Falcons Pick Up 10-5 Home Win Over St. Johnís
USAFA, Colo. - Led by five points each for junior Will Meister (Denver, Colo.) and sophomore Kevin Crumrine (Edgewater, Md.), the Air Force lacrosse team defeated visiting St. John's, 10-5, Saturday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. With their fourth-consecutive victory, the Falcons improve to 4-4 on the season, 3-0 at home, while the Red Storm falls to 2-4 on the year.
St. John's got on board in the first minute of the contest as Justin O'Donnell scored on the feed from Rob Gannon. Crumrine answered with his first goal less than a minute later on the assist by senior Max Miller (Dublin, Ohio), while Miller's Meister-assisted score at the 8:19 mark put Air Force ahead, 2-1. O'Donnell tied the game once more with just under five minutes to play in the opening period before another Miller assist to Crumrine put Air Force ahead for good.
Crumrine's third goal of the game came at the 4:50 mark in the second period, this time off an assist by senior John Smith (Marion, Pa.), while Meister sent a solo shot into the goal just 34 seconds later. The Red Storm's Tom Michaelsen put an end to the Air Force run with a score with 3:45 remaining in the half, but Crumrine again put the ball in the net to give the Falcons a 6-3 advantage at intermission.
In a rough and tumble third period where each team committed three penalties, Meister found junior Justin Kuchta (Ridgefield, Conn.) for an extra-man score, but Michaelsen scored his own man-up goal just a minute later. A pair of overlapping penalties by the Red Storm gave Air Force a significant extra-man advantage around the 10 minute mark, and as the penalty was being released, Meister tallied yet another assist, this time to junior Conrad Lochocki (Chalfont, Pa.) who sent it into the cage to give the Falcons an 8-4 advantage.
Three minutes later, Lochocki tallied another score, this time on the assist from Crumrine, but St. John's cut the deficit back to four goals just before the expiration of the third period, as Gannon took the assist from Felix Forbes. The final quarter was a solid defensive effort for both teams, as Air Force sophomore Chris Tubesing (Centreville, Va.) was the only one to score, with yet another assist from Meister, giving the Falcons the 10-5 win.
Despite the final score, St. John's did dominate several aspects of the game, outshooting Air Force 33-24, picking up 34 ground balls to the Falcons' 19, and winning 16-of-19 face-offs, led by Devin Madden, who won 16 of his face-offs taken for the Red Storm. Still, Air Force was helped by a solid defensive effort, led by senior goalkeeper Justin Pavoni (Park City, Utah). Pavoni, named the GWLL Player of the Week for his exceptional play in the Falcons upset of then-16th-ranked Dartmouth last weekend, was again solid between the pipes for Air Force, collecting 13 saves and four ground balls, while also getting two interceptions.
In addition to Meister and Crumrine's five points each to lead the Air Force offense, Miller added three points (one goal, two assists). For the Red Storm, Justin O'Donnell (two goals), Tom Michaelsen (two goals) and Rob Gannon (one goal, one assist), all had two points each.
The Falcons return to action next Saturday, April 1, when they travel to West Point, N.Y., to face service academy rival Army. The game is slated to begin at 4:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on ESPN-U.
Air Force 10, St. John's 5
St. John's Scoring: Goals: Tom Michaelsen 2, Justin O'Donnell 2, Rob Gannon. Assists: Felix Forbes, Rob Gannon, John Kutner, Jack Rosson.
Air Force Scoring: Goals: Kevin Crumrine 4, Conrad Lochocki 2, Will Meister, Max Miller, Justin Kuchta, Chris Tubesing. Assists: Will Meister 4, Max Miller 2, Kevin Crumrine, Griffin Nevitt, John Smith.