Falcons Fall to No. 7 Long Beach State in Regular Season Finale
Nov. 6, 2011
LONG BEACH, Calif. - In its final game of the regular season, the Air Force water polo team dropped a 12-7 road decision to seventh-ranked Long Beach State Sunday afternoon. Junior Cruz Smithson (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) scored two goals and an assist to lead the Falcons' offense against the 49ers.
Long Beach State took a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening period, with junior Garrett Womack (Redlands, Calif.) tallying Air Force's lone score of the quarter. The 49ers' advantage grew to 5-2 in the second period, but consecutive scores from Jantz Johnson (Fr., Murrieta, Calif.) and Taque Patino (Sr., Rockford, Mich.) cut the Falcons' deficit to a single goal. However, Long Beach State scored the final goal of the half to take a 6-4 lead into the intermission.
Air Force started out strong in the third period, getting a pair of goals from Smithson and Brad Rajchel (Jr., Winter Park, Fla.) to tie the game with 3:48 remaining in the quarter. Long Beach State had a quick response and scored four goals over the final three and a half minutes of the period to earn its largest lead of the game at 10-6.
The 49ers' lead increased to five goals early in the final stanza, and although Smithson added a score halfway through the quarter, Long Beach State notched another goal to earn the 12-7 victory.
With the regular season complete, the Falcons (8-16 overall) will next head to the Western Water Polo Association Championship, hosted by UC San Diego Nov. 17-20.
No. 7 Long Beach State 12, Air Force 7