Oct. 24, 2012
The 13th-ranked Air Force water polo team closes out its home slate this weekend, Oct. 26-28, as they host No. 19 Cal Baptist and Fresno Pacific in a three-day tournament.
The Falcons open up the weekend versus Cal Baptist Friday evening at 6:00. On Saturday, Air Force faces Fresno Pacific and Cal Baptist at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively, with the Sunbirds and Lancers matching up at 2:00 p.m. Meanwhile, the Falcons conclude the tournament at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday against Fresno Pacific.
Air Force posted a 2-3 record in five games last weekend, falling to No. 11 UC San Diego (10-9), No. 12 Brown (6-5) and No. 4 Stanford (14-3), while defeating No. 17 Bucknell (9-6) and Fresno Pacific (17-15).
Junior Josh Stedman was the leading scorer for the Falcons over the weekend, registering 13 points (12g, 1a), including a career-high nine goals in the win over Fresno Pacific. Senior captain Brad Rajchel added 11 points (7g, 4a), while goalkeeper Mike Fish tallied 56 saves on the weekend.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS...
The Air Force Falcons, ranked 13th in the latest national coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 10-9 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in the Western Water Polo Association.
Junior Josh Stedman currently leads the Falcons with 49 points on the season, including a team-high 39 goals, while senior Cruz Smithson has added 34 points (24g, 10a). Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Mike Fish has tallied 236 saves on the year.
SCOUTING THE LANCERS...
The Cal Baptist Lancers, ranked tied for 19th in this week's coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 13-9 overall record. The Lancers put together a 1-2 record at The Rodeo last weekend, falling to No. 12 Brown (17-9) and No. 19 Santa Clara (7-6), while defeating No. 17 Bucknell (6-5).
Cal Baptist is coached by Rick Rowland, in his 14th year at the helm of the program. Senior Scott Gleason has tallied a team-best 54 goals on the season, followed by junior Matt Puig and senior Keith Jizmejian with 43 goals each. Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Austen Ramer has registered 233 saves on the year.
SCOUTING THE SUNBIRDS...
The Fresno Pacific Sunbirds currently hold an 11-12 overall record after defeating Merced, 20-5, on Tuesday evening. Senior Glenn Lyon led the Sunbirds against the Blue Devils, tallying a game-high eight goals.
Fresno Pacific is coached by Bryan Suhovy, in his fourth year leading the program.
Air Force and Cal Baptist have had 21 prior meetings, with the Falcons holding a slight 11-10 edge in the all-time series. The Lancers came out on top in the last meeting between the two teams, a 12-9 decision at Cal Baptist in 2010.
Air Force and Fresno Pacific have met twice before, with the Falcons winning both contests. Air Force earned a 17-15 victory over the Sunbirds last weekend at The Rodeo.
RECORD BOOK WATCH...
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 211 points (157 goals, 54 assists), currently ranks 14th all-time at the Academy in career points, and needs five more points to move into a tie for 13th place. Smithson is also 12 goals away from breaking into the top-five list for career goals.
The Falcons wrap up the regular season next weekend, Nov. 2-4, with three road WWPA contests, as they visit Pomona-Pitzer, Loyola Marymount and Whittier.