Falcons impact record books with 9-7 win in regular season finale
USAF ACADEMY — The Air Force defeated Bellarmine in the regular season finale, 9-7, Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium. The Falcons, now 8-6 with a 3-2 ASUN record, earned third place in the league and the third seed in the conference tournament next week. The Knights, now the fourth seed, drop to 4-12 overall with a 2-3 league mark.
Ahead of the first clash, nine Falcons were honored for senior day. Quentin Carlile, Brenden Crouse, Chase Douglas, Cole Grindberg, august johnson, Christian Marshall, Brian Michel, Ian Mullins and Caden Wolfson last dressed as the Falcons at Falcon Stadium. The Class of 2022 participated in the 2019 regular season SOCON co-championship, appeared in three conference tournaments and had 26 wins in their four years despite a shortened season in 2020.
The Falcons dominated the game’s first half, beating Bellarmine 5-1 at halftime. The Air Force had a stellar second period shutting out Bellarmine, 4-0. The Knights broke their scoring drought with two goals in the third period and four in the fourth period, edging the Falcons by two goals in the second half.
senior falcon Brenden Crouse led the scoring effort for the Air Force, scoring two game goals for his 50and and 51st points for the season. ASUN Goals Leader Brandon Dodd registered a goal and three assists in the match, totaling his 68and point this season for a new program record. Mike Crampton (’14) previously held the single-season scoring record (66) and still holds the single-season scoring record with 48 to his name. Dodd has 45 heading into the league tournament. For the first time since joining Division I lacrosse, the Air Force has a pair of players with 50 or more points this season.
Other Falcon scorers include Wes and Gavin Peene, Alexander Stepney, Chase Douglasand Tommy Hellman. Senior Intermediate Cole Grindberg picked up his second assist of the season in that effort.
Quentin Carlile and james chestnut led the defensive effort with an impressive four turnovers apiece while combining for 10 ground balls, seven of which were recovered by Carlile. Carlile landed the 88and CT of his career, surpassing the previous CT record holder brandon jones (’19) who finished his career with 84. Senior teammate Caden Wolfson could be found disrupting Bellarmine’s offense with a pair of CTs under his belt. The FA caused 15 of the Knights’ 18 turnovers.
Middie face to face senior Brian Michel was fantastic at center point, winning 10 of 10 perfect faceoff attempts and collecting five ground balls. The Falcons won 13-20 faceoffs on the day. Jason RoseASUN’s top goalie in save percentage, earned his eighth win of the season by making nine saves against Bellarmine’s 25 shots.
The Knights were led by Benny O’Rourk whose two goals kept the team alive in the fourth quarter. Teammate Hayden Brown had a goal and two assists to bolster Bellarmine’s offensive stat sheet.
Next, Air Force and Bellarmine travel to Birmingham, Alabama as the third and fourth seeds, respectively, in the ASUN Conference Tournament. The Air Force will take on second seed Robert Morris on Thursday, May 5, while Bellarmine will meet regular season champions ASUN in Utah on the same day.