Falcons Fall To Ohio State In GWLL Action
USAFA, Colo. -
Unable to answer a fourth-quarter flurry by the Buckeyes, the Air Force lacrosse team fell 11-7 to visiting league opponent Ohio State Sunday afternoon at a cold, wet Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. The Falcons fall to 4-7 on the season, 1-3 in the league, while the Buckeyes improve to 5-6, 2-1 in the GWLL.
Air Force was first to strike in the contest, when sophomore Will Meister (Denver, Colo.) found the back of the net at the 7:07 mark. A pair of Falcon goals in the next three minutes -- one by sophomore Justin Kuchta (Ridgefield, Conn.) and another by Meister -- put them up 3-0, and it appeared that Air Force might change its luck against the Buckeyes, who had won the previous seven contests in the series. However, Ohio State's Ben Wolff scored with just over two minutes left on the clock to put the Buckeyes on the board for the first time.
Another Ohio State score in the first minute of the second quarter cut the margin to a single point, but Air Force rattled off three straight scores, starting with an man-up goal by junior Max Miller (Dublin, Ohio). The Buckeyes scored once more before the close of the period, but the Falcons had gotten out to a 6-3 advantage.
However, it wasn't long before Air Force's lead was erased. Despite winning five-of-six face-offs in the third period, the Falcons allowed Ohio State to score four straight goals to go on top, 7-6. Air Force tied it back up with just over five minutes on the clock, as sophomore Conrad Lochocki (Chalfont, Pa.) tallied his second goal of the afternoon.
The Buckeyes continued their offensive assault in the third period, regaining the lead at the 7:02 mark when Andrew Bender found Craig Nolan for Ohio State's eighth score of the day. It proved to be the game-winner, as the Buckeyes scored three more times in the period while holding the Falcons scoreless in the fourth quarter. Ohio State, outscoring Air Force 9-1 in the final 34:18 of the game, held on for the 11-7 victory.
Perhaps most devastating to the Falcons was their inability to clear the ball in the third quarter, giving the Buckeyes numerous fast break opportunities. In the contest, Ohio State outshot Air Force 53-37, and limited the Falcons to just one score on four extra-man opportunities. On the positive side, Air Force won a season-best 12-of-21 face-offs, including 10-of-19 by sophomore Kyle O'Neill (Portsmouth, R.I.). Goalkeeper Justin Pavoni (Jr., Park City, Utah) was also stellar, notching 19 saves, including six in each of the first three periods, along with eight ground balls.
Meister led the Falcon offense with three points on two goals and an assist. Lochocki added two goals and Kuchta added a goal and an assist. Also scoring for Air Force were John Smith (Jr., Merion, Pa.) and Miller, while freshman Kevin Crumrine (Edgewater, Md.) recorded an assist.
For the Buckeyes, Bender finished with a game-high four points on two goals and two assists, while Nolan added two goals and an assist and Kyle Olson and Wolff also added two goals each. Between the pipes, Mike Rimmer recorded 13 saves and six ground balls.
The Falcons close the 2005 season next Saturday, April 30, when they travel to intra-state rival Denver for a GWLL match-up. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
Ohio State 11, Air Force 7
Air Force Scoring: Goals: Will Meister 2, Conrad Lochocki 2, Justin Kuchta, John Smith, Max Miller. Assists: Kevin Crumrine, Justin Kuchta, Will Meister.
Ohio State Scoring: Goals: Andrew Bender 2, Craig Nolan 2, Kyle Olson 2, Ben Wolff 2, Jason Lutz, Ricky Pages, Eric O'Brien. Assists: Andrew Bender 2, Jason Bloom, Craig Nolan.