Air Force Downs Redlands in WWPA Consolation Semifinals
Nov. 21, 2009
ORANGE, Calif. -
Boosted by a spectacular game from junior Bobby Geiger (Buellton, Calif.), the 14th-ranked Air Force water polo team scored a come-from-behind 15-12 victory over No. 20 Redlands in the consolation semifinals of the 2009 Western Water Polo Association Championship, hosted by Chapman. The Falcons, seeded second in this year’s tournament, improve to 18-13 overall on the season, while the sixth-seeded Bulldogs fall to 17-18 on the year.
Geiger, who required nine stitches under his eye after a physical contest in the opening round of the conference tournament, put together one of his best games of the season on Saturday, scoring six goals and four assists in the Falcons’ win. Three of his six scores came in the fourth quarter, as Air Force worked to erase a one-goal deficit entering the final stanza.
The Falcons held a 4-3 advantage after one period, but Redlands came back in the second quarter to take a 6-5 lead at intermission. After the Bulldogs extended their advantage to two goals in the final minute of the third period, Air Force senior Alex Churnside (Orange, Calif.) cut the margin to 10-9, scoring on a penalty shot with just nine seconds left in the quarter.
A goal from senior Jack Hines (Riverside, Calif.) early in the fourth period tied the game back at 10-10, while Geiger scored on a penalty shot at the 5:44 mark to put the Falcons back on top. The two teams traded goals over the next minute and a half, but with the game tied at 12-12, Air Force closed out the game with three unanswered scores, including a pair from Geiger.
In addition to Geiger’s six goals, Hines notched four scores in the contest, while Churnside and Cruz Smithson (Fr., Capistrano Beach, Calif.) added two goals each. Also scoring for the Falcons was junior Kurt Wallin (Temecula, Calif.) with a fourth-quarter goal.
Leading Redlands in the game was Ryan Floersch, who tallied eight of the Bulldogs’ 12 goals.
Tomorrow, the Falcons will face fifth-seed UC Davis in the fifth-place game of the WWPA Championship, which is slated to begin tomorrow at 10:45 a.m.
No. 14 Air Force 15, No. 20 Redlands 12
Redlands 3 3 4 2 12
Air Force 4 1 4 6 15
UR Scoring: R. Floersch 8, J. Floersch 2, Grosshans, Terzic
AF Scoring: Geiger 6, Hines 4, Smithson 2, Churnside 2, Wallin