Air Force Travels To UMBC For Non-Conference Match-Up
The Air Force lacrosse team (0-3) heads out to Baltimore, Md., this weekend, March 4, as they visit UMBC for a 12:00 p.m. (ET) contest.
Last Time Out...
Air Force took part in Denver's Pioneer Face-Off Classic last weekend, first matching up against 13th-ranked North Carolina before taking on Manhattan on the final day of the tournament.
On Saturday, the Falcons used a pair of scores by freshman Griffin Nevitt to take a 3-2 lead at the half against the Tar Heels, but North Carolina rattled off six unanswered goals in the third period to take the lead. Although Air Force outscored UNC 3-0 in the fourth quarter, it was not enough as the Tar Heels held on for the 8-6 victory.
Air Force again had an early lead in its game on Sunday, going up 3-0 at intermission against the Jaspers. Manhattan responded by scoring the next four goals to go on top, before the Falcons' Justin Kuchta notched an unassisted goal with 27 seconds remaining to knot the score at 4-4. However, Manhattan's Brian Murray tallied his fourth goal of the contest just 13 seconds later to seal the 5-4 victory for the Jaspers.
Two Falcons were named to the All-Pioneer Face-Off Classic team for their performance on the weekend. Nevitt was one of the midfielders chosen to the team, while junior Daniel Breiding was a defensive selection on the all-tournament team.
Head Coach Fred Acee...
Air Force head coach Fred Acee is in his ninth season at the helm of the Falcons' program and his 39th season overall as a collegiate lacrosse coach.
A 1963 graduate of Cortland State, Acee coached at SUNY-Farmingdale, a two-year college on Long Island, for 30 years, compiling an overall mark of 312-119-1 and advancing to the NJCAA Final Four 25 times. Since Acee's arrival at the Academy in the fall of 1997, the Falcons have yearly played top notch Division I schedules, compiling a record of 26-79.
Scouting the Retrievers...
UMBC, receiving votes in the latest media poll released by Inside Lacrosse magazine, enters this weekend with a 1-0 record after defeating Brown, 6-4, in its season opener Saturday.
The Retrievers never trailed against the Bears, getting out to a 3-0 lead, before Brown eventually tied the score at 4-4 in the third period. However, two more UMBC goals sealed the season-opening victory for the Retrievers for the first time since 2003. Evan Kay, Drew Westervelt and Andy Gallagher all scored twice each for UMBC, while freshman goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins finished with nine saves.
UMBC is coached by Don Zimmerman (Johns Hopkins, '76), who has compiled a 81-79 mark in his 13th season at the helm of the Retrievers' program and a career record of 154-95 (20th year).
In the Series...
UMBC holds a 7-1 advantage in the all-time series versus Air Force. The teams last met in 1988, with the Retrievers handing the Falcons a narrow 9-8 loss. Air Force's lone victory over UMBC came in 1971, when the Falcons' only loss came in the NCAA Quarterfinals. That year Air Force picked up an 11-3 win over the Retrievers.
Pavoni Moves Up In the Record Books...
With 26 saves through the first three games of the season, senior Justin Pavoni has moved from ninth to seventh place on the career saves list at the Academy with 332 total saves, and needs 135 saves to move past Chris Cicere into sixth place.
Most impressive about Pavoni's feat is not only that he has accomplished it against a rigorous Division I schedule (many of Air Force's teams in the first 25+ years of the program played Division II and III teams), but he has also made his mark in just over two full years of play, as Pavoni did not see action as a freshman.
The Falcons open the 2006 home slate next week, Friday, March 10, as they play host to Sacred Heart in a 3:00 p.m. contest.