Sept. 16, 2012
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The 16th-ranked Air Force water polo team closed out its weekend at the NorCal Tournament Sunday with a pair of victories, defeating No. 18 Concordia, 10-8, before posting a 9-7 win over No. 14 Santa Clara in the 13th place contest.
Against the 18th-ranked Eagles, the Falcons (5-3, 4-1 WWPA) got out to a 5-3 lead in the first two periods, but were outscored 5-1 in the third period to go into the final stanza trailing by two goals. However, Air Force scored four goals in the fourth quarter, while shutting out Concordia, to secure the victory.
Senior co-captain Brad Rajchel (Orlando, Fla.) led the Falcons' offense versus the Eagles with three goals and two assists, while Cruz Smithson (Sr., Capistrano Beach, Calif.) and Max Reilly (Jr., Davis, Calif.) each added two goals and an assist. In addition, senior goalkeeper Mike Fish (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was credited with 17 saves.
In its second game of the day, Air Force used a 4-0 second quarter to stake a 5-3 halftime advantage over conference foe Santa Clara. The Falcons increased their lead to three goals in the third period before holding on to the two-goal victory over the 14th-ranked Broncos.
Air Force, which capitalized on four of its six 6-on-5 opportunities, were led in scoring by Jantz Johnson (So., Murrieta, Calif.) and Smithson, who tallied two goals each. Meanwhile, Fish closed out a strong weekend in goal, registering 12 saves against the Broncos.
The Falcons are back in action Sept. 29-30, when they head to Santa Barbara, Calif., for the SoCal Tournament.
No. 16 Air Force 10, No. 18 Concordia 8
Concordia - 0 3 5 0 - 8
Air Force - 3 2 1 4 - 10
Concordia Scoring: Pril 3, Alicic 2, Antal, Buhagiar, Hurley
AF Scoring: Rajchel 3, Hamilton 2, Reilly 2, Smithson 2, Stedman
No. 16 Air Force 9, No. 14 Santa Clara 7
Air Force - 1 4 3 1 - 9
Santa Clara - 3 0 2 2 - 7
AF Scoring: J. Johnson 2, Smithson 2, Hamilton, Jackovich, Rajchel, Stedman, K. Womack
SCU Scoring: D'Arienzo 4, Carlson 2, Davis