Air Force Hosts No. 12 Ohio State in ECAC Action
Junior Bryan Price

April 18, 2013

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The Air Force lacrosse team returns home this weekend, April 20, when it hosts 12th-ranked Ohio State in an ECAC contest. The game is slated to begin at 12:00 p.m. at Falcon Stadium.

Live Stats/Video:
Series History: Ohio State leads, 18-10
Last Meeting: Ohio State 14, Air Force 4 (4/21/12 @OSU)

A second-half rally came up short as Air Force dropped a 9-8 decision to ECAC foe Fairfield on Saturday.

The Falcons came back from four-goal first-half deficit, eventually tying the game with a score from junior captain Erik Smith in the final minute, but the Stags were able to notch the game-winner with 33 seconds on the clock. Freshman Christopher Allen led the Falcons' offense with his third hat trick of the year, while junior Kyle Cassady pitched in two goals.

Air Force enters this weekend with a 6-6 overall record and a 1-4 mark in the ECAC. The Falcons are coming off a close 9-8 loss to Fairfield on Saturday.

The Falcons' offense is led by junior captain Mike Crampton, who has registered a team-high 45 points (28g, 17a) on the season, while classmate Tommy McKee is second on the team with 30 points (27g, 3a). Sophomore Keith Dreyer has added 27 points, including a team-high 18 assists, while junior captain Erik Smith has recorded 25 points (17g, 8a) and a team-leading 53 ground balls on the year.

Ohio State, currently tied for 12th in this week's USILA coaches poll and ranked 12th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, holds an 8-3 overall record on the season and a 3-2 ledger in the ECAC, following a 17-8 rout of Michigan last weekend.

Senior Logan Schuss is the team's leading scorer with 46 points on the season, with a team-high 27 goals and 19 assists. Meanwhile, Jesse King (19g, 14a) and Carter Brown (19g, 13a) add 33 and 32 points, respectively, on the year. Anchoring the eighth-best face-off unit in the nation is Trey Wilkes, who has won 58.7 percent of his face-offs taken and has picked up a team-leading 45 ground balls this season.

This weekend, Air Force plays its fifth game against a ranked opponent when it faces No. 12 Ohio State. The Falcons opened the year with a loss at then-fourth-ranked North Carolina, while falling to then-eighth-ranked Loyola and then-fourth-ranked Denver in back-to-back weeks. Air Force also has a win over a nationally ranked team this year, when it earned a 15-10 victory over Lehigh, then ranked 12th, at home on Feb. 24.

Freshman Christopher Allen was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Rookie of the Week on April 15, following his performance in the Falcons' road game at Fairfield.

A native of Hillsborough, N.J., Allen was the leading scorer for the Falcons against Fairfield, tallying his second hat trick of the season. In addition to notching the first score of the game, Allen recorded two more goals in the final six minutes to help Air Force come back to tie the contest. Allen currently ranks fourth on the team in total goals scored this season with 14.

Freshman midfielder Christopher Allen has made great progress in the early season and currently ranks among the Falcons' leading scorers, ranking fourth on the team in both goals (14) and assists (5) and fifth in total points.

Allen, who has also started each of the last five contests for Air Force, finished as one of the Falcons' top scorers against both Loyola and Denver. Versus the Greyhounds, Allen tallied a team-best four points (2g, 2a), while notching two goals against the Pioneers. He also tallied his second hat trick of the year versus Fairfield to lead the Falcons' offense against the Stags.

One of Air Force's strengths this season has been the performance of its man-down unit. The Falcons currently have the eighth-best man-down defense in the nation, allowing opponents to score on just 8-of-33 extra-man opportunities.

Against Fairfield on Saturday, Air Force was perfect on the penalty kill, holding the Stags scoreless on three man-up opportunities.

So far this season, five different players have registered hat tricks, led by juniors Mike Crampton and Tommy McKee with six and four, respectively. Crampton, who has registered hat tricks in each of his last three games, tallied four goals against High Point and three scores versus Rutgers, Lehigh, Denver, Michigan and Mercer. Meanwhile, McKee recorded three goals against North Carolina, four goals against both High Point and Lehigh and five goals versus Marquette. Crampton now has a team-best 14 hat tricks for his career, while McKee is second on the team with 10 career hat tricks.

With his three goals against Fairfield, freshman Christopher Allen now has two hat tricks on the year, after scoring his first career hat trick with three goals in the Falcons' win over Lehigh. Also recording hat tricks this season have been sophomores Keith Dreyer and Ryland De Pol. Dreyer scored a team-leading three goals in the Falcons' win over Canisius, marking the fourth hat trick of his career, while De Pol, recorded three goals versus Mercer to earn the first hat trick of his career.

Junior captain Bryan Price has been a strength for the Falcons at the face-off X this season, winning 59.3 percents of his attempts, ranking eighth in the nation in face-off win percentage. He posted a standout performance in Air Force's victory over Michigan on March 30, winning 9-of-11 draws against the Wolverines.

Air Force closes out the regular season next weekend, April 30, when it hosts ECAC foe Hobart in a 12:00 p.m. contest.



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