Air Force Faces No. 12 Denver in Falcon Stadium

    Senior Jimmy Curran
    Senior Jimmy Curran

    May 5, 2010

    The Air Force lacrosse team closes out the 2010 season this weekend, May 8, when it hosts 12th-ranked rival Denver in ECAC action. The game is slated to take place at 1:00 p.m. at Falcon Stadium. Admission prices for the game are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Live stats will be available for the game at goairforcefalcons.com.

    Last Time Out...
    Playing its final road game of the season, Air Force dropped a 17-6 contest to Hobart in ECAC action last Saturday.

    Senior Ridge Flick led the Falcons' offense with two goals and an assist, while Jimmy Curran (two goals) and Adam Paranka (one goal, one assist) added two points each.

    Scouting the Falcons...
    Air Force enters this weekend's contest with a 1-12 overall record and 0-6 mark in the ECAC Lacrosse League.

    Junior Zack Carroll is the Falcons' leading scorer on the season with 28 points, including a team-best 20 goals. Team captain Ridge Flick is second on the team with 25 points (14g, 11a), while sophomore Adam Paranka (11g, 12a) has added 23 points. Leading the Air Force defense is junior Bryan Gilbreath, who has registered 67 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers on the year.

    Scouting the Pioneers...
    Denver, ranked 12th in both the USILA Coaches Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, enters this weekend with an 11-4 overall record and 6-0 ledger in the ECAC. The Pioneers secured their first ECAC title with a 12-4 victory over then sixth-ranked Loyola on Sunday.

     

     

    The Pioneers are coached by Bill Tierney, in his first year at the helm of the program. Alex Demopoulos leads Denver with 49 points on the season (32g, 17a), while Mark Matthews is second with 39 points (30g, 9a). Meanwhile, defenseman Dillon Roy leads the Pioneers' face-off unit with a .546 face-off win percentage.

    Series Records...
    This weekend, Air Force and Denver will meet for the 69th time in the all-time series, with the Falcons holding a 52-16 advantage. It is also the second time this season that the two teams have met, with the Pioneers winning a 9-6 decision in Denver on March 27 in non-conference action.

    Air Force in the Statistical Rankings...
    In the latest national statistical rankings released by the NCAA (through games of May 2), Air Force ranks in the top 35 in a pair of team categories. The Falcons rank tied for 25th in caused turnovers per game (8.0) and are tied for 35th in scoring defense (10.31).

    Meanwhile, junior defenseman Bryan Gilbreath leads the Falcons' individual statistical leaders. Gilbreath ranks first in the ECAC and ninth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (2.08) and is 16th in the nation in ground balls per game (5.15).

    How They Rate...
    Through games of May 2, Denver ranks in the top 15 nationally in shot percentage (5th/.353), win percentage (T8th/.733), man-up offense (10th/.453), assists per game (13th/6.8), points per game (13th/17.87) and scoring offense (15th/11.07).

    Among the individual leaders for the Pioneers are Alex Demopoulos and Cameron Flint, who rank third (.525) and seventh (.488) in the nation, respectively, in shot percentage. Meanwhile, defenseman Dillon Roy is tied for 10th in the nation in caused turnovers per game (2.0) and is rated 19th in ground balls per contest (4.93).

    Senior Leadership...
    This weekend's contest will mark the final game for Air Force seniors Jimmy Curran and Ridge Flick. Curran, who missed the past two seasons because of injury, has moved into the starting lineup on attack this year, and now has 10 points (9g, 1a) on the season. Meanwhile, Flick, one of the Falcons' team captain, is second on the team in both points (25) and assists (11) after leading Air Force in both categories in 2009.

    Both of the Falcons' seniors made offensive contributions against Hobart last weekend, with Flick scoring three points (two goals, one assists), while Curran added two goals. It marked the fourth time this season that Flick has posted at least three points in a game, while Curran matched a career high with his two goals.

    Back at Falcon Stadium...
    Though the lacrosse team traditionally plays its games at the Cadet Lacrosse Stadium, Air Force will hold its season finale against Denver at Falcon Stadium, which is the home of the Falcons' football team. The only previous lacrosse game held in Falcon Stadium this season was versus Army, when Air Force took an 8-7 overtime victory over the Black Knights.

    Getting Into the Game...
    The goalkeeper position is one of the deepest spots on the Falcons' roster, with five players vying for time on the field. Air Force managed to get all five of its netminders into the game versus Hobart on Saturday, including freshmen Austin Fox and Dan Schonfeld, who each saw the first action of their career.

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