Air Force Hosts No. 8 Denver in ECAC Match-Up
Freshman Ryland De Pol

March 22, 2012

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The Air Force lacrosse team returns home this weekend, March 24, as it hosts eighth-ranked Denver in an ECAC rivalry game. The contest is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. in Falcon Stadium.

Live Stats/Video:
Series History: Air Force leads, 52-18
Last Meeting: Last season, Air Force dropped a 14-7 road decision to 15th-ranked Denver on March 26.

In its first ECAC contest of the season, Air Force dropped a 15-8 decision to fifth-ranked Loyola Saturday in Baltimore. The Falcons held a 7-4 advantage at the intermission, but were outscored 11-1 in the second half. Sophomore Mike Crampton (3g, 1a) and freshman Keith Dreyer (1g, 3a) each tallied four points to lead the Falcons' offense, while goalkeeper Austin Fox registered a career-best 15 saves.

Air Force enters this weekend's contest with a 3-3 overall record and 0-1 mark in the ECAC following its loss to fifth-ranked Loyola on Saturday.

Freshman Keith Dreyer leads the Falcons' offense with 26 points on the season, including a team-best 17 assists, while sophomore Mike Crampton is the team's top goal scorer with 15 tallies on the year.

Denver, ranked eighth in the latest USILA coaches poll and ninth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, currently holds a 4-3 record on the season and an 0-1 mark in the ECAC. The Pioneers are coming off a 9-8 overtime loss to fourth-ranked Cornell on Tuesday.

Mark Matthews leads Denver with 30 points on the season, including a team-best 20 goals, while Alex Demopoulos (9g, 13a) and Eric Law (15g, 6a) add 22 and 21 points on the year, respectively. In addition, Chase Carraro is the Pioneers' top face-off specialist, winning over 64 percent (93-of-145) of his face-off attempts.

In the latest national statistical rankings released by the NCAA (through games of March 18), Air Force ranks second in the nation in man-up offense (.650) and third in assists per game (9.2), while ranking in the top 20 in three other categories: points per game (8th/20.17), scoring offense (14th/11.5) and scoring margin (18th/+1.5), shot percentage (20th/.311).

In addition, the Falcons have several players who are ranked among the top 30 nationally in various statistical categories. Freshman Keith Dreyer ranks third in the nation in assists per game with 2.83 and ranks tied for 10th nationally in points per game (4.33), while sophomore Mike Crampton ranks tied for 21st in goals per game (2.5). In addition, sophomore Erik Smith ranks tied for 22nd nationally in ground balls per contest (5.0), while junior goalkeeper Austin Fox is ranked 24th in saves per game (9.83).

Through games of March 18, Denver ranks second nationally in shot percentage (.382), while ranking in the top five in five other statistical categories: scoring offense (3rd/13.5), face-off win percentage (3rd/.612), points per game (3rd/21.83), scoring margin (4th/+5.33) and assists per game (4th/8.33).

Individually, Mark Matthews leads the way for the Pioneers, ranking tied for fifth nationally in points per game (4.5), tied for 12th in goals per game (2.83) and tied for 21st in assists per game (1.67). Eric Law ranks tied for fifth in shot percentage (.556) and tied for 21st in goals per game (2.5), while Alex Demopoulos is tied for 12th in assists per game (2.0) and tied for 30th in points per game (3.5). Face-off specialist Chase Carraro ranks tied for sixth nationally in face-off win percentage (.635), while also ranking tied for 22nd in ground balls per game, while goalkeeper Jamie Faus ranks 14th in goals against average (8.19) and 26th in save percentage (.524).

While Air Force was able to grab a 7-4 half-time advantage over fifth-ranked Loyola on Saturday, the Falcons were unable to sustain their momentum after the break. The Greyhounds dominated offensively in the second half, winning 10-of-14 face-offs and outshooting the Falcons, 25-10. Air Force's only goal in the last two periods came with just 1:25 remaining to play.

Three different Falcons have registered at least one point in each game, as sophomore Mike Crampton and freshmen Ryland De Pol and Keith Dreyer have contributed to Air Force's scoring in each contest this year. Crampton and De Pol are also the only two Falcons who have notched at least one goal in all six games this season.

As a sophomore, Crampton leads the Falcons in career goals scored with 31 and has tallied at least one goal in eight straight contests, dating back to last season.

Air Force has found success on the offensive end early this season, averaging 11.5 goals per contest through the first six games of the year. In contrast, the Falcons averaged just 9.0 goals per game in 2011.

There are currently six players on the Falcons' roster who are averaging at least one goal per game and five who are averaging at least two points per contest. Leading the way is freshman Keith Dreyer, who has tallied 26 points on the year, ranking tied for 10th in the nation in points per game.

Air Force Lacrosse is now on Facebook and Twitter. For even more up-to-date information about the Falcons, including videos, links, photos and events, visit the Air Force Lacrosse page on Facebook ( and click "Like" or follow the Falcons on Twitter (@AFLacrosse).

The Falcons head to Jacksonville, Fla., for a mid-week contest, facing Jacksonville on Tuesday, March 27. The game is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at The Bolles School.



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