Falcons Lose Heartbreaker to Lehigh
Courtesy of Air Force Athletics
DENVER, Colo. -
Lehigh's Cameron Lao-Gosney scored the game-winning goal with no time remaining on the clock, as the Air Force men's lacrosse team dropped a 14-13 decision to the Mountain Hawks Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the Pioneer Face-Off Classic, hosted by Denver. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 0-2 on the season, while the Mountain Hawks improve to 2-2.
The Falcons got out to a quick lead, starting with a goal from senior Jimmy Curran (North Brunswick, N.J.) less than a minute into the contest. Air Force took a 4-0 advantage with 8:26 left on the clock in the opening period, before Lehigh responded with three unanswered goals, including the first of the second period, to cut its deficit to one point.
Air Force went on another scoring spurt, tallying three goals in a minute and a half, to gain a 7-3 advantage. The two teams traded scores before Lehigh went on a run of its own, notching three goals to get back within a single goal at 8-7 with two minutes remaining in the half.
On the score by the Mountain Hawks, the Falcons were called for the first penalty of the game. However, Air Force was able to kill the penalty, as Brian Wilson (Jr., Summit, N.J.) came up with a crucial save before long-stick midfielder Bryan Gilbreath (Jr., Bainbridge Island, Wash.) ran the ball down the length of the field for a man-down goal, his first point of the season. With Gilbreath's score, the Falcons were able to take a 9-7 advantage into the intermission.
Lehigh scored the first goal of the third period to again cut the margin to one point, but could not get any closer for the rest of the period, as the two teams traded scores throughout the quarter. The Falcons recorded the last goal of the period on a man-up score from Zack Carroll (Jr., Freehold Township, N.J.), giving Air Force a 12-10 lead going into the final stanza.
Just over five minutes into the fourth period, Tristan Newkirk (Jr., Albany, N.Y.) tallied his first goal of the day to put the Falcons ahead 13-10. However, the Mountain Hawks battled back, eventually tying the game at 13-13 with just 1:37 left on the clock.
While Lehigh won the ensuing face-off, Wilson recorded another important save to give the ball back to the Falcons. After a shot by Curran with less than 30 seconds remaining hit the post, the Mountain Hawks regained possession, calling a timeout with 16 seconds on the clock.
With three seconds remaining, Lehigh's Adam Johnston, who scored the game-tying goal, got off a shot that was saved by Wilson. However, in a scrum for the loose ball, Lao-Gosney came up with the ball, recording the game-winner as the horn sounded.
One of the keys to the game was play at the face-off X. While the Falcons held a slight advantage in the first half, winning 9-of-17 face-offs, the Mountain Hawks dominated at the X in the second half, winning 9-of-12 after the break, including 4-of-5 in the final period.
Wilson had a strong performance between the pipes for Air Force, tying a career-high with 12 saves. The Falcons also had several standout performances on offense, getting five points each from senior Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) and sophomore Adam Paranka (Denver, Colo.). Flick, who finished the afternoon with one goal and four assists, matched his career high in points and assists. Meanwhile, Paranka, playing in front of his hometown crowd, set career-high marks in both goals (4) and points.
Also registering career-best numbers for the Falcons on Saturday were Carroll, with a career-best three goals; Newkirk, with a career-high two assists; and Curran, who matched a career high with two goals.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Hawks had four different players record a hat trick, including Lao-Gosney and Dante Fantoni, who each added an assist.
The Falcons close out the weekend at the Pioneer Face-off Classic with an 11:00 a.m. contest versus Penn.