Air Force Opens ECAC Play at Bellarmine
Freshman Alex Warden

March 7, 2013

Weekly Release #5 Get Acrobat Reader

The Air Force lacrosse team opens its ECAC slate this weekend, March 9, when it travels to Louisville, Ky., to face conference foe Bellarmine.

Live Stats/Video:
Series History: Air Force leads, 5-2
Last Meeting: Air Force 12, Bellarmine 8 (4/8/12 @ USAFA)

With its lowest scoring output of the year, Air Force came up short in an 8-6 home loss to Marquette last Saturday. Junior Tommy McKee carried the Falcons' offense, tallying five of Air Force's six goals. Meanwhile, junior Erik Smith led the Falcons' efforts at the face-off X, winning 9-of-10 draws against the Golden Eagles.

Air Force currently holds a 4-2 record on the year and 0-0 mark in the ECAC following its home loss to Marquette last weekend.

The Falcons' offense is led by junior captain Mike Crampton, who has registered 20 points (14g, 6a) on the season, while classmate Tommy McKee has recorded a team-leading 19 goals. In addition, junior Erik Smith (9g, 5a) and sophomore Keith Dreyer (4g, 10a) have each added 13 points. Smith also leads the Falcons with 37 ground balls, while senior goalie Austin Fox has recorded 63 stops between the pipes.

Bellarmine, receiving votes in both the USILA coaches poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, enters this weekend's contest with a 4-1 overall record and 1-1 mark in the ECAC. The Knights are coming off a 10-4 victory over Detroit on Tuesday.

Cameron Gardner leads Bellarmine with 16 points on the season, including a team-high 14 goals, while Karsen Leung has added 14 points, including a team-leading 11 assists. Goalkeeper Dillon Ward has registered 77 saves through the first five games of the season and holds a 5.33 GAA.

Junior Tommy McKee single-handedly kept the Falcons' offense in the game on Saturday versus Marquette, scoring five of Air Force's six goals against the Golden Eagles. McKee's five goals were a season high and just one short of his career-best output.

McKee, who already has 19 goals this season, currently ranks 10th in the nation in goals per game, averaging 3.17 per contest.

Air Force has won the battle at the face-off X in each of its last three games, with junior captains Bryan Price and Erik Smith combining for a .677 win percentage over that stretch. Price led the way against Canisius, winning 9-of-10 against the Golden Griffins, while Smith won 10-of-15 versus Lehigh and 9-of-10 against Marquette.

Smith is currently rated 19th in the nation in face-off win percentage, winning 45-of-82 draws (.549) in all games this season.

So far this season, four different players have registered hat tricks, led by juniors Tommy McKee with four and Mike Crampton with three. McKee recorded three goals against North Carolina, four goals against both High Point and Lehigh and five goals versus Marquette this past weekend. Meanwhile, Crampton tallied four goals against High Point and three scores versus Rutgers and Lehigh. Crampton now has a team-best 11 hat tricks for his career, while McKee is second on the team with 10 career hat tricks.

In addition, sophomore Keith Dreyer and freshman Christopher Allen both recorded hat tricks in the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic. Dreyer scored a team-leading three goals in the Falcons' win over Canisius, marking the fourth hat trick of his career, while Allen tallied his first career hat trick with three goals versus Lehigh on Sunday.

Junior Mike Crampton has scored at least one goal in 21 straight games, dating back to the 2011 season. He currently holds the third-longest goal scoring streak among active Division I players.

Meanwhile, classmate Tommy McKee has scored at least one goal in 13 consecutive games, a streak which ties for the 11th-longest in the nation.

Air Force will face conference foe Loyola next weekend, March 16, at the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic, being held at Sports Authority Field in Denver.



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