No. 17 Air Force Downed By Second-Ranked Cal
Sept. 23, 2006
USAFA, Colo. - Despite a promising start to its contest against second-ranked Cal, the 17th-ranked Air Force water polo team was unable to pull off the upset, falling 10-4 to the Bears Saturday at the Cadet Natatorium. With the loss, the Falcons fall to 8-5 on the season, while the Bears improve to 10-1 on the year.
Cal got out to a hot start, scoring on its first possession of the game with a goal from senior John Mann. However, the Falcons responded quickly, getting on board as senior captain Danny Kimmich (La Jolla, Calif.) converted on a five-meter attempt. Air Force grabbed its first lead of the game at the 4:00 mark in the first period, as junior Justin Berry (Windermere, Fla.) notched his own goal off an assist from sophomore Tyler Hewko (Laguna Hills, Calif.). A 6-on-5 opportunity for the Falcons with just over 30 seconds on the clock in the opening period resulted in a score for senior Kyle Schafer (Irvine, Calif.), as Air Force grabbed the 3-1 lead.
The Bears opened the second period much as they had the first, scoring on their first possession, this time on a goal by Andrija Vasiljevic. Cal was able to tie the game with 3:47 left in the half, and with the Falcons unable to score, the game remained tied 3-3 at the break.
Four straight scores by the Bears to open the third period put Cal up 7-3 before Air Force senior captain Blake Pickell (Santa Ana, Calif.) was able to stop the run. A shot by junior Clark Condict (Irvine, Calif.) was saved by the Bears' goalkeeper, but Pickell was there for the putback, cutting the Falcons' deficit back to three goals with 2:39 left in the third period. Unfortunately, it would be the last goal of the day for Air Force, as Cal scored three unanswered goals over the last 10 and a half minutes of play to take the 10-4 victory.
The Falcons will get a chance for a rematch with the Bears tomorrow, as the teams are set to meet again at 1:00 p.m. In addition, Air Force will play host to WWPA-foe UC Davis, ranked eighth in the nation, at 9:00 a.m.
No. 2 Cal 10, No. 17 Air Force 4