Falcons Drop Close Game to Quinnipiac in ECAC Action

USAFA, Colo. Unable to get past an early deficit, the Air Force lacrosse team dropped an 8-6 decision to conference rival Quinnipiac Friday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. The Falcons fall to 1-8 on the season and 0-2 in the ECAC, while the Bobcats improve to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.

Air Force was first to get on the board in the contest, as senior Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) tallied an unassisted goal at the 11:34 mark in the opening period. However, Quinnipiac controlled possession throughout the quarter, scoring five unanswered goals while outshooting the Falcons, 14-5.

The Bobcats gained their largest advantage of the game in the first minute of the second period, scoring on their first possession of the quarter. The Falcons' offensive drought ended with 11:39 on the clock, as Zack Carroll (Jr., Freehold Township, N.J.) scored on the assist from classmate Vinny Sandtorv (Jr., Centereach, N.Y.). With just under five minutes remaining in the half, Air Force got back on the board as Carroll fed Sandtorv for a 6-on-4 goal, cutting the margin to three goals.

Trailing 6-3 at the half, Air Force came out with the first score of the third period, as Sandtorv registered his second goal of the game, this time assisted by Flick. Quinnipiac regained its three-goal cushion with under seven minutes to play in the quarter, but sophomore Adam Paranka (Denver, Colo.) notched his first points of the game at the 4:12 mark to bring Air Force back within two.

Flick scored his second goal of the game with 11:10 remaining in the final stanza to cut the Bobcats' lead to 7-6. However, Quinnipiac responded with another goal less than three minutes later, and were able to shut out the Falcons for the remainder of the period to take the 8-6 victory.

Team captains Flick and Sandtorv each tallied two goals and an assist for the Falcons, while Carroll notched a goal and two assists. Paranka, who scored the other Air Force goal, also added an assist. Meanwhile, backup goalkeeper Matt Sanders (So., Annapolis, Md.) recorded nine saves and just three goals against in the final 45 minutes of action.

Zach Pall, who leads the nation in ground balls per game and is third in face-off win percentage, led Quinnipiac's domination at the face-off X, winning 12 of 16 face-offs for the Bobcats, while picking up 10 ground balls. Meanwhile, Christian Haggerty scored two goals and an assist to lead Quinnipiac's offense.

The Falcons play again this Sunday, April 11, when they host Bellarmine in another ECAC contest. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium.

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USAFA, Colo. Christian Haggerty (West Nyack, N.Y.) and Todd Kaiser (Summit, N.J.) scored twice each as the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team defeated ECAC foe Air Force, 8-6, Friday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Field. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 5-3 (2-2 ECAC), while the Falcons fall to 1-8 (0-2 ECAC).

Alex Marotto (South Windsor, Conn.) scored a goal and added an assist, while Kevin Kelly (Redding, Conn.), Bobby Schnibbe (Duxbury, Mass.) and Billy Alessi (Branford, Conn.) each scored once. Haggerty, Marotto, Mitch Cooper (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Mike Gast (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Basil Kostaras (Southlake, Texas) each added assists for QU.

Bobcats goalie Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.) made 11 saves while allowing just six goals in victory. The Falcons' Brian Wilson allowed five goals on eight shots on net in the first before giving way to Matt Sanders, who made nine saves on 12 shots the rest of the way.

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