April 9, 2010

Air Force to Host a Pair of ECAC Opponents

from press release

- The Air Force lacrosse team returns home this weekend for a pair of conference match-ups. First, the Falcons host Quinnipiac at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9, while facing Bellarmine at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. Both games will be held at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium and admission is free. Live stats will be available for each game at goairforcefalcons.com.

Last Time Out...
Playing its final non-conference game of the season, Air Force wrapped up a four-game road swing with a 13-7 loss to Robert Morris on???Saturday, April 3.

Against the Colonials, junior Vinny Sandtorv and Zack Carroll led the Falcons with two goals and an assist each. Senior captain Ridge Flick added a goal and an assist, while Adam Paranka and Ben Cullen scored the other goals for Air Force. In addition, sophomore John???DeBonis won a career-best 5-of-7 face-offs in the contest.

Scouting the Falcons...
Air Force enters this weekend's games with a 1-7 overall record after dropping a 13-7 decision to Robert Morris in its final non-conference match-up of the season.

Junior Zack Carroll is the Falcons' leading scorer on the season with 19 points, including a team-best 13 goals. Sophomore Adam Paranka (8g, 7a) and senior Ridge Flick (6g, 9a) are second on the team with 15 points each, while Vinny Sandtorv has added 12 points???(10g, 2a). In addition, goalkeeper Brian Wilson has tallied 68 saves on the year and holds a 9.73 goals against average.

Scouting the Bobcats...
Quinnipiac enters this weekend with a 4-3 overall record and 1-2 mark in the ECAC. The Bobcats are coming off a narrow 10-9 non-conference loss to Hartford.

The Bobcats are coached by Eric Fekete, in his ninth year at the helm of the program. Jack Oppenheimer and Christian Haggerty lead Quinnipiac's offense with 21 points each. Oppenheimer has scored a team-best 16 goals on the year, while Haggerty has registered a team-high 11 assists this season. Zach Pall is winning more than 62 percent of his face-offs on the year, while goalkeeper Kevin Benzing holds a 7.71 goals against average and .602 save percentage.

Scouting the Knights...
Bellarmine currently holds a 6-4 overall record on the season and an 0-2 mark in the ECAC. The Knights will visit Denver for a conference match-up on Friday evening before facing Air Force on Sunday afternoon. Last weekend, Bellarmine dropped a 13-4 contest to then-19th-ranked Fairfield in conference action.

The Knights are coached by Jack McGetrick, in his sixth year at the helm of the program. Sean Doyle has scored a team-high 32 points on the year, including a team-best 25 goals, while Chase Williams is second on the team with 26 points and a team-high 15 assists. Also scoring more than 20 points so far this year are Jarrett Davis (9g, 14a) and Shane Andersen (14g, 8a).

Series Records...
This weekend's match-up between Air???Force and Quinnipiac will be the sixth in the all-time series between the two teams. The Falcons hold a 3-2 advantage over the Bobcats, including a 14-8 win in Hamden last season.

Meanwhile, Air Force and Bellarmine will meet for the fifth time in the series, with the Falcons leading, 3-1. Air Force has won the last two games against Bellarmine, including a 12-7 victory in Louisville in 2009.

Air Force in the Statistical Rankings...
In the latest national statistical rankings released by the NCAA???(through games of April 4), Air Force ranks in the top 35 in a pair of team categories. The Falcons rank 20th in caused turnovers per game (8.38) and are tied for 35th in scoring defense (10.5).

In addition, the Falcons have a few players who are ranked among the top 30 nationally in various individual statistical categories. Junior defenseman Bryan Gilbreath leads the way, ranking ninth in the nation (and second in the ECAC) in ground balls per game (6.0) and tied for 10th in caused turnovers per game (2.0). Goalkeeper Brian Wilson ranks 26th in the country in goals against average (9.74), while defenseman Benson Oldmixon is tied for 30th in caused turnovers per game (1.5).

How They Rate...
Through games of April 4, Quinnipiac ranks in the top five in the nation in scoring defense (3rd/7.29), face-off win percentage (3rd/.593), caused turnovers per game (5th/10.57) and ground balls per game (5th/36.71). Meanwhile, Bellarmine is ranked in the top 25 nationally in shot percentage (8th/.332), assists per game (19th/6.7), win percentage (T24th/.600) and caused turnovers per game (T25th/8.1).

Quinnipiac is led individually by Zach Pall, who leads the nation in face-off win percentage (.625) and is tied for second in ground balls per game (8.0), while goalkeeper Kevin Benzing ranks fourth nationally in save percentage (.602) and sixth in goals against average (7.73). For Bellarmine, Sean Doyle is the individual statistical leader, ranking tied for 21st in the nation in goals per game (2.5) and 23rd in shot percentage (.463).

Ridge Flick for Lowe's Senior CLASS???Award...
Air Force senior captain Ridge Flick has been named one of 10 finalists for the men's lacrosse division of the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition.

Flick, a native of Plano, Texas, is the Falcons' leader both on and off the field. An aeronautical engineering major with a 3.42 GPA, Flick earned second-team All-GWLL honors in 2009 after leading the Falcons with 38 points and 22 assists. This season, Flick is tied for second on the team with 15 points, including a team-best nine assists. Flick is the first Air Force lacrosse player to be named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Up Next...
The Falcons continue their homestand next weekend, April 17, when they host ECAC???rival Fairfield. The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium.

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