Full Notes in PDF | Senior Day Flyer
AIR FORCE vs. No. 14 RICHMOND
Senior Day, Saturday, April 22, 12:00 p.m. MT
Falcon Stadium, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO
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AIR FORCE THIS WEEK: The Falcons return home to take on the Southern Conference’s undefeated front-runner, No. 14 Richmond (10-2, 5-0 SoCon), for Senior Day, Saturday, April 22, at noon MT. The game marks a rematch between the 2016 SoCon Championship finalists. The Spiders’ only conference loss of the 2016 season was delivered by Air Force, in Richmond, in the regular season finale. The teams will be meeting for the fourth time in program history; Air Force is unbeaten in the three-game series.
THANK YOU SENIORS: Seven Falcon lacrosse players will play their final game as cadets at Falcon Stadium on Saturday. Nicholas Accardi, Will Albyn, Barrett Anigian, Zach Payne, Mitch Rose, Austin Smith and Marcus Ward will be honored prior to the game. The class of 2017 is the Academy’s winningest lacrosse class in the modern-era, registering 42 wins in four-consecutive winning seasons since 2014, with at least three games still remaining on this year’s slate. The seniors earned championship titles in the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference and 2016 Southern Conference championships. They have made two trips to the NCAA tournament, including the program’s first ever first-round NCAA tournament bid in 2016.
TUNE IN: Falcon Vision will be providing live stream coverage of Saturday’s game with commentary from Josh Howe and Capt. Colin Lockhart. Live stats will be available for the game as well. Fans can access the live stream and live stats by going to GoAirForceFalcons.com and clicking the links in the homepage schedule dropdown. Campus Insiders will also live stream the game via the Twitter platform. Fans can find the link via the @AFLacrosse twitter feed.
LAST WEEKEND: Air Force cruised by conference foe VMI (2-10, 0-5 SoCon), 14-4, in Lexington, Va., April 15. Junior attacker Chris Walsch notched his seventh hat trick of the season with a four-goal performance over the Keydets. Sophomore close-defenseman Brandon Jones picked up a career-high 11 ground balls, while Trent Harper dominated the face-off X winning 14-of-16 (.875) face-off attempts on the day. Harper has the highest face-off win-percentage in the conference.
UP NEXT: Air Force will take on the High Point Panthers (3-9, 1-4 SoCon) in the regular season finale, Saturday, April 29, at noon ET, in High Point, N.C. The game will mark the fourth meeting between the teams. Air Force leads the three-game series, 2-1.
RICHMOND AT A GLANCE: The 14th-ranked Richmond Spiders will come to Falcon Stadium under the guidance of veteran head coach Dan Chemotti. Coach Chemotti has led the Spiders to the NCAA tournament, a SoCon championship title and a perfect mark in league action since taking the helm in October of 2012. Richmond has picked up several notable wins this season including one over returning national champions, North Carolina. They boast the fourth-best winning-percentage in the country.
Richmond’s offense is led by Teddy Hatfield with 47 points from 26 goals and 21 assists. Hatfield leads the conference in points and assists per game with 3.92 and 1.75, respectively. At Hatfield’s side are Ryan Lee and Dan Ginestro, who combine for 32 goals and 27 assists. Richmond’s top-three point scorers combine for nearly half of the teams total points this season. The Spiders have outscored all opponents this season, 128-72.
Richmond boasts some of the top defensive players in college lacrosse, led by defenseman Brendan Hynes and goalkeeper Benny Pugh, who lead the nation in caused turnovers per game and save percentage, respectively. Pugh also leads the nation with a 5.76 goals-against average. Ryan Dennis helps round out the defense as he second in the conference, eighth in the nation, in caused turnovers per game. The Spider defense has the best man-down defense and scoring defense in the nation, as well as the third best caused turnover per-game rating in the nation.
A QUICK LOOK AT AIR FORCE: Air Force has the best scoring offense (10.92) in the SoCon and the second-best winning percentage (0.615), man-up offense (0.359), scoring margin (3.38), scoring defense (7.54), clearing percentage (0.897) and face-off winning percentage (0.574) in the conference. The Falcon scoring-defense is ranked fourth in the nation. Air Force has outscored all opponents this season, 142-98, while taking 514 shots to all opponents’ 305.
OFFENSE: Air Force’s top-three scorers, Walsch, Nick Hruby and Grant Gould, combine for 79 goals and 28 assists this season. Walsch leads the conference in goals per game (2.46), while Hruby is second in the conference (2.23) in the same category. Walsch, a native of Finksburg, Maryland, has started in all 46 career games; registering at least a goal in 41-of-46 games played. The three-year starting attacker notched his 100th goal in a season-high five-goal performance against Bellarmine. In the same game, he tied Teddy Hatfield of Richmond for the conference’s most individual points in a single-game (8). He is second in the conference in points per game (3.54). He leads the team in goals (32), assists (14) and points (46) this season. Walsch also leads the team in career G-A-P (104-61-165), career hat tricks (19), career game-winners (7) and is third on the team in career ground balls (66). The Tewaaraton watch list player has led Air Force in goals and points every year since joining in the 2014-15 season.
Hruby’s six-point showing against Detroit Mercy, Mar. 11, marked a personal season-best performance. He is second on the team in goals (29), assists (10) and points (39). Hruby is also second in the conference in individual man-up goals. He has had a hat trick in five games this season. Hruby displays his utility on both sides of the ball as he is tied for third on the team with nine caused turnovers.
At face-off, Harper has taken the reins with a .621 win-percentage; the highest face-off winning percentage in the conference and seventh best in the nation. Harper was credited as the conference Defense Player of the Week, Feb. 28, for his part in a landslide win over Cleveland State where he registered a .762 face-off win-percentage on the game. He played a major role in Air Force climbing out of a four-point first-half deficit against Jacksonville by winning nine-of-eleven (.820) second-half face-offs. He went seven-for-seven in first period face-offs against Furman, finishing the game winning 14-of-19 face-offs (.737). Most recently, Harper registered a 0.875 face-off win-percentage as he dominated the face-off X against VMI, winning 14-of-16 face-off attempts.
DEFENSE: Air Force’s defense combines for 82 caused turnovers; Brandon Jones leads the pack with 16 to his credit. The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native anchors an Air Force defense that averages 7.53 goals allowed per game, which is good for fourth in the country. Jones also ranks third in the SoCon in ground balls per game (4.77) and sixth in caused turnovers per game (1.23). Nicholas Accardi and Joe Matarazzo account for 21 caused turnovers; 12 and nine, respectively. In the last three games, Air Force held Bellarmine, Furman and VMI to only 14 goals (4.67 GAA per game).
IN GOAL: Senior midfielder-turned-goalkeeper, Mitch Rose, is now 3-2 while defending the Falcons' cage. Rose first saw action against Jacksonville, Mar. 25, where he helped fend off an upset loss to the 0-7 Dolphins in overtime. Most recently, Rose was a key figure in holding the previous three opponents to only 14 combined goals. He notched four saves against Bellarmine, who had the lowest scoring game of their season. The Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, native holds a 5.87 goals-against average and a .500 save-percentage.