Falcons Open 2005 Lacrosse Season At VMI
The Air Force lacrosse team opens its 2005 season on the road this week, as it travels to service academy opponent VMI. The Falcons will take on the Keydets at noon (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 27 at Patchin Field in Lexington, Va.
Although the 2005 Air Force lacrosse team returns only five seniors, all are hardened veterans and the Falcons are quietly confident and looking forward to a very successful 2005 season. This confidence is borne from a number of factors from 2004, including the team's victory over top-ranked Virginia, five one-goal loses and three weeks ranked among the nation's top 20.
Sophomore Will Meister, who notched 11 goals and 14 assists in 2004, will lead the attack, while senior co-captain D.J. Benzing (10 a, 15 g in 2004) heads up the midfield. Senior co-captain and preseason All-America selection Tim Hade will anchor the long-stick midfield position, while fellow preseason All-American Justin Pavoni will take his place between the pipes for the second season.
Scouting the Keydets...
Sunday's game marks the season opener for VMI, as its game against Bellarmine, originally slated for Thursday, Feb. 24, has been postponed due to inclement weather.
The Keydets return 21 letterwinners from a sqaud which went 0-12 in 2004, including six of their seven double-digit scorers. Among the leading returnees are top scorer Robert Trimble, along with senior tri-captains Erik Rohrmann, Jay Morgan and Matt Hook.
In the Series...
The Falcons are 9-0 all-time against VMI. The two teams last met in 2002, when Air Force captured a 9-2 victory.
The Falcons are 26-12 all-time in season openers. Air Force has won two of its last three season openers, including a 7-6 victory over top-ranked defending national champion Virginia last year.
Hade, Pavoni Named Pre-season All-Americans...
Both senior Tim Hade and junior Justin Pavoni were honorable mention selections on the list chosen by Inside Lacrosse in conjunction with Face-Off Yearbook.
Hade, a co-captain for the Falcons in 2005, started nine games as a junior, and earned a spot on the All-GWLL second team. Hade notched 44 ground balls in 2004 and was the recipient of the team's Hoover Award. He also was co-recipient of the team's most improved defensive player award.
Pavoni, the Falcons' returning starter in the goal, played in and started 11 games in 2004. In his first season of action, he played over 660 minutes in goal, recording a .637 save percentage. Pavoni also led the team with 51 ground balls on his way to earning second-team All-GWLL accolades.
The Falcons return to Colorado next week, as they compete in the Pioneer Face-Off Classic, hosted by Denver. Air Force will first take on Towson at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 5. The Falcons then wrap up the weekend on Sunday, March 6 with a 11:00 a.m. contest against Lafayette.