Sep 7, 2013
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 12th-ranked Air Force water polo team started the 2013 season with a pair of close losses Saturday on the opening day of the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego. The Falcons dropped a 10-8 decision to No. 6 Long Beach State before coming up short in a 12-11 triple overtime loss to 17th-ranked conference foe UC Davis.
The first game of the day was a back-and-forth affair, with the two teams trading scores throughout. Air Force was first to get on the board, getting a goal from senior Brad Duncan (Fresno, Calif.), while Long Beach State tied the game to bring the score to 1-1 after one period. The 49ers had the edge in the second quarter, leading 4-3 at the break, but the Falcons outscored LBSU in the third period, tying the game at 7-7 with a tally from Landon Carr (So., Beaumont, Calif.) in the final minute of the quarter.
Long Beach State regained their lead before Zack Kamai (So., Irvine, Calif.) scored his second goal of the game midway through the final stanza. However, the 49ers closed out the game with two uanswered goals, including a score in the final 30 seconds, to take the win.
The Falcons relied on a balance offense against Long Beach State, with seven different players accounting for eight goals. However, Air Force struggled on their man-up opportunities, converting on just one of six 6-on-5 chances, while LBSU scored on five-of-10 man-up chances.
Air Force's second game was a close battle as well, with the Falcons trading scores and leads with the Aggies. The game was tied at the end of each quarter, with the score knotted at 2-2 after one period, 6-6 at the half and 7-7 at the end of the third period. Air Force was able to pull ahead in the final stanza with two goals in the first two and a half minutes of the period, but UC Davis was able to come back, tallying the game-tying score with 35 seconds left in regulation, sending the contest into overtime.
The Falcons scored first in both periods of the first overtime session, but the Aggies responded with their own goals to keep the game going. After a scoreless sudden victory overtime period, UC Davis finally ended the contest with a score from Austin Beckwith with 1:16 on the clock in the third overtime.
Sophomore Andy Santala (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) had a breakout performance to lead the Falcons' offense, tallying a career-best four goals against the Aggies, while adding an assist and four steals. Meanwhile, Kamai and senior captain Josh Stedman (Brea, Calif.) tallied two goals each, while Carr, Dominic Vicino (Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Ben Rogers (So., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) also found the back of the net.
The Falcons wrap up competition at the Triton Invitational tomorrow, taking on Redlands in the first game of the day, before facing top-ranked USC.
No. 6 Long Beach State 10, No. 12 Air Force 8
Air Force - 1 2 4 1 - 8
LBSU - 1 3 3 3 - 10
AF Scoring: Kamai 2, Duncan, Johnson, Vicino, Stedman, Jackovich, Carr
LBSU Scoring: McConnell 4, Vrzic 2, Kappos, Mefford, Goodenough, Guimares
No. 17 UC Davis 12, No. 12 Air Force 11 (3OT)
UC Davis - 2 4 1 2 1 1 0 1 - 12
Air Force - 2 4 1 2 1 1 0 0 - 11
UCD Scoring: Lazar 3, Beckwith 2, Allen 2, Nicholson 2, Rogers 2, Ley
AF Scoring: Santala 4, Kamai 2, Stedman 2, Vicino, Carr, Rogers