Air Force Comes Up Short Against Bellarmine

USAFA, Colo. In a game which featured six ties and four lead changes, the Air Force lacrosse team fell short to ECAC opponent Bellarmine Sunday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 1-9 on the season and 0-3 in the ECAC, while the Knights improve to 7-5 overall and 1-3 in the league.

Bellarmine took control early in the game, scoring three consecutive goals in the first four minutes, while Air Force did not get an offensive possession. However, junior Vinny Sandtorv (Centereach, N.Y.) put the Falcons on the board midway through the opening period with an unassisted goal, while long-stick midfielder Bryan Gilbreath (Jr., Bainbridge Island, Wash.) tallied his second score of the season during an unsettled clear attempt.

Down just one goal at the start of the second quarter, Air Force continued its scoring spurt, registering three more goals to take a 5-3 lead with 9:31 on the clock. A pair of scores by the Knights' Derek Hopcroft, including a man-up goal, tied the game at 5-5, while freshman Ben Cullen (Collierville, Tenn.) put the Falcons back on top, as Air Force took a 6-5 lead at the half.

The Knights scored a pair of man-up goals to open the third period to earn a 7-6 advantage. However, the Falcons responded with scores by senior Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) and junior Zack Carroll (Freehold Township, N.J.) to regain the lead. With a Bellarmine goal with under three minutes to play in the quarter, the score was tied 8-8 going into the final stanza.

Scoring another man-up goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Bellarmine regained the lead, but Flick was able to tie the game once more, registering his third goal of the contest with 10:36 on the clock. However, the Knights' Alex Porter scored his first goal of the season to put Bellarmine ahead with 8:13 to play, while Bellarmine extended its lead to 11-9 with just under four minutes remaining.

While a score by Sandtorv with 1:46 on the clock brought the Falcons back within striking distance, Air Force was unable to capitalize on their scoring opportunities in the final minute, as Bellarmine held on for the one-goal victory.

Sandtorv and Adam Paranka (So., Denver, Colo.) each notched four points to lead the Falcons' offense, while Flick was the top goal scorer with a career-high-tying three tallies. Sandtorv's two assists matched a career high, while Paranka added a goal and a career-high three assists. Meanwhile, sophomore goalkeeper Matt Sanders (Annapolis, Md.) registered a career-high 13 saves in his first start of the season.

The Falcons return to action Saturday, April 17, when they host 14th-ranked Fairfield in an ECAC match-up. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium.


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