Air Force Upsets Ninth-Ranked Notre Dame, 9-8
USAFA, Colo. - Rallying back from a second-quarter 3-0 deficit, the Air Force lacrosse team knocked off ninth-ranked Notre Dame in Great Western Lacrosse League action Sunday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. The Falcons, coming off their first home loss of the season, improve to 7-6 on the season, and 2-0 in the GWLL, while the Fighting Irish fall to 7-4 on the year, 1-2 in league play.
A pair of goals by Notre Dame's Brian Hubschmann in the first period gave the Fighting Irish a 2-0 lead and Matt Karweck extended the team's advantage to three midway through the second quarter off of Matt Walsh's first assist of the afternoon. The Falcons finally made it onto the scoreboard at the 2:20 mark in the period as junior Conrad Lochocki (Chalfont, Pa.) netted an assist from freshman Griffin Nevitt (Charlotte, N.C.), while an assist from sophomore Kevin Crumrine (Edgewater, Md.) to Will Meister (Jr., Denver, Colo.) two minutes later tied the score at 2-2 just prior to intermission. After winning the ensuing face-off and calling a timeout, the Falcons were able to take their first lead of the contest as Nevitt notched an unassisted score just two seconds before the end of the half.
Air Force's lead was extended to two goals in the first minute after the break, as Lochocki netted an assist from Meister, but a man-up goal for the Fighting Irish at the 12:32 mark in the third period cut the lead back to one. Lochocki had an immediate answer, intercepting a Notre Dame face-off win and bringing it down for another score just 17 seconds later. Although Hubschmann's third goal of the afternoon came within the next two minutes, the Fighting Irish were unable to tie the score once more. A thirty-second penalty against Notre Dame resulted in another score for Lochocki, assisted once more by Meister, with just eight seconds remaining in the third period.
It wasn't long before the Fighting Irish were able to tie the game once again, as Karweck scored on another Walsh assist 54 seconds into the final period. However, Lochocki's career-high-tying fifth goal of the game came a minute and a half later, while senior John Smith (Merion, Pa.) won the following face-off and scored to give Air Force the lead for good. Though Walsh and Karweck connected for Notre Dame's next score, they were unable to overcome their deficit. Junior Justin Kuchta (Ridgefield, Conn.) added the Falcons' ninth goal of the contest, and despite a final score by Notre Dame with just under three minutes to play, it was not enough for the Irish to avoid the upset.
The Falcons outshot the Irish 34-26 for the contest, but allowed 11 shots by Notre Dame in the fourth period alone. Goalkeeper Justin Pavoni (Sr., Park City, Utah) was particularly clutch for the Falcons, finishing the game with 13 saves and six ground balls, while grabbing five saves in the final quarter. The Irish also had a slight edge on face-offs, winning 12-of-20 in the game.
In addition to Lochocki's five goals for the Falcons, Meister and Nevitt each added three points on one goal and two assists, while Crumrine had two assists.
For Notre Dame, Walsh finished with a team-high five points on one goal and four assists, Karweck had four points (two goals, two assists) and Hubschmann added three goals. Meanwhile, sophomore Joey Kemp was solid between the pipes for the Irish, finishing with 10 saves.
The Falcons, currently tied with Denver for first-place in the GWLL, are back in action next week when they hit the road for a pair of league contests as they travel to Butler on April 21 for a 3:00 p.m. contest, followed by a 12:00 p.m. meeting with Ohio State on April 23.
Air Force 9, No. 9 Notre Dame 8
Notre Dame Scoring: Goals: Brian Hubschmann 3, Matt Karweck 2, Ryan Hoff 2, Pat Walsh. Assists: Pat Walsh 4, Matt Karweck 2, Drew Peters, Matt Ryan.
Air Force Scoring: Goals: Conrad Lochocki 5, Will Meister, Griffin Nevitt, John Smith, Justin Kuchta. Assists: Griffin Nevitt 2, Kevin Crumrine 2, Will Meister 2.