SoCon Tournament Central
RICHMOND, Va. -- Air Force topped the Bellarmine Knights, 10-8, in the Southern Conference Championship semi-finals, Thurs. May 5, in Richmond, Va. The Falcons (14-2, 7-0 SoCon) extend their win streak to 14 straight. Bellarmine caps their season with a 6-9 overall record and a 3-4 mark in SoCon action.
The Falcons struck early as Cameron Carter found Chris Walsch for the first goal of the game, 51 seconds into the first quarter. The goal marked Walsch's 55th point this season, tying his personal season best from 2015. Bellarmine struck back with a goal from Brian Wall at 10:08 remaining in the first.
Andrew Tien scored his 16th goal of the season after finding an opening to regain the lead, 2-1. The Knights responded with an unassisted goal two minutes later, knotting the score, 2-2, at the end of the first quarter.
One minute into the second quarter, Danny Brown found Walsch for his second goal of the day. The action continued back and forth as Bellarmine's Brian Wall found the nylon one minute later for his second goal.
Walsch returned the favor, finding Carter open for his ninth goal of the season. The Knights would tie the game again with Dylan Gatt's goal at 5:00 remaining in the first half. The Falcons and Knights entered halftime tied at four.
Air Force held the first half advantage in ground balls scooping up 12 to Bellarmine's 10, while the Knights took 14 shots to the Falcon's 13. Both teams won five faceoffs and both goal keepers made four saves.
Bellarmine took their first lead of the game following Andrew Schoeneck's goal 12 seconds into the second half. Nick Hruby netted a goal from Tien's assist with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter to tie the game at five.
With 2:11 remaining in the third quarter, Danny Brown found Walsch for his third goal of the game and fifth hat trick on the season. The Falcons extended the lead, 7-5, with Tien's second goal of the day from Cameron Carter's assist.
Hruby found Marcus Ward open for his eighth goal of the season and a four goal streak early in the fourth quarter, giving the Falcons their largest lead of the game, 8-5.
The Knights ceased the goal streak with two goals of their own from Gatt and Tucker Ciessau to narrow the lead to one goal.
Walsch made his 27th assist of the season after finding Christopher Allen for his first goal of the game. Walsch's assist tied him for first in the Falcon record book for single-season assists. Allen has netted a goal in 13 consecutive games this season.
Tien earned his third point of the game after he assisted Danny Brown with his ninth goal of the season with just over a minute remaining in regulation. The Knight's Schoeneck found the back of the net with 21 seconds in regulation. The Falcons held the Knights off for the remainder of the game, finalizing the SoCon semi-final game, 10-8.
Seven Falcons netted goals on the game and four Falcons had three points or more. Walsch led the team with five points from three goals and two assists. Tien tied a personal game best with four points from two goals and two assists. Brown, Carter, Walsch and Tien had two assists apiece while Hruby tallied one. Alex Warden held the Knight's leading scorer Tucker Ciesseau to one goal on the game.
Air Force took 28 shots and picked up 24 ground balls while the Knights took 25 shots and scooped up 20 ground balls. Goalkeepers Doug Gouchoe and Max Cartor had seven saves apiece.
The Falcons will square off against the winner of the semi-finals matchup between Richmond and High Point in the SoCon Championship, May 7, at noon ET, in Richmond, Va.