Nov. 2, 2012
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Beginning its final weekend of regular-season action, the 13th-ranked Air Force water polo team picked up a 13-9 road conference victory over Pomona-Pitzer Friday afternoon at Haldeman Pool.
With the win, the Falcons improved to 15-9 overall on the season and 8-3 in the WWPA. Meanwhile, the Sagehens, receiving votes in the latest coaches' poll, drop to 11-14 overall and 5-6 in the WWPA.
Air Force got out to a quick start, notching two goals in the first minute of action, including a score by Garrett Womack (Sr., Redlands, Calif.) just 15 seconds into the contest. However, the Sagehens' Jason Cox registered the last two goals of the period, including a penalty shot at the 5:37 mark to tie the game.
Pomona-Pitzer grabbed its first lead of the contest with another score by Cox just 19 seconds into the second quarter, while pushing its margin to two goals with a goal two and a half minutes later. However, Josh Stedman (Jr., Brea, Calif.) registered back-to-back scores for the Falcons, including a penalty shot of his own, to bring the score to 4-4. A 6-on-5 score with over two minutes to play in the half put the Sagehens back on top, but Max Reilly (Jr., Davis, Calif.) got the Falcons back on the board to close the second period.
The Sagehens regained their advantage with a 6-on-5 goal in the first minute of the third quarter, but Air Force responded with a five-goal scoring run to take control. While Pomona-Pitzer notched a man-up goal with just two seconds to play in the period, the Falcons were able to go into the final stanza with a 10-7 lead.
The margin was cut to two goals with a Pomona-Pitzer score to open the fourth quarter, while a penalty shot by Brad Rajchel (Sr., Orlando, Fla.) pushed the Falcons' advantage to 11-8. The Sagehens added another score midway through the period, but Air Force closed out the game with two more goals to hold on for the four-point victory.
Stedman was the leading goal scorer for Air Force, finishing with four goals, while Rajchel and Andrew Hamilton (Jr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.) added three and two scores, respectively. Meanwhile, Womack added a team-best four assists to his game-opening goal. Senior netminder Mike Fish (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) put forth an outstanding effort for the Falcons, registering 18 saves.
The Falcons return to action tomorrow, Nov. 3, with a conference contest at 11th-ranked Loyola Marymount.
No. 13 Air Force vs. Pomona-Pitzer
Air Force - 2 3 5 3 - 13
P-P - 2 3 2 2 - 9
AF Scoring: Stedman 4, Rajchel 3, Hamilton 2, G. Womack, Reilly, Fisher, Kamai
P-P Scoring: Cox 4, Hudnall 2, Gaut, Higgins, Hardman