Air Force Drops 7-6 Contest To Bucknell
USAFA, Colo. - Junior tri-captain Will Meister (Denver, Colo.) exploded for five points in the first half, but a slugggish second-half team offensive performance spelled doom for the Air Force lacrosse team, as it fell to visiting Bucknell, 7-6, Friday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. The Falcons, who entered the contest with a 5-0 mark at home, fall to 6-6 on the season, while the Bison improve to 5-6 overall.
Bucknell grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the contest before the Air Force defense was able to take control for the remainder of the opening period. However, it was not until the 11:43 mark in the second quarter that the Falcons were finally able to get on the scoreboard, as sophomore Chris Tubesing (Centreville, Va.) scored off the feed from Meister. Two minutes later, Meister notched his second assist of the game, this time on a pass to junior Justin Kuchta (Ridgefield, Conn.), to tie the score at 2-2.
Air Force grabbed its first lead of the game with just under five minutes to play in the half as sophomore Kevin Crumrine (Edgewater, Md.) scored his first goal of the contest on the assist from Meister. After setting up his teammates all afternoon, Meister finally notched his own tally at the 3:15 mark to give the Falcons the 4-2 advantage. Then, with just two minutes to play before intermission, junior Conrad Lochocki (Chalfont, Pa.) scored on yet another Meister assist, to put Air Force up 5-2 at the half.
While the second period belonged to the Falcons, Bucknell was not ready to give up, scoring on a man-up opportunity just 12 seconds into the third quarter. Crumrine's second goal of the day, on an assist from freshman Griffin Nevitt (Charlotte, N.C.), pushed Air Force's lead back out to 6-3 with just under 10 minutes left in the quarter. However, the Bison responded with three unanswered scores by the 3:14 mark to tie the game at 6-6. Finally, with just 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Bucknell's Joe Mele notched his second goal of the day, the score which would prove to be the game-winner, as neither team was able to find the net in the final period.
Although Air Force outshot Bucknell 32-20 for the contest, the Falcons were hurt by an inability to score on the extra-man opportunity, going 0-5 on the EMO, including a three-minute stretch to begin the fourth quarter after an illegal stick was called against Bucknell. The Falcons also won just 5-of-14 face-offs, but committed just 10 turnovers to 24 for the Bison.
While Meister finished with a game-high five points, Kirk Klett led the Bison with three goals while Mele added two goals. Meanwhile, Matt Baran tallied 13 saves between the pipes for Bucknell, while Air Force goalkeeper Justin Pavoni had five saves and four ground balls.
The Falcons wrap up their four-game homestand on Sunday, April 14, when they host GWLL-foe Notre Dame, ranked ninth in the nation, in a 2:00 p.m. contest.
Bucknell 7, Air Force 6
Bucknell Scoring: Goals: Kirk Klett 3, Joe Mele 2, Steve Case, Tommy Moore. Assists: John Togneri 2, Mike Thon, Matt Castele, Steve Case.
Air Force Scoring: Goals: Kevin Crumrine 2, Chris Tubesing, Justin Kuchta, Will Meister, Conrad Lochocki. Assists: Will Meister 4, Griffin Nevitt.