Crampton Leads Air Force Over Mercer
from press release
MACON, Ga. – Junior Mike Crampton (Kinnelon, N.J.) registered a career-best 11 points to lead the Air Force lacrosse team to a 15-8 victory over Mercer Saturday afternoon at the Moye Lacrosse Complex. Crampton tallied his third-consecutive hat trick, while pitching in a career-high eight assists, as the Falcons improved to 6-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Bears fell to 3-7 overall.
The eight assists by Crampton are tied for the fifth-most in a single game for an Air Force player and are the most for a Falcon since 1986. Crampton also reached 100 points for his career with his performance on Saturday.
In addition to Crampton's 11 points, sophomore Ryland De Pol (Riva, Md.) tallied a career-best five points, including his first career hat trick. Juniors Kyle Cassady (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) each added two goals and an assist, Tommy McKee (Jr., Holt, Mich.) pitched in two goals and Keith Dreyer (So., Malvern, Pa.) tallied two assists.
For the Bears, Zack Ward tallied four goals and an assist to lead the offense, while goalkeeper Mike Nugent recorded 16 saves between the pipes.
The first goal of the game came at the five-minute mark in the opening period, as Crampton found the back of the net with an assist from De Pol. Another score from Crampton with just over a minute left in the quarter gave Air Force a 2-0 lead going into the second period.
The Falcons' lead grew to 4-0 early in the second quarter with goals from Cassady and Crampton before Ward tallied back-to-back scores to put Mercer on the board. However, the Bears were unable to get closer than two goals, as scores from Cassady and Smith gave Air Force a 6-3 advantage at the break.
Air Force pushed its lead to 8-3 in the first five minutes of the second, getting scores from McKee and Pat Harrison (Sr., Annapolis, Md.), who tallied his first goal of the year. The Falcons led by as many as six in the third period before going into the final stanza with an 11-6 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, the Falcons outscored the Bears once more, registering three man-up goals in the period. Air Force's largest lead of the game came with just over five minutes to play when a man-up goal from De Pol put the Falcons ahead 15-8, while the Bears closed out the contest with a score at the 1:12 mark.
Air Force outshot the Bears 50-28 for the game, including a 27-11 edge in the second half alone. The Falcons also won the battle at the face-off X, winning 16-of-28 draws, including 12-of-17 after the break.
"We had a great performance from Mike Crampton, who anchored our offense, and Ryland De Pol had a big game for us as well—I was happy with Mike and Ryland's production," said Air Force head coach Eric Seremet. "I thought we started to shoot better as the game went on. I think early, we weren't connecting on our shots, and maybe thinking too much. As the game went on, I think we started to find our spots and finish our shots."
"We could have done a better job at the defensive end, but Mercer's a decent team," continued Seremet. "I thought we played tough on the ride, especially in the end. We did a good job of causing turnovers on our ride. Overall, it was a team effort."
The Falcons close out their road slate next weekend, April 13, when they visit Fairfield in an ECAC contest.
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