Falcons Drop Heartbreaker to Fairfield, 10-9
Fairfield, Conn. -
With the score tied at 9-9 with just 1:05 remaining in the contest, Fairfield's Travis Nelson scored the game-winning goal, as the Air Force lacrosse team fell to the Stags, 10-9, Wednesday afternoon in its GWLL opener at Lessing Field. The Falcons drop to 2-3 overall, 0-1 in the GWLL, while Fairfield improves to 4-2, 1-0 in the league.
Fairfield was the first to score in the game, when Nelson got on board with an assist by Kyle Herman. The Falcons responded with two quick goals, including an extra-man goal by sophomore Conrad Lochocki (Chalfont, Pa.) at the 7:58 mark. Another goal by the Stags left the score knotted at 2-2 at the end of the well-balanced first period.
The Stags came out on fire to open the second period, scoring four unanswered, including three straight by Herman, to gain a 6-2 advantage. Freshman Kevin Crumrine (Edgewater, Md.) finally stopped the Air Force scoring drought with a goal at the 7:52 mark and senior co-captain Tim Hade (Franklin Lake, N.J.) found the back of the net just six seconds later to bring the Falcons back within two goals. Each team scored once more in the half to give Fairfield a 7-5 lead at intermission.
No one was able to score for the first 10 and a half minutes after the break, until Crumrine notched his third goal of the day with 4:29 on the clock. Less than a minute later, sophomore Will Meister (Denver, Colo.) found Lochocki for his second score, as Air Force tied the game at 7-7. However, the Stags once again took control, notching the last score of the third period and the first goal of the fourth quarter.
Just 13 seconds after Fairfield went up 9-7, Meister set up Lochocki for yet another Air Force goal, cutting the deficit to one goal with just over six minutes remaining in regulation. Three minutes later, Connecticut native Justin Kuchta (So., Ridgefield, Conn.) tied the game with his second goal of the day. However, the Falcons come-from-behind rally was stopped short as Nelson scored on an extra-man opportunity to seal the victory. Air Force gave the Stags plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the extra-man situation, committing seven penalties in the game for a total of five minutes. Meanwhile, Fairfield had just one 30-second penalty in the game, which the Falcons were able to capitalize on. The Stags also outshot Air Force 40-31 in the game and had a decided advantage on face-offs, winning 18-of-23 for the game. However, the Falcons did have a solid defensive effort, particularly in the second half when they allowed just three goals, including the man-up goal.
"Tim Hade was really a star for us today," said Air Force head coach Fred Acee. "He completely shut down their top scorer, Mike Bocklet [who came in averaging 2.5 goals per game]. We got ourselves in a bit of a hole early, but we really played hard in the second half."
Scoring leaders for the Falcons were Lochocki and Crumrine with three goals each, while Meister added three assists. In addition, Kuchta scored two goals for Air Force. Meanwhile, between the pipes, junior Justin Pavoni (Jr., Park City, Utah)tallied seven saves and five ground balls.
For the Stags, Herman notched four goals and an assist, while Nelson added three goals and goalkeeper Michael Kruger recorded 10 saves.
The Falcons continue their five-game road swing on Saturday, March 26, as they travel to Queens, N.Y., to take on St. John's. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at DaSilva Memorial Field.
Fairfield 10, Air Force 9Air Force Scoring: Goals: Conrad Lochocki 3, Kevin Crumrine 3, Justin Kuchta 2, Tim Hade. Assists: Will Meister 3, D.J. Benzing, Max Miller.Fairfield Scoring: Goals: Kyle Herman 4, Travis Nelson 3, Matt Castele 2, Josh Thornton. Assists: Mike Bocklet 2, Josh Thornton 2, Greg Downing, Brendan Finnerty, Kyle Herman.