Air Force vs. Towson
March 5, 2005
The Game Story:
Denver, Colo. – Sophomore attackman Jonathan Engelke (Farmingdale H.S./Massapequa Park, N.Y.) scored four goals to go with an assist to lead the Tigers (2-0) to its second straight win, a 15-6 non-conference victory over the Air Force Academy (1-1) in the opening game of the fifth annual Pioneer Face-Off Classic in Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was the first meeting between the two teams in 25 years. The Tigers now lead the series by a 2-0 margin.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening 6:41 of the second period. After sophomore Bobby Griebe (Boys’ Latin School/Bel Air, Md.) opened the scoring with an unassisted tally, Engelke upped the Tiger lead to 3-0 with a pair of goals 43 seconds apart. Junior Kyle Fiat (Olympus H.S./Salt Lake City, Utah) added to the Towson advantage by taking a Engelke feed and scoring his second goal of the season past Falcon goalkeeper Justin Pavoni (The Hill School/Park City, Utah).

Air Force ended the Tiger run with 2:22 remaining in the first half when junior attackman Kevin Krieger (Chandler H.S./Chandler, Ariz.) scored off an assist from senior Timothy Hade (Dwight Englewood H.S./Franklin Lake, N.J.). Fiat scored his second goal of the game with 1:33 left in the stanza before senior Michael Kennedy (Manhasset H.S./Manhasset, N.Y.) narrowed the margin to 5-2 with an unassisted goal with 25 seconds remaining before intermission.

After Air Force cut the margin to 5-3 in the opening minute of the third quarter with a Justin Kuchta (Ridgefield H.S./Ridgefield, Conn.) tally, the Tigers exploded for seven straight goals to take a commanding 12-3 cushion with 2:38 left in the third quarter. Sophomore Todd MacMullan (Severn School/Arnold, Md.) started the rally with an extra-man tally with 12:11 left before Griebe scored his second goal of the game. With 7:09 left in the period, sophomore Ryan Preuss (Ward Melville H.S./Setauket, N.Y.) scored his first goal of the season, which was followed by a unassisted tally by sophomore Keith Obloj (Farmingdale H.S./Farmingdale, N.Y.) with 5:26 remaining.

Freshman Brian Vetter (Annapolis H.S./Annapolis, Md.) took advantage of a Falcon miscue when he took a pass from senior defenseman Adam Cummins (LaSalle H.S./Doylestown, Pa.) in front of the Tiger bench and shot the ball into the open net on the opposite side of the field, giving Towson a 10-3 cushion. Engelke scored his third goal of the game with 2:38 left off a Griebe pass before Fiat recorded the final goal of the spurt with 1:08 remaining in the period, an extra-man goal off a Vetter pass.

Air Force started the fourth quarter with an extra-man goal by Kevin Crumrine (Severn School/Edgewater, Md.) before the Tigers quickly countered with an extra-man goal by sophomore Oliver Bacon (Charlotte Country Day School/Charlotte, N.C.). The Falcons attempted a comeback, but was able to score just three goals in the final 11 minutes.

Senior goalkeeper Reed Sothoron (St. Mary’s Ryken/Lexington Park, Md.) made 12 saves in 56 minutes of play to pace the Tiger defense while junior Drew Montgomery (Lower Merion H.S./Ardmore, Pa.) made two saves in four minutes. Pavoni made 20 saves for the Falcons.

Sophomore face-off specialist Matt Eckerl (Calvert Hall H.S./Baltimore, Md.) won 19 of 24 face-offs to guide the Tiger offense. He also recorded a game-high 10 ground balls.

The Tigers will play the University of Denver on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the tournament. The host Pioneers defeated Lafayette by a 20-3 score in the second game on Saturday afternoon.