THIS WEEK: Air Force (5-12 overall and 1-3 WWPA) hosts Western Water Polo Association foe No. 17 Cal Baptist (17-12, 1-3 WWPA), Saturday, Oct. 28, at noon MT, at the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Natatorium. Live video stream is available for free.
SERIES RECORDS: Air Force and Cal Baptist will meet for the 32nd time. The Falcons hold an 18-13 lead in the series that began in 1999. Last season, the Lancers beat the Falcons, 12-10, in Riverside. In 2015, the Falcons took two from CBU, winning 13-10, in the regular season and 12-8 in the third-place game of the WWPA Tournament.
MOST RECENTLY: Air Force lost two conference games on the road last weekend: at UC San Diego (16-6) and at Concordia (10-7). UCSD scored four goals in each quarter for a 16-6 win. UCSD outshot Air Force, 36-29 in the game. Smet led the Falcons with two goals. Jack Empey led the team with two assists. James Burke made seven saves.
Against Concordia, Riley Thomas scored three goals and Justin Harrison scored two, but it was not enough as the Falcons fell in Irvine. Concordia had a 3-1 lead after one, but the Falcons battled back to tie the game in the second on goals by Thomas, Smet, Fisk and Harrison. A late goal by Concordia gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead at the half. Neither team scored in the third quarter. Thomas’ third of the game early in the fourth tied the game at 7-7 and the game remaining tied until late. The Eagles scored on a five-meter shot with 1:44 left for an 8-7 lead. Concordia then sealed the win with goals with two goals in the final minute. Air Force outshot Concordia, 32-30, in the game. Each team scored a power-play goal and a five-meter goal.
STAT LEADERS: Senior Riley Thomas leads the team with 33 goals and 47 points. Senior Justin Harrison is second with 26 goals and 30 points. Freshman James Burke is sixth in the league with 134 saves.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Air Force’s 5-12 record is a reflection of the team’s tough schedule this season. Six of those 12 losses have come against teams ranked in the top 10 (#1 Cal, #7 UC Santa Barbara, #8 Long Beach State, #9 UC Davis (three times).