No. 17 Air Force Falls To No. 2 Cal
Sept. 24, 2006
USAFA, Colo. - Unable to capitalize on numerous man-up opportunities, the 17th-ranked Air Force water polo team was downed, 18-4, by second-ranked Cal Sunday afternoon at the Cadet Natatorium. With the loss, the Falcons fall to 8-7 on the season, while the Bears improve to 13-1 overall.
Although Cal took the early 1-0 lead, the Falcons responded with a goal by sophomore Kevin Williams (River Forest, Ill.) at the 2:25 mark in the opening period. However, the Bears ended the period with two more scores and with two goals to open the second quarter, Cal held a 5-1 advantage.
A second score from Williams with 5:29 to play in the first half cut the Falcons' deficit to three goals, but Cal responded with yet another goal just 18 seconds later. Senior Matt LeBlanc (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity to bring Air Force back within three. It would mark the only man-up score that the Falcons would convert, despite drawing 11 ejections in the game, including a pair of five-meter attempts.
A pair of scores gave the Bears an 8-3 lead at the break, and they continued to dominate in the second half, scoring 10 straight. Cal's run did not end until junior Justin Berry (Windermere, Fla.) notched his first goal of the game with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
While Williams led the Falcons with his two goals, the Bears were led by senior John Mann with four goals, while five others added two goals each.
The Falcons have the next two weekends off before returning to action at the SoCal Tournament, Oct. 14-15, hosted by top-ranked USC.
No. 2 Cal 18, No. 17 Air Force 4 Cal 3 5 4 6 18 Air Force 1 2 0 1 4