No. 18 Air Force Concludes First Day at The Rodeo
Oct. 22, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 18th-ranked Air Force water polo team dropped a pair of games on its first day of action at The Rodeo, hosted by Santa Clara. The Falcons fell to the 15th-ranked host Broncos, 11-6, while dropping a close 12-10 contest to Brown.
In the first game of the day, Santa Clara took a 2-0 lead with two scores from Theo Nasser in the first three minutes of the contest. Sophomore Andrew Hamilton (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) put Air Force on the board with a goal at the 5:00 mark in the opening period, while classmate Max Reilly (Davis, Calif.) tied the score at 2-2, notching a goal with just one second remaining in the quarter.
The Broncos regained their advantage with another score in the opening minute of the second period, while Josh Stedman (So., Brea, Calif.) tied the game once more with a 6-on-5 goal 15 seconds later. However, Santa Clara closed out the period with three unanswered scores to take a 6-3 lead at the break.
Santa Clara extended its advantage to 8-3 in the third period before Alex Arcidiacono (Jr., La Jolla, Calif.) notched the Falcons' only goal of the quarter. Stedman and Anson Harvey (Sr., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) added scores in the final stanza, but the Broncos led by as many as six goals before taking the 11-6 decision.
Against Brown, Stedman got the scoring going early, notching his first goal of the game just 34 seconds into the contest. However, the Bears responded quickly to tie the contest at 1-1. With back-and-forth scoring between the teams, the first period ended in a 3-3 tie.
After Stedman opened the second quarter with another quick score, the Bears once again had a response, notching the next three goals to take a 6-4 advantage. Meanwhile, junior Cruz Smithson (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) tallied two scores in the final 2:34 of the period as Air Force went into the intermission trailing 7-6.
Brown registered the first two goals of the third quarter to gain its largest advantage of the contest, but Smithson added two more scores to bring the Falcons back within one. However, the Bears closed out the third period with a goal from James McNamara to push its lead back to two points.
In the final stanza, Air Force made another push, getting goals from Garrett Womack (Jr., Redlands, Calif.) and Smithson to tie the game at 10-10 with 3:48 remaining. However, the Bears added two more scores to regain their lead and hold on for the 12-10 victory.
Smithson's five goals led the Air Force offense, while Stedman added three scores. Also getting on the board for the Falcons was freshman Petar Jackovich (New Lenox, Ill.) with a first-period goal.
The Falcons (5-12, 3-6 WWPA) wrap up competition at The Rodeo tomorrow with two more contests, facing No. 12 UC Davis at 10:40 a.m. (PT) and third-ranked Stanford at 4:00 p.m.
No. 15 Santa Clara 11, No. 18 Air Force 6