Air Force Set To Take On Service-Academy Rival Army In Nationally Televised Contest
The Air Force lacrosse team (4-4) hits the road on Saturday, April 1, for a 4:00 p.m. (ET) contest at service-academy rival Army. The game, which will be played in Michie Stadium, is scheduled to be broadcast live nationally on ESPNU.
Last Time Out...
Air Force improved to 3-0 at home while extending its winning streak to four games with a 10-5 victory over St. John's last Saturday.
Although the Red Storm took the early 1-0 lead, the Falcons got out to a 6-3 advantage at halftime, behind four first-half scores by sophomore Kevin Crumrine. Air Force never looked back, and with the only goal of the fourth period, the Falcons walked away with the 10-5 win.
Crumrine finished with five points, adding an assist to his four goals, while junior tri-captain Will Meister also had five points, with one goal and four assists. Meanwhile, senior Justin Pavoni was solid between the pipes for Air Force, finishing with 13 saves and four ground balls.
Head Coach Fred Acee...
Air Force head coach Fred Acee is in his ninth season at the helm of the Falcons' program and his 39th season overall as a collegiate lacrosse coach.
A 1963 graduate of Cortland State, Acee coached at SUNY-Farmingdale, a two-year college on Long Island, for 30 years, compiling an overall mark of 312-119-1 and advancing to the NJCAA Final Four 25 times. Since Acee's arrival at the Academy in the fall of 1997, the Falcons have yearly played top notch Division I schedules, compiling a record of 30-80.
Scouting the Black Knights...
Army, ranked 20th in the latest STX/USILA Coaches' Poll, enters this weekend's contest with a 4-4 overall mark, including a perfect 3-0 record at home. The Black Knights suffered a tough 11-6 road loss to fourth-ranked Hofstra on Tuesday.
John Walker (eight goals, 12 assists) leads Army's offense with 20 points on the season, while Mike Obringer has a team-best 10 goals to go with his six assists. Sophomore Adam Fullerton has seen the majority of action in goal for Army, compiling a .588 save percentage and 8.08 GAA.
Army is coached by Joe Alberici (Alfred '91), who has compiled a 4-4 mark in his first season at the helm of the Black Knights' program and a 12-10 career ledger.
In the Series...
Army leads the all-time series versus Air Force, 12-0, with all 12 previous contests being played in West Point. While the Black Knights picked up a 10-6 win over the Falcons last year, two of the last three contests between the two teams have gone into overtime.
Falcons in the National Rankings...
In the latest national rankings through games of March 26, Air Force found itself ranked in several statistical categories. The Falcons are rated 21st in scoring defense (7.88), 26th in win percentage (.500) and 28th in scoring margin (0.5).
In addition, several Air Force players are rated in the individual rankings. Junior Will Meister is currently 13th in the nation in assists per game (1.88), goalkeeper Justin Pavoni is rated 19th, 24th and 25th in save percentage (.578), ground balls (4.75) and goals against average (8.27), respectively, and face-offs specialists Kyle O'Neill and John Smith rank 30th (.522) and 43rd (.446), respectively, in face-off win percentage.
In the conference rankings, Meister leads the GWLL in assists per game, while sophomore Kevin Crumrine ranks third in goals per contest (2.12). Meister and Crumrine are tied for points per game with 2.62. Pavoni ranks second in saves per game, third in save percentage, fourth in goals against average and is tied for second in ground balls per game. Finally, O'Neill and Smith rank sixth and ninth, respectively, in face-off win percentage.
Pavoni Moves Up In the Record Books...
With 85 saves through the first eight games of the season, senior Justin Pavoni sits in seventh place on the career saves list at the Academy with 391 total saves, and needs 96 more saves to move past Chris Cicere into sixth place.
Most impressive about Pavoni's feat is not only that he has accomplished it against a rigorous Division I schedule (many of Air Force's teams in the first 25+ years of the program played Division II and III teams), but he has also made his mark in just over two full years of play, as Pavoni did not see action as a freshman.
The Falcons return home next week for a pair of games, first hosting Quinnipiac in the conference opener at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7. Then, Air Force will wrap up the weekend by playing host to Bellarmine on Sunday, April 9, in a 1:00 p.m. contest.