No. 18 Air Force Wraps Up Competition at Triton Invitational
Sept. 4, 2011
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Taking on a pair of conference opponents, the 18th-ranked Air Force water polo team split two contests on the second day of the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego. The Falcons dropped a close 7-5 decision to eighth-ranked Loyola Marymount, while earning a 12-4 decision over La Verne.
In the first game of the day, Air Force (2-2, 1-2 WWPA) got out to a 1-1 tie with LMU at the end of the first period, but the Lions pulled away in the second quarter, scoring three unanswered goals. While the Falcons outscored Loyola Marymount, 3-2, in the third period, an even final quarter gave the Lions a two-goal victory.
Air Force was able to keep things close against the four-time WWPA champions by holding LMU to just one goal on five 6-on-5 opportunities. Andrew Hamilton (So., Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Brad Rajchel (Jr., Winter Park, Fla.) each tallied two scores for the Falcons, while Cruz Smithson (Jr., Capistrano Beach, Calif.) pitched in the other Air Force goal.
Air Force closed out the weekend with a conference match-up versus La Verne, rolling to a 12-4 victory. The Falcons led 4-2 after the opening period and never looked back, earning a 6-2 advantage at the half. Again, Air Force's 6-on-5 defense was strong, holding the Leopards without a man-up goal, while the Falcons scored on four 6-on-5 opportunities.
Hamilton was Air Force's leading scorer against La Verne with three goals, while senior Taque Patino (Rockford, Mich.) added two scores. Meanwhile, junior goalkeeper Mike Fish (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded 12 stops for the Falcons.
The Falcons return to action Sept. 17-18 at the annual NorCal Invitational, hosted this year by Pacific. The complete schedule of games/opponents for the tournament will be determined following the release of the weekly coaches poll on Sept. 7.
No. 8 Loyola Marymount 7, No. 18 Air Force 5 LMU 1 3 2 1 7 Air Force 1 0 3 1 5