No. 15 Air Force Sweeps on Day Two of Convergence Tournament
Oct. 3, 2009
CLAREMONT, Calif. -
Playing a pair of games against conference rivals, the 15th-ranked Air Force water polo team wrapped up competition Saturday at the Convergence Tournament with two victories. The Falcons picked up a critical win over Redlands, 12-8, before rolling to a 14-4 victory against Occidental.
With the wins, Air Force moves to 8-8 overall on the season and 5-2 in the Western Water Polo Association.
Air Force’s game against Redlands was sure to be a challenge, as the Bulldogs, who were receiving votes in the latest national poll, won all three contests against the Falcons in 2008. However, the Falcons got out to a solid start in this morning’s match-up, getting out to a 5-3 advantage by halftime.
The Falcons extended their lead to four goals after the break, scoring five goals in the third period, and were able to remain in control for a 12-8 victory.
Junior Bobby Geiger (Buellton, Calif.) led the Air Force offense against Redlands, tallying four goals, while senior captain Jack Hines (Riverside, Calif.) and freshman Cruz Smithson (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) pitched in three goals and two goals, respectively. Also scoring for the Falcons were Alex Churnside (Sr., Orange, Calif.), Kurt Lemmen (Jr., Orlando, Fla.) and Kurt Wallin (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) with one goal each.
The Falcons had history on their side when they met up with Occidental in their final game of the tournament. Air Force had lost just once to Occidental in six prior meetings, and was looking to capture its sixth win over the Tigers.
The game was never in doubt, as the Falcons got out to a 4-0 lead after the opening period, and took a 10-1 advantage into the intermission. Despite a much closer second half, Air Force dominated in the 14-4 victory.
Smithson and Taque Patino (So., Rockford, Mich.) paced the Falcons with three goals each, while Dan Nelson (So., Westlake Village, Calif.) and goalkeeper David Ostrom (Sr., Mission Viejo, Calif.), who played in the field, each added two scores. Tallying the other goals for Air Force were Geiger, Churnside, Andrew Strawbridge (Jr., San Jose, Calif.) and Mark Beeman (Jr., Monrovia, Calif.). Meanwhile, sophomore Danny Harold (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) recorded eight saves in the net for the Falcons.
The Falcons wrap up the weekend tomorrow morning when they travel to Thousand Oaks, Calif., to take on conference opponent Cal Lutheran. The game is slated for a 10:00 a.m. start.
No. 15 Air Force 12, Redlands 8
Air Force 2 3 5 2 12
Redlands 1 2 3 2 8
AF Scoring: Geiger 4, Hines 3, Smithson 2, Churnside, Lemmen, Wallin
UR Scoring: N/A
No. 15 Air Force 14, Occidental 4
Occidental 0 1 1 2 4
Air Force 4 6 3 1 14
OXY Scoring: N/A
AF Scoring: Smithson 3, Patino 3, Nelson 2, Ostrom 2, Geiger, Churnside, Strawbridge, Beeman