Navy vs. Air Force
March 25, 2003
The Game Story:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Unranked Air Force (2-4) used a three-goal second quarter to take a 5-3 halftime lead, a lead it would not relinquish in defeating 12th-ranked Navy (4-3), 8-6, Tuesday night in Annapolis. The Falcons' two-goal victory marked their first victory over the Midshipmen in five tries.

"We prepared for Air Force the last two days as well as we have prepared for anyone else this year," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "I thought they managed the game very well. I don't think we made a million mistakes tonight. I can't say we played horrible, but I can say we didn't play well enough to beat Air Force. Personally, losing this game is devastating."

Air Force took an early 2-0 lead, as Greg Dangler scored one of his team-high four goals seven-and-a-half minutes into the game, and Jon French followed with a score at the 8:47 mark in the first stanza.

After a slashing call on Air Force's Timothy Hade, Navy took advantage of the extra-man opportunity and senior middie Greg Conklin (Syracuse, N.Y.) found rookie attack Ian Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.) for the EMO at the 5:40 mark. The Mids tied it up four minutes later as another rookie, this time Jon Birsner (Levittown, N.Y.), found a hole past Falcons keeper William Arnold.

Air Force scored the first-two goals of the second period, including an extra-man goal by Kyle Warf after Navy senior Eddy Holton (Northport, N.Y.) leveled junior middie Michael Colosimo.

The Mids inched back when Dingman found an open Graham Gill (Medford, N.J.) at the top of the box with 11:05 to play in the first half. With just over a minute to play in the second quarter, Dangler gave the Falcons a two-goal cushion on an unassisted goal. Navy struck first in the second half, as Gill and Conklin hooked up for the first of Conklin's two goals.

The Falcons answered, and in fact Dangler and Conklin traded goals throughout the third period and into the fourth. Though Navy out-scored Air Force, 2-1, in the third period, the Falcons edged out Navy in the fourth, 2-1, keeping the final margin at two goals for the Falcons.

Arnold was fantastic between the pipes for the Falcons, as he stopped 14 Navy shots on goal, including seven in the third period. Remarkably, Navy out-shot Air Force, 43-16. Dingman led the Mids with two goals and two assists, while Conklin turned in a two-goal, one-assist effort. Gill added a goal and a pair of assists. Navy returns to action Sunday when it plays host to Georgetown. Game time is slated for 12-Noon at Rip Miller Field.