No. 14 Falcons Drop Two on Opening Day of NorCal Tournament
Sept. 19, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
Facing nationally ranked opponents in back-to-back games, the 14th-ranked Air Force water polo team went winless Saturday on the first day of the NorCal Tournament, hosted by Stanford. The Falcons fell to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, 15-5, in their first game of the day, followed by a 10-6 loss to 12th-ranked conference rival Santa Clara. With the losses, the Falcons fall to 4-6 overall on the season and 2-2 in the Western Water Polo Association.
The Falcons opened the day with a contest versus sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara. While a game between the two teams last season resulted in a double-overtime contest, today’s match-up was not nearly as close. After starting out with a 4-2 lead after one period, UCSB began to pull away in the second quarter, outscoring Air Force, 5-1. The Gauchos held a 12-5 advantage at the end of the third period and shut out the Falcons in the fourth to take the 10-goal victory. Air Force had five different players find the back of the net against UCSB.
Scoring for the Falcons in the game were Bobby Geiger (Jr., Buellton, Calif.), Jack Hines (Sr., Riverside, Calif.), Kurt Lemmen (Jr., Orlando, Fla.), Matt Shields (Jr., Gilroy, Calif.) and Kurt Wallin (Jr., Temecula, Calif.).
The Falcons played a much closer game against Santa Clara, trailing just 3-2 after one period, while the Broncos extended their lead to 6-4 at the half. An evenly matched third quarter kept Air Force within two goals going into the final stanza, trailing 8-6, but again, the Falcons were unable to get on the board in the fourth period in the 10-6 loss.
Geiger was Air Force’s leading scorer against Santa Clara with three goals, while Alex Churnside (Sr., Orange, Calif.), Hines and Shields added the final scores.
The Falcons will look to pick up their first victory of the weekend tomorrow morning when they face 11th-ranked Pacific at 8:00. The winner of the contest will move into the 13th-place contest, while the loser will play for 15th place.
No. 6 UC Santa Barbara 15, No. 14 Air Force 5
Air Force 2 1 2 0 5
UCSB 4 5 3 3 15
AF Scoring: Geiger, Hines, Lemmen, Shields, Wallin
UCSB Scoring: Golic 4, Vincze 3, Bishop 2, Partelow 2, Dellinger, Evans, Plume, Zhang
No. 12 Santa Clara 10, No. 14 Air Force 6
Santa Clara 3 3 2 2 10
Air Force 2 2 2 0 6
SCU Scoring: Case 4, Poggetti 3, Penner 2, Wall
AF Scoring: Geiger 3, Churnside, Hines, Shields