Air Force Takes 11-9 Win Over Sacred Heart In Home Opener
USAFA, Colo. - Fighting off a late rally by the visiting Pioneers, the Air Force lacrosse team secured an 11-9 victory over Sacred Heart in its home opener Friday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. The Falcons improve to 1-4 on the season with the win, while the Pioneers fall to 0-3.
Air Force dominated the first period, rolling out to a 5-0 lead with a trio of scored by senior tri-captain Max Miller (Dublin, Ohio) sandwiched in between scores by Griffin Nevitt (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) and Kevin Crumrine (So., Edgewater, Md.). Although Sacred Heart freshman Bobby Karl notched his first collegiate goal to open the second period, the Falcons' Justin Kuchta (Jr., Ridgefield, Conn.) helped Air Force regain its five-goal margin on an assist by Miller at the 13:26 mark. The two teams continued to trade goals in the period, as the Falcons went into the locker room with a 7-3 advantage.
A pair of goals by Air Force to begin the third stanza helped the Falcons increase their lead to 9-3, but the Pioneers rattled off two more scores within a span of 20 seconds to cut the margin to four. Crumrine's third tally of the day, off the feed by junior tri-captain Will Meister (Denver, Colo.) gave Air Force a 10-5 advantage, but Sacred Heart was not done fighting. The Pioneers closed the half with three unanswered scores, and with an unassisted goal by Tony Tanzi at the 11:21 mark in the fourth quarter, suddenly Sacred Heart was within a single goal.
However, the Falcons were not ready to let their lead slip away. Able to keep the Pioneers from finding the back of the net, Air Force was able to tack on the insurance goal at the 3:44 mark in the fourth quarter when Kuchta sent the ball past back-up goalkeeper Jim Millhausen. The Falcons were able to hold on to secure their first victory of their season with the 11-9 decision.
Miller led the Falcons with three goals and an assist, while Kuchta and Crumrine added three scores each. Also finding the back of the net for Air Force were Nevitt and Peter Krasco (So., Medford, Mass.), while Meister had three assists and Krasco, Paul Adams (Sr., Arvada, Colo.), Patrick Mitchell (Sr., Vienna, Va.) and Chris Tubesing (So., Centreville, Va.) added an assist each. Senior goalkeeper Justin Pavoni (Park City, Utah) had 13 saves and eight ground balls between the pipes for Air Force, while John Smith (Sr., Merion, Pa.) led the Falcons in face-offs, winning 8-of-12.
For the Pioneers, Karl finished with three goals and an assist, Tanzi added two goals and two assists and Peter Greco has two goals and an assist to lead the teams. Tanzi also won 7-of-11 face-offs, while Thomas Hind notched six saves in 45 minutes in goal for Sacred Heart.
The Falcons are back in action next Tuesday, March 14, when they host Siena in a 3:00 p.m. contest at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium.
Air Force 11, Sacred Heart 9
Sacred Heart Scoring: Goals: Bobby Karl 3, Tony Tanzi 2, Peter Greco 2, Kiel Adams, Brenden McAuley. Assists: Tony Tanzi 2, Peter Greco, Bobby Karl.
Air Force Scoring: Goals: Max Miller 3, Justin Kuchta 3, Kevin Crumrine 3, Peter Krasco, Griffin Nevitt. Assists: Will Meister 3, Paul Adams, Max Miller, Patrick Mitchell, Chris Tubesing.