Fairfield versus Air Force ECAC Final May 3, 2014 Pre Game Report

To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse: The #14/#15 Fairfield Lacrosse team plays in the Finals of the ECAC Lacrosse League Championship game against the Air Force Academy. The teams played on April 12th in Colorado Spring, CO with the Falcons prevailing by a 16-8 score. Fairfield comes into the game with an overall record of 12-3 while Air Force compiled a 9-5 record in the 2014 season and post season. The game will be played at the Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Game time is 5 PM EST and will be televised on Fox Sports Channel 2. You can also “watch” the contest on Game Tracker. Here is the link: http://www.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/gt_mlacros.html?event=1322171&school=fo&sport=mlacros&camefrom=&startschool=&
Air Force started the 2014 season playing at home against in state rival, then #4 ranked Denver. The Falcons lost the game by a 14-8 score. Staying at home, Air Force beat first year program Furman by a 15-6 score. Air Force then played its next two games on a neutral field in Denver as part of the Frontier Air Line Classic. First they played Canisius and lost a defensive battle by a 7-6 final. The next day, the Falcons beat Marist by a 17-9 score. Air Force went on the road for the first time in the 2014 season in March. The team went to Lexington, VI to play VMI. The Falcons lost a close game to the Keydets by a 6-4 final. Back at home, the Falcons opened their ECAC Lacrosse League season by beating Bellarmine by a 13-9 final score. Air Force visited Jacksonville, Florida and beat the Dolphins of Jacksonville in a shoot out by a 15-12 final margin. The Falcons next went to Binghamton, NY. They out lasted the by Bearcats by a 10-8 final. Michigan paid a visit to the USAF campus and went back to Ann Arbor on the losing end of a 15-12 score in an ECAC Lacrosse League game. The Falcons beat Mercer in Colorado Springs by a 19-6 score. The Stags next traveled to Air Force and lost 16-8. In an ECAC contest, the Falcons lost to Ohio State by 8-6 score. Staying in the East, Air Force lost Quinnipiac by a 15-10 margin. In an ECAC Lacrosse League Semi Finals against Ohio State, the Falcons took the lead in the second quarter for a 6-5 halftime score. Air Force scored five goals in the third quarter to pull away from the Buckeyes. Air Force’s defense limited Ohio State to two goals in the second half. The final score was 14-7. Air Force’s Mike Crampton, the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, paced the Falcons with five goals against Ohio State. The Falcons second half goaltender, Doug Gouchoe had eight saves.
NOTE: Air Force did not update their team stats after the Ohio State game. All team stats are for the regular season. After thirteen games, the Falcon has averaged 11.85 goals per game and the opponents have also averaged 9.23 goals per game. Falcons have scored 154 goals this year while taking 550 shots for a .280 shot percentage. The opposition has scored 120 goals after taking 394 shots for a .305 shot percentage. The Falcons have scored 90 goals with an assist and the opposition scored 77 goals via an assist. Air Force is credited with 64 unassisted goals and their opponents have 43 unassisted goals. The Falcons man up team has put the ball in the back of the cage 16 times out of 37 chances for a .432 conversion rate. The opposition’s man up unit has countered with 18 goals out of 50 attempts for a .360 conversion rate. Air Force has scored two man down goals this season.
Air Force scooped up 379 ground ball and their opponents have gotten 373 ground balls. The Falcons have 156 turnovers this season while their opponents have 194 turnovers. The Falcons defense has 87 caused turnovers and their opposition has 75 caused turnovers. Air Force’s face off unit has 156 wins out of 317 chances for a .492 win percentage. The opponents have 161 wins out of the 317 face offs for a .508 face off percentage. On clears, the Falcons have been successful 180 times out of 210 chances for a .857 clear percentage. Their opponents have cleared the ball 175 out of 216 tries for a .810 clear percentage. The Falcons have been flagged 47 times for 41.00 minutes of penalty time. Their opposition has received 39 penalties for 32.00 minutes.
The Falcons have scored 57 goals in the first quarter this season. Air Force’s offense has scored 37 goals in the second quarter. In the third and fourth quarters, the Falcon’s have tallied 30 goals in each session. The opposition has countered with 37 goals in the third quarter and 31 goals in the second quarter. Opponents hit the back of the nets 27 times in the first quarter and 25 goals in the fourth quarter. Air Force has taken 144 shots in both the first and second quarter in 2014. The Falcons have 138 shots in the fourth stanza and 124 shots in the third quarter. Their opponents’ best quarter for shots is the third quarter with 113 shots. The opposition has fired off 103 shots in the fourth quarter and 92 in the second quarter. The lowest amount of shots taken by their opponents is 86 shots in the first quarter.
Air Force’s leading scorer is # 12 Mike Crampton. Crampton was named to the Inside Lacrosse All American watch list pre season and was named the ECAC’s Offensive Player of the Year. He has thirty five goals with sixteen assists for fifty one points. Keith Dreyer, #21, ended the season the second leading scorer for the Falcons tallying 13 goals and 22 assists. Tommy McKee, # 10, has scored twenty six goals and eight assists for thirty four points. Kyle Cassady concluded the season with 21 goals and 12 assists Erik Smith has 32 points with 19 goals and 13 assists in the 2014 season. Christopher Allen scored 15 goals with three assists while Austin Smith has nine goals and five assists for 14 points. Marcus Walker in 2014 has been credited with seven points, Michael Curran has four points and both James Burke and Tom Burgess have three points. Ten other Falcons have scored one point in the spring campaign. The Falcons FOGOs are Bryan Price and Smith. Price has won 98 of 198 face offs for a .485 winning percentage. Smith who is not a true FOGO has taken 100 draws. He has won 56 of his face offs for a .560 winning percentage. The Air Force goal keeper position has been shared between two different goal keepers. Doug Gouchoe has started in seven games but has played in all thirteen regular season Falcons games. Brett Dadiego has started in six games and appeared in 11 games. Doug Gouchoe has started seven games and played in all 13 games. Gouchoe played over 502 minutes in goal for the Falcons. He has allowed 83 goals this season for a 9.90 goals against average. Gouchoe has made 72 saves for a .465 save percentage. Dadiego has played over 264 minutes while allowing 37 goals for an 8.40 goals against average. He has made 35 saves for a .486 save percentage. Mitch Rose played one game for almost 9 minutes. He did not allow a goal but did make one save for 1.000 save percentage. Tom Dickey also played one game for 4 plus minutes. He did not allow a goal and was not credited with a save. He faced two shots.
Fairfield is averaging 11.53 goals per game in the 2014 season while holding the opposition to 8.40 goals per game. The Stags have scored 173 goals in its 15 games out of 457 shots for a .379 shot percentage. The opponents scored 126 goals out of 516 shots for a .244 shot percentage. Eighty nine of the Stags goals came via an assist while the opponents scored sixty five assisted goals. Fairfield has 84 unassisted goals and the opposition has scored 61 unassisted goals. Fairfield has scored fifteen times out of 43 man up chances for a .349 conversion rate. Fairfield’s man down defense has allowed eleven extra man goals this season out of thirty eight chances for a .289 conversion rate.
Fairfield has scooped up 429 ground balls in 2014 and the opposition has captured 416 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 191 times and the opponents had 208 turnovers. Fairfield has 107 caused turnovers while the Stags’ opponents have been credited with 103 caused turnovers. In the face off game, the Stags won 166 times out of 351 chances for .473 winning percentage. The opposition are 185 of 351 face offs for a .527 winning percentage. The Stags have successfully cleared 246 times out of 277 chances for a .888 clear percentage this season. The opponents cleared 209 times successfully out of 235 chances for a .889 clear percentage. Officials flagged the Stags 39 times in the 15 games for 33.00 minutes and the opponents received 44 penalties for 38.30 minutes of penalty time.
Fairfield has scored fifty one times in the fourth quarter and 44 times in the second quarter. The Stags scored thirty nine times in the third quarter. Fairfield has hit the back of the net 38 times in the first period. The team also has the one OT goal. The opponents scored 34 goals in the second quarter and 33 goals in the third stanza. Thirty goals have been scored in the fourth period and 29 goals in the fourth quarter by the opposition. The fourth quarter has seen the Stags taking 133 shots, 117 shots in the second quarter, 106 times in the third quarter and 100 shots in the first quarter. Fairfield has taken one big shot in OT. Stags’ opponents have 147 shots in the fourth quarter, 128 in the first quarter, 126 shots in the second quarter, 113 shots in third quarter and two in the OT period.
Colin McLinden leads the team in scoring with 48 points, 20 goals and 28 assists. TJ Neubauer leads the team in goals with 33 and he has five assists for 38 points. Tristan Sperry is second on the team for points scored. He has 42 points with 22 goals and 20 assists. Eric Warden has 34 points in the 2014 season. Warden has thirty one goals and three assists. Dave Fleming has 23 goals and seven assists for 30 points. Jake Knostman has 15 goals and seven assists. Drew Federico has twelve goals and three assists. Conor Dalton has scored seven goals and three assists in 2014 while Mikey Gulasey has scored three goals and two assists for five points. Alex Cramer has four goals and three assists in the 2014 campaign. Nico Panepinto has four points and Nick Guida has two goals and two assists. Bryan Barry has two assists this season. Jack Murphy played 881 plus minutes in the 15 games played. One hundred twenty two goals have been scored against him for an 8.30 goals against average. He has been credited with 149 saves for a .550 save percentage. Tyler Behring played 20 plus minutes in the nets in relief of Murphy. The relief appearances have come in four games. Four goals have been scored against him for an 11.58 goals against average and credited with three saves for a .429 save percentage.
The game will decide which team will receive the ECAC Lacrosse League’s Automatic Qualifier bid to the NCAA Tournament. With the highly competive ACC Lacrosse League this season, the At Large Bids will be taken mostly by the ACC schools and possibly Penn State due to the CAA Lacrosse League’s provision to exclude the Nittney Lions from the CAA Tournament. Prevailing sentiment is that the ECAC is only going to receive one bid to the Tournament, the automatic qualifier. The biggest stat that jumps off the page to me is that the Falcons win when they score 10 or more goals and lose when they score less than 10 goals. Their away record was 2-3 and 2-1 on a neutral field (includes the ECAC Semi Final game). The Falcons had a 5-1 home record. The only team to beat Air Force at home this season was Denver. The Fairfield Stags have won 10 of their last eleven games. The only game lost was played at Air Force. Fairfield’s defense has only allowed five goals per game in the last two games. Jack Murphy is the ECAC Goalkeeper of the Year. The Stags’ offensive unit had some injury concerns going into the Air Force game. Fairfield’s attack has gotten healthier in the 11 day rest before the April 26th Ohio State game and the 6 days before the ECAC Tournament. Michael Roe is back to his 2012 playing levels in the second half of the 2014 season. Against Air Force on April 12th he won 11 of 20 face offs and on Thursday night he has 13 of 20 face off wins. Founder Joe Kern ’74 and I have discussed PARITY many times this season and the results of2014 NCAA Division games. Example of PARITY-After the Air Force game, a tired and bruised Stags team beat Quinnipiac in Hamden, CT by a 15-10 score. Air Force played Quinnipiac two weeks later in Hamden, CT and lost 15-10. PARITY??? Air Force is a senior laden team and being a service academy located at 7,000 feet altitude, their team has to be well conditioned squad. This is the first time the Falcons have appeared in the ECAC’s Post Season Tournament. Fairfield has been in the ECAC Tournament the past four years. This will be the Stags third time in the Final game in the last four years. Falcons appear for the first time in the Finals. Does the senior laden squad versus the Tournament experience squad prevail? How will Air Force’s two goalkeeper strategy affect the game? This will be an interesting game with both teams knowing they cannot leave anything left on the field to get the coveted NCAA Bid. I will be officiating a youth game at 5 PM today that because of the large number of both high school games in Westchester County being played this afternoon due to SAT Exams and the youth leagues in full swing. Thanks to Gerard O’Hara alerting me that my Verizon FIOS does in fact have Fox Sports Channel 2 (will have my son Peter program the DVR) and I have both Joe Kern and my daughter Claire ready to text me scores. Hope to be home to see the last quarter of the game. I have a good feeling that the Stags high level of play this season and Tournament experience will result in an ECAC Lacrosse League Championship. GO STAGS!!!! Roger Yergeau ‘73

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