No. 13 Air Force Hosts No. 17 UC Davis in WWPA Action
Junior Josh Stedman

Junior Josh Stedman

Oct. 10, 2012

Weekly Release #5 Get Acrobat Reader

The 13th-ranked Air Force water polo team is back in action this Saturday, Oct. 13, as it hosts No. 17 UC Davis in a Western Water Polo Association contest. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Cadet Natatorium.

In its home opener on Sunday afternoon, Air Force cruised to a 14-9 victory over conference foe Santa Clara. The Falcons led by as many as nine goals as they knocked off the 18th-ranked Broncos.

Junior Josh Stedman led the Falcons with five goals, an assist and a steal. Seniors Cruz Smithson and Dillon Fisher added three goals and a team-high three assists, respectively, while senior goalkeeper Mike Fish notched 12 saves and just six goals against.

The Air Force Falcons, ranked 13th in the latest national coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 7-6 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in the Western Water Polo Association.

Junior Josh Stedman currently leads the Falcons with 32 points on the season, including a team-high 26 goals, while senior Cruz Smithson has added 25 points (17 goals and eight assists). Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Mike Fish has tallied 172 saves on the year.

The UC Davis Aggies, ranked 17th in this week's coaches poll, currently hold an 11-9 overall record on the season and 10-2 mark in the WWPA. The Aggies are coming off a 15-8 home loss to third-ranked UCLA.

UC Davis is coached by Steve Doten, in his 12th year at the helm of the program. Sophomore Chris Richardson is the Aggies' leading scorer on the season with 61 points, including a team-best 47 goals, while Matt Vowell (19g, team-high 22a) and Bernie Rogers (20g, 17a) have added 41 and 37 points, respectively.

This weekend's contest between Air Force and UC Davis is the 67th in the series, with the Falcons currently holding a 37-29 advantage over the Aggies. The two teams last met at the SoCal Tournament on Sept. 29, when Air Force earned a 12-11 victory.

Junior Josh Stedman became the first water polo player to earn Air Force Athlete of the Week honors this season, as he was named a co-recipient of the award on Oct. 9.

Stedman received the honor for his performance against Santa Clara on Oct. 7, as he scored a team-best five goals in a 14-9 victory over the Broncos. He also added an assist, a steal and two drawn ejections in the Falcons' first home contest of the season.

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 202 points (150 goals, 52 assists), currently ranks 15th all-time at the Academy in career points, and needs eight more points to move into a tie for 14th place.

The Falcons are back on the road next week, first visiting UC San Diego in a conference match-up on Oct. 18. Air Force then heads to Santa Clara Oct. 20-21 to compete in The Rodeo, with games versus Brown, Bucknell, Stanford and Fresno Pacific.



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