No. 13 Air Force Opens Home Slate Against No. 18 Santa Clara
Senior Mike Fish

Oct. 3, 2012

Weekly Release #4 Get Acrobat Reader

The 13th-ranked Air Force water polo team returns to the Academy this Sunday, Oct. 7, for its first home game of the season. The Falcons will host 18th-ranked conference foe Santa Clara at 1:00 p.m. in the Cadet Natatorium.

Air Force posted a 1-3 record at the SoCal Tournament last weekend to place 12th. After falling to No. 4 Cal, 21-4, the Falcons posted a 12-11 victory over No. 12 UC Davis. On the second day of action, Air Force dropped both games, a 13-7 decision to No. 9 Long Beach State and a 9-3 contest versus No. 11 UC San Diego.

Junior Josh Stedman led the Falcons on the weekend with five goals, three assists and six steals, including five points (4g, 1a) in Air Force's victory over UC Davis. Senior Cruz Smithson added six points (5g, 1a) on the weekend, while senior goalkeeper Mike Fish tallied 51 saves in four games.

The Air Force Falcons, ranked 13th in the latest national coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 6-6 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in the Western Water Polo Association.

Junior Josh Stedman currently leads the Falcons with 26 points on the season, including a team-high 21 goals, while senior Cruz Smithson has added 22 points (14 goals and eight assists). Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Mike Fish has tallied 160 saves to start the season.

The Santa Clara Broncos, ranked 18th in this week's coaches poll, currently hold a 7-9 record on the season and 6-5 mark in the WWPA after going winless at the SoCal Tournament last weekend.

Santa Clara is coached by Keith Wilbur, in his 10th year at the helm of the program. Junior Tucker Carlson leads the Broncos with 32 goals on the season, while classmate Jimmy Moore has added 20 scores.

This weekend's meeting between Air Force and Santa Clara is the 47th all-time in the series, with the Falcons holding a 35-11 advantage over the Broncos. The two teams have already met once this season, with Air Force earning a 9-7 victory over Santa Clara at the NorCal Tournament.

With his 10 points in the opening weekend of competition, senior Cruz Smithson moved onto the Falcons' list of top-20 all-time scorers. Smithson, who now has 199 points (147 goals, 52 assists), currently ranks 15th all-time at the Academy in career points, and needs 11 more points to move into a tie for 14th place.

The Falcons play another home game next weekend, Oct. 13, when they host UC Davis in a WWPA contest. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Cadet Natatorium.



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