No. 19 Air Force Back in Action with Three Road Games
Senior Josh Stedman

Oct. 16, 2013

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After two weeks off from competition, the 19th-ranked Air Force water polo team is back in action this weekend, Oct. 18-20, with three road games. The Falcons visit 18th-ranked conference foe Cal Baptist on Friday, while facing Pomona-Pitzer and No. 9 Pepperdine on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Falcons were last in action during their own Air Force Tournament Sept. 27-29, posting a 3-0 record for the weekend. Air Force earned a 14-10 victory over Cal Baptist, a 9-8 win against Pomona-Pitzer and an 11-8 decision over Mercyhurst.

Senior co-captain Josh Stedman led the Falcons' offense, registering eight goals and an assist on the weekend, while senior Brad Duncan (3g, 5a) and junior Dominic Vicino (1g, 6a), added eight and seven points, respectively. Sophomore goalkeeper Caleb Guarino registered his best weekend of the season, recording 35 saves and six steals in the three games, including a career-high 13 saves versus both Pomona-Pitzer and Mercyhurst.

The Air Force Falcons, ranked 19th in the latest national coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 4-7 overall record on the season.

Senior Josh Stedman currently leads the Falcons with 35 points on the season, including a team-high 26 goals, while junior Dominic Vicino (11g, 11a) and sophomore Andy Santala (11g, 10a) have added 22 and 21 points, respectively. Senior Brad Duncan and freshman Robby Stiefel share the team lead with 13 assists each, while Stedman has registered a team-best 25 steals on the season.

The Cal Baptist Lancers, ranked 18th in this week's coaches poll, currently hold an 11-8 overall record on the season. The Lancers, who came up short in a 9-8 loss to conference foe UC San Diego last week, will face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Wednesday evening before hosting Air Force on Saturday. Senior Matt Puig is the leading goal scorer for Cal Baptist with 43 goals on the year, while classmate Keith Jizmejian has added 28 goals and 22 assists.

The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, receiving votes in this week's coaches poll, have compiled a 3-16 record on the season, and will host Cal Lutheran and Chaffey College before hosting the Falcons on Saturday. The Sagehens are coming off a 16th-place finish at the UC Irvine Invitational, where they dropped contests to UCLA, Pepperdine, UC San Diego and Santa Clara. Freshman James Baker is the leading scorer for the Sagehens this season, with 26 goals on the year, while junior Stephen Vint has added 22 scores.

The Pepperdine Waves, ranked ninth in the latest coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 7-6 overall record and will host UC Santa Barbara on Saturday before facing the Falcons on Sunday. Pepperdine registered a ninth-place finish at the UC Irvine Invitational last weekend, posting a 3-1 record with wins over Pomona-Pitzer, UC Davis and Concordia and a 7-6 loss to the host Anteaters. Luke Hewko is the leading scorer for the Waves, with 43 goals on the season.

This weekend's meeting between Air Force and Cal Baptist will be the 25th in the all-time series, with the Falcons holding a 14-10 edge over the Lacers. The Falcons picked up a 14-10 victory over CBU last month at the Academy.

Air Force's game against Pomona-Pitzer will be its 23rd all-time against its former WWPA rival, with the Falcons holding a 20-2 advantage in the series. In last month's Air Force Tournament, the Falcons held off the Sagehens for a 9-8 victory.

Meanwhile, Air Force and Pepperdine have met 37 times before, with the Waves holding a 33-4 advantage in the all-time series. The last meeting between the two teams was in 2005, when Pepperdine came away with a 12-3 victory over the Falcons.

Sophomore goalkeeper Caleb Guarino was tabbed the K7 WWPA Co-Player of the Week on Oct. 2 after leading the Falcons to a 3-0 record in the Air Force Tournament, held Sept. 27-29. Guarino, who was also named the Air Force Co-Athlete of the Week for his performance in the tournament, shared the conference's weekly honor with UC San Diego's Joe Dietrich.

Guarino registered 35 saves on the weekend and recorded a team-high six steals, as the Falcons posted a perfect home record for the second-straight season. He notched nine saves and a team-best three steals in Air Force's win over WWPA foe Cal Baptist, while recording a career-best 13 saves in the Falcons' 9-8 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. He closed out the weekend with another 13-save performance, leading Air Force to an 11-8 win against Mercyhurst.

Senior Josh Stedman continues to move up in the Air Force record books, currently ranking 12th on the Falcons' career scoring list. He has now registered 224 career points (162g, 62a) and needs eight more points to move into a tie with Steve Spanovich (`89) for 14th place on the list.

The Falcons are back in action next weekend with a pair of WWPA road contests, visiting UC San Diego on Oct. 25, while facing Loyola Marymount on Oct. 27.



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