March 29, 2012
Weekly Release #8
The Air Force lacrosse team returns home this weekend, March 31, for a non-conference match-up versus Mercer. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Falcon Stadium.
Live Stats/Video: goairforcefalcons.com
Series History: Air Force leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: In the first-ever game between the two teams, Air Force rolled to a 14-5 victory over Mercer on April 2 in Macon, Ga.
LAST TIME OUT...
Air Force closed out the third period with five unanswered goals en route to an 11-8 road victory over Jacksonville Tuesday evening at the Bolles School. Freshman Keith Dreyer tallied a career-high four goals to pace the Falcons' offense, while sophomore Tommy McKee added his second hat trick of the season. Sophomore Bryan Price led Air Force at the face-off X, winning 13-of-20 draws, while picking up a career-best 11 ground balls and registering the first two assists of his career.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS...
Air Force comes into the weekend with a 4-4 overall record after defeating Jacksonville, 11-8, on the road on Tuesday evening.
Freshman Keith Dreyer leads the Falcons' offense with 32 points on the season, including a team-best 19 assists, while sophomore Mike Crampton is the team's top goal scorer with 18 tallies on the year.
SCOUTING THE BEARS...
Mercer, in just its second season of varsity competition, enters this weekend with a 1-9 record on the season following a 17-8 loss to Towson on March 21.
Zack Ward has scored a team-best 24 points this season, leading the Bears in both goals (15) and assists (9). Meanwhile, face-off midfielder Justin Evans has picked up 73 ground balls on the year and owns a .528 face-off win percentage.
AIR FORCE IN THE STATISTICAL RANKINGS...
In the latest national statistical rankings released by the NCAA (through games of March 25), Air Force leads the nation in man-up offense (.650) and ranks fifth in assists per game (8.14), while ranking in the top 25 in five other categories: points per game (12th/19.14), scoring offense (17th/11.0), scoring margin (23rd/+0.86), shot percentage (23rd/.304) and turnovers per game (24th/15.14).
In addition, the Falcons have several players who are ranked among the top 35 nationally in various statistical categories. Freshman Keith Dreyer ranks second in the nation in assists per game with 2.71 and tied for 14th nationally in points per game (4.0), while sophomore Mike Crampton ranks tied for 31st in goals per game (2.29). In addition, junior goalkeeper Austin Fox is ranked 28th in saves per game (9.71), while sophomore Erik Smith ranks 35th nationally in ground balls per contest (4.57).
HOW THEY RATE...
Through games of March 25, Mercer ranks fifth in the nation in ground balls per game (35.2), while ranking 18th in caused turnovers per game (7.9). Individually, Justin Evans is fifth nationally in ground balls per contest (7.3) and 31st in face-off win percentage (.528), while Alex Goldsberry ranks tied for 26th in caused turnovers per game (1.6).
AT THE FACE-OFF X...
Although Air Force has struggled on face-offs this season, the Falcons have held the advantage at the X in its past two contests. Last Saturday against Denver, which entered the game tied for fifth nationally in face-off win percentage, the Falcons earned the slight edge, winning 13-of-24 against the Pioneers.
Meanwhile, Air Force had another solid performance at the face-off X against Jacksonville on Tuesday, winning 14-of-22 versus the Dolphins. Leading the way for the Falcons has been sophomore Bryan Price, who has won a combined 24-of-39 face-offs in the past two contests.
THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT...
This season, the bulk of Air Force's offensive production has come from its underclassmen, who have scored 78 of the Falcons' 88 goals on the year (88.6 percent) and 58 of 61 assists (95.0 percent).
Of the six Falcons who have registered at least 10 points this season, two are freshmen--Keith Dreyer (32 pts.) and Ryland De Pol (12 pts.)--while the other four are sophomores--Mike Crampton (22 pts.), Erik Smith (17 pts.), Tommy McKee (16 pts.) and Kyle Cassady (12 pts.).
The Falcons return to conference play next Sunday, April 8, when they host Bellarmine in a 12:00 p.m. contest.