Air Force Wins Three On Day Two Of Triton Invitational
Sept. 3, 2006
La Jolla, Calif. - The Air Force water polo team continued its impressive start to the 2006 season, winning three contests Sunday on day two of the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego. The Falcons defeated WWPA opponent Claremont, 11-7, outlasted Pomona-Pitzer, 12-11, in overtime, and closed out the weekend with an 11-3 win over 20th-ranked Cal Baptist to take ninth-place at the tournament.
The Falcons never trailed against Claremont, jumping out to a 1-0 lead following an early score by Alex Churnside (Fr., Orange, Calif.) and never looked back. While the score was twice tied in the early going, Air Force closed out the first half on a 4-1 run to take the 6-3 advantage at the break. Although the Stags outscored the Falcons 3-2 in the final period, Air Force was able to remain in control, holding on for the 11-7 victory.
Churnside led the Falcons against CMS with three scores, while Kyle Schafer (Sr., Irvine, Calif.), Justin Berry (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) and Jack Hines (Fr., Riverside, Calif.) added two goals each. Rounding out the scoring for Air Force were Clark Condict (Jr., Irvine, Calif.) and Joey Brewer (So., Clovis, Calif.) with a goal each.
The next game for the Falcons pitted them against another WWPA foe, Pomona-Pitzer. Air Force got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 2-0 before giving up a 5-2 lead at the half. However, the team came out of the break firing, cutting the margin to 9-8 going into the final period. Though the Falcons were able to tie the score at 10-10 with 1:20 remaining in regulation, Pomona regained the advantage, scoring with just 14 ticks left on the clock. The game was not over for Air Force however, as Berry scored after a drawn ejection with just eight seconds to play, sending the contest into overtime. Condict's score in the extra period gave the Falcons the win, their third in a row, to send the team into the ninth-place game versus No. 20 Cal Baptist.
Churnside, Condict, Berry and Brewer each scored two goals against Pomona, while freshman Tyler Hewko (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and seniors Blake Pickell (Santa Ana, Calif.), Matt LeBlanc (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Danny Kimmich (La Jolla, Calif.) added a score apiece.
While the contest against the Sagehens was close, the game versus the Lancers was not. While Air Force led 4-2 at halftime, the team really pulled away in the second half, outscoring Cal Baptist 7-1 to run away with the victory. Schafer led the team with four scores, while LeBlanc and Hewko added two each. Meanwhile, Churnside, Brewer and Hines each added goals in the Falcons' victory.
The Falcons return to action next weekend, Sept. 9-10, when they host service-academy rival Navy, along with 2005 national runner-up Stanford.
Air Force 11, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7