No. 20 Air Force Takes Fifth Place at WWPA Championship
Nov. 20, 2011
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Sophomore Josh Stedman (Brea, Calif.) scored a game-high three goals to lead the 20th-ranked Air Force water polo team to an 8-4 victory over seventh-seed Claremont in the fifth-place game of the Western Water Polo Association Championship, hosted by UC San Diego.
Fifth-seeded Air Force, which never trailed in the game, took a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Andrew Hamilton (So., Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Alex Arcidiacono (Jr., La Jolla, Calif.). Claremont's 6-on-5 goal less than two minutes into the second period cut the margin to one, but the Falcons closed out the period with scores from Stedman and Brad Rajchel (Jr., Winter Park, Fla.) to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission.
The Falcons' advantage grew to five goals in the third period before the Stags got back in the board with 23 seconds left in the quarter. However, Stedman added his third goal of the game just 15 seconds later to give Air Force a 7-2 lead going into the final stanza.
Although Claremont scored two goals in the fourth quarter to get back within three goals, Cruz Smithson (Jr., Capistrano Beach, Calif.) closed out the game with a goal in the final minute to give Air Force the 8-4 victory.
For the third-straight game, senior goalkeeper Danny Harold (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded double-digit saves, notching 12 blocks against the Stags.
The Falcons, who finished fifth at the WWPA Championship for the second-straight season, close out the 2011 season with an 11-17 overall record.
No. 20 Air Force 8, Claremont 4
CMS Scoring: Chong, Lefor, Holland, Baier