No. 18 Fairfield Stops Air Force in Low-Scoring Battle

USAFA, Colo. Playing in wet, cold and foggy conditions, the Air Force lacrosse team dropped a 4-3 defensive battle to 18th-ranked conference foe Fairfield Saturday afternoon at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium.

The first goal of the game came in the first five minutes of the game on a transition opportunity for the Falcons, as junior Michael Duenes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) scored his first career point with an assist to senior Jimmy Curran (North Brunswick, N.J.). Air Force (1-10, 0-4) held its one-goal advantage until the 3:39 mark in the opening period, when Fairfield tallied its first goal of the contest.

The Stags gained their first lead of the game with 9:30 to play in the second period, scoring a man-up goal just as an Air Force penalty expired. Again, defense dominated the quarter before the Falcons came back to tie the score at 2-2. After a Fairfield shot was blocked by an Air Force player, junior defenseman Benson Oldmixon (Austin, Texas) picked up the ball and carried it down the field, registering his first career point by passing it to senior Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) for the equalizer.

Fairfield (8-3, 4-1) regained the lead early in the third period and went up 4-2 with another goal midway through the quarter. Air Force responded with a goal from junior Vinny Sandtorv (Centereach, N.Y.) at the 3:56 mark in the period, but with strong defensive efforts by both goalkeepers, neither team was able to score again.

Sophomore Matt Sanders (Annapolis, Md.) continued his recent hot play between the pipes for Air Force, registering 11 saves and posting a .733 save percentage. Meanwhile, the Stags' Joe Marra, who ranks in the top five nationally in both save percentage and goals against average, finished the game with 14 stops.

Also turning in a standout performance for the Falcons was junior defenseman Bryan Gilbreath (Bainbridge Island, Wash.). Ranked in the top 10 nationally in both ground balls and caused turnovers per game, Gilbreath registered seven ground balls and matched a career high with four caused turnovers.

The Falcons take to the road next weekend, April 24, when they visit ECAC rival Ohio State. The game, which will be held at Ohio Stadium prior to the Buckeyes' spring football game, is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET).

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Marshall Johnson netted his first career game-winning goal midway through the third quarter as the #18 Fairfield University men's lacrosse team defeated ECAC Lacrosse League host Air Force, 4-3, on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The win improves the Stags to 8-3 overall and 4-1 in league play, while the Falcons fall to 1-10 on the year and 0-4 in conference action.

Air Force got on the board first early in the first quarter as Jimmy Curran put home a pass from Michael Duenes. Nick Baglio answered with an unassisted goal with 3:39 remaining in the opening period. Sam Snow gave the Stags their first lead of the game 5:30 into the second-half, netting a pass from Max Trunz. The goal gives Snow a point in each of his 11 collegiate games. The lead did not last until the intermission however, as the Falcons tied the game on a Ridge Flick goal with 3:16 to play in the first-half.

Doug Kuring gave the Stags the lead back 87 seconds into the second-half, scoring an unassisted goal, for the 3-2 advantage. Kuring would play a role in the Stags game-winning goal as well, just over six minutes later, feeding Johnson for the decisive tally. Vinny Sandtorv netted a pass from Tristan Newkirk with 3:56 to play in the third quarter, as Air Force cut the deficit to one goal, 4-3.

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