Air Force Closes Out ECAC Slate at Ohio State

    Senior captain Kyle Cassady

    Senior captain Kyle Cassady

    April 17, 2014

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    The Air Force lacrosse team closes out its ECAC slate this Saturday, April 19, as it visits Ohio State for a crucial conference match-up. The contest is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Ohio Stadium.

    Live Stats/Video:
    Series History: Ohio State leads, 19-10
    Last Meeting: Ohio State 10, Air Force 9 (4/20/13 @ USAFA)

    With strong performances on both ends of the field, the Falcons registered a 16-8 upset of 11th-ranked conference foe Fairfield last Saturday on Senior Day. Seniors Mike Crampton (3g, 3a) and Tommy McKee (5g, 1a) each scored six points to lead Air Force's offense, while senior Erik Smith and junior Keith Dreyer each added two goals and three assists. In addition, the Falcons' defense had a solid afternoon, limiting the Stags to just 20 shots and not allowing a single point by Fairfield's top three scorers.

    Air Force, which is receiving votes in both the USILA coaches poll and Warrior media poll, enters this weekend with an 8-3 overall record and 3-0 mark in the ECAC.

    Senior Mike Crampton has registered a team-leading 49 points, scoring 33 goals and 16 assists, followed by classmate Tommy McKee with 33 points (25g, 8a) and junior Keith Dreyer with 31 points (12g, 19a). Also scoring over 25 points this season are seniors Erik Smith and Kyle Cassady, with 28 and 26 points respectively.

    Ohio State, receiving votes in the latest Warrior media poll, enters this weekend's contest with a 5-6 overall record and 2-0 ledger in the ECAC. The Buckeyes are coming off a 15-6 road victory against conference foe Michigan.

    Jesse King is the leading scorer for Ohio State with 45 points (24g, 21a) on the season, while Carter Brown has added 28 points (18g, 10a). Freshman Jake Withers paces the Buckeyes at the face-off X, winning 89-of-172 face-offs (.517) on the year and picking up a team-leading 53 ground balls.

    Currently sitting at the top of the league standings, Air Force could clinch its first-ever regular-season ECAC title with a victory over Ohio State this weekend. Should the Buckeyes come away with the victory, the Falcons would still have a chance at a piece of the ECAC regular season title, depending on the outcome of the upcoming Fairfield-Ohio State game, which will be played April 29.

    SIX IN A ROW...
    With its victory over Fairfield on Saturday, Air Force claimed its sixth-consecutive win. The Falcons' six-game winning streak is their longest in a single season since 1989, when Air Force closed out the season with six straight victories.

    Air Force's eight victories this season are the most by the Falcons since 1995, when the team finished the year with a 9-3 mark. The Falcons have also clinched their first winning season since 1997, when Air Force posted a 7-5 overall ledger.

    Air Force's offense has been the key component in wins and losses this season--in the Falcons' eight victories, the team is averaging 15 goals per game. In contrast, Air Force has averaged just six goals per game in its three losses.

    For the season, the Falcons rank in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense, averaging 12.55 goals per contest.

    On April 14, senior Tommy McKee and junior Kyle O'Brien each earned ECAC weekly honor, with McKee being named the offensive player of the week, while O'Brien was tabbed the specialist of the week.

    McKee helped lead the Falcons' offense in their 16-8 upset of 11th-ranked Fairfield, scoring a season-high six points with a team-high five goals and an assist. Meanwhile, as a long-stick midfielder, O'Brien was part of a smothering defensive unit that shut down the Stags' top offensive performers, holding Fairfield's top three scorers without a single point. Additionally, the Falcons held the Stags to just 20 shots, while pressuring Fairfield into committing 15 turnovers.

    UP NEXT...
    The Falcons close out the regular season next Saturday, April 26, when they visit Quinnipiac in a non-conference match-up.



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