity to score. After a wide shot by Sandtorv, Paranka got in position for the winning shot, scoring his first goal of the game to give Air Force the 8-7 victory.
The Black Knights outshot the Falcons, 43-29, while scooping up 32 ground balls to Air Force's 25. However, Army went 0-for-2 on man-up opportunities, while Air Force was 2-of-5 on the EMO. Both teams received solid play from their goalkeepers, with Wilson and Palesky each recording 11 saves in the contest.
Sandtorv registered a season-high three goals in the contest, while Carroll registered two goals and an assist. Meanwhile, in addition to his game-winning score, Paranka notched a career-best two assists.
The Falcons open up their conference slate next weekend, March 20, when they travel to Baltimore, Md., to visit ECAC foe Loyola, currently ranked ninth in the nation.
Air Force 8, Army 7
Army 1 1 3 2 0 7
Air Force 2 1 3 1 1 8
Army Scoring: Goals: Garrett Thul 4, Devin Lynch 2, Jeremy Boltus. Assists: Jeremy Boltus, Rob McCallion, Andrew Maisano.