March 10, 2012

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Air Force Rallies Past Army in Overtime

from press release

HOUSTON, Texas – Sophomore Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) tallied the game-winner seven seconds into overtime to lead the Air Force lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory over Army Saturday afternoon in a neutral-site contest at The Kinkaid School. With the win, the Falcons, who have won three in a row, improve to 3-2 on the season, while the Black Knights drop to 3-4.

Smith, who finished the game with two goals and an assist, won the opening face-off of the overtime period and ran down the field for the winning goal. It marked the second Air Force goal in a span of 13 seconds, as Tommy McKee (So., Holt, Mich.) got on the board for the Falcons with just six seconds remaining in regulation to force the extra period.

Army, receiving votes in the latest coaches' poll, led for much of the game, taking a 2-0 lead to start the first quarter, and holding a 3-1 advantage before Air Force ended the opening period with a pair of scores. The Black Knights pushed their advantage back to two goals in the second period, but the first goal of the season from sophomore Michael Curran (North Brunswick, N.J.) brought Air Force back within one point going into the intermission.

Air Force outscored Army, 2-1, in the third period to bring the score to 6-6 going into the final stanza. Freshman Ryland De Pol (Riva, Md.) gave the Falcons their first advantage of the contest midway through the fourth quarter with a man-up goal assisted by McKee, but the Black Knights scored the next two tallies to take an 8-7 lead with just over two minutes remaining.

While Army won the face-off after their eighth goal of the game, Air Force was able to pressure the Black Knights into a turnover, taking over possession with just over a minute to play. A shot by the Falcons in the final 10 seconds was stopped by Army goalkeeper Zach Palmieri, but McKee was able to scoop up the loose ball and get it into the net.

Air Force, which has been stellar on the EMO all season, struggled with their man-up offense against Army, scoring on just 2-of-8 man-up opportunities. The Falcons were also outshot by the Black Knights and won just 7-of-19 face-offs in the game. However, goalkeeper Austin Fox (Jr., Webster, N.Y.) had a solid performance between the pipes, stopping a career-high 13 shots.


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