Air Force Nips UVA at Denver Classic

Air Force Nips UVA at Denver Classic

Air Force Nips UVA at Denver Classic

Air Force Nips UVA at Denver Classic

DENVER, COLO?The University of Virginia men's lacrosse program won three NCAA championships in the eastern time zone, but the first trip West proved unsuccessful as the Cavaliers fell to Air Force 7-6 this afternoon in the opening game of the Pioneer Face-Off Classic, hosted by the University of Denver. The loss drops the Cavaliers to 1-1 this season, while it was the Falcons' season opener.

Virginia?s Justin Mullen scored the game?s first goal less than four minutes in, but the remainder of the period saw both teams play rather deliberately. Air Force goalie Justin Pavoni recorded five of his 14 saves in the opening quarter.

The Falcons capitalized on a Virginia turnover late in the first quarter as Dave Brown scored on a fast break opportunity with 17 seconds to go in the period.

Virginia took a 3-1 lead into halftime behind second quarter goals by Joe Yevoli and John Christmas.

The Falcons came out strong to start the second half and clearly controlled the pace of the game as they gained confidence. Greg Dangler brought them within one with a goal at the 4:24 mark and William Meister tied the score at three 58 seconds later. Freshman midfielder Justin Kuchta scored what proved to be the winning goal with 8:34 to go in the quarter. Meister ran the Falcons run to four straight with his second of the quarter with 5:37 left.

Matt Ward pulled UVa within one at 5-4 by scoring the first of his three goals on the afternoon.

Air Force tallied twice in the opening three minutes of the final period to build a 7-4 lead. Virginia battled back behind two Ward goals, the last coming with 1:50 to play. The Cavaliers lost the ensuing faceoff, but regained possession when Ricky Smith forced a Meister turnover with less than 40 seconds on the clock. Virginia called a timeout with 33 seconds remaining to set up a final play, but a stingy Falcon defense prevented UVa from getting a shot off before time expired.

Virginia returns to action Sunday against host Denver in a game scheduled to start at 1:30 pm local time.

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AFA-UVA game
    by (#64776) on 2/28/04 @8:49PM
I suppose the AFA deserves some credit. The falcons apparently played a hell of a game. It is a tough task to limit scorers like Johnny Christmas and Kyle Dixon, but it looks like the Flacons got it done. I am a Virginian and while I think this game was a fluke, I am a disappointed. I am not worried though, UVA will thump Hopkins in the finals this year and this loss to Air Force wont mean anything.
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Not A Fluke
    by (#53940) on 2/28/04 @11:19PM
This game was not a fluke. I was at the game and the Falcon Defense ate up any dodge and played the best defense I have ever seen. Virginia was not conditioned for the altitude and it showed! JJ Pavoni is my All-American choice. He even played better then Tillman!!! (he also played great though).
Look out for Air Force this year, they are the real deal!!!
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Just one word......
    by (#58082) on 2/29/04 @12:15AM

j/k, congrats to Air Force and hope UVA shakes it off.
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Good work AFA
    by (#15831) on 3/07/04 @9:03AM
I agree that the altitude was a tough factor for UVA but i dont think thats a valid excuse. AFA came to play, and UVA took the game too lightly. Congrats to AFA for a big win and best of luck to UVA.

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Altitude + Coors = ?
    by (#31907) on 2/29/04 @11:51AM
How late do you think the Cavs were out partying the night before this game? I wish I could have been there to see them dogging it all over the field. But as starnge as it may sound.....this is probably the best thing that could have happened to this team. Coming off the Championship last year, this serves as an immediate kick in the a** and instant motivation to get refocused and rededicated. It is really easy to get fat and lazy after a period of success.....losing to an average team like Air Force should knock UVA back into reality. But let the big boys of DIV I beware....this is a sign that the rest of the lacrosse world is starting to catch up. You better not fall asleep for a week anymore because a team like Air Force is quietly waiting in the shadows to take you out.
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    by (#49967) on 2/29/04 @12:30PM
Starsia will definitely run his team into the ground with conditioning for their effort against AFA. The air is thin up there though. UVA should bounce back the first few weeks of the season is when teams find their identity and get on track.
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what about DU?
    by (#61652) on 2/29/04 @10:45PM
Looks UVA also lost to denver. have the cavs lost their edge? they dont seem to be doing well. personally, I'm a fan of denver, and i think they will go far into the postseason this year. this win against virginia is just a start
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Let's chalk these up to the altitude
    by (#10) on 3/01/04 @1:55PM
I'm not a uva fan whatsoever, but i'd have to say that when the national champs lose 2 games in a row against 2 second tier teams it would prubably have something to do w/ the fact that both of those teams were playing in their element.
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(no subject)
    by (#15067) on 3/01/04 @3:30PM
Having trained weeks in advance for playing at such high altitudes, I concur that no matter how much you train at sea level, your body will not be prepared for the air at 5,280 ft. This was not a lopsided loss though, and there are solutions to the fatigue caused by high alt. i.e. possessing the ball on offense, quick substitutions, etc. Perhaps UVA just took these teams lightly. Congrats to the West teams!
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    by (#35775) on 3/01/04 @5:39PM
What about all the other teams that have travelled to these places and destroyed these two teams.

That's a crap excuse. UVA obviously isn't as good as people think.
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    by (#68416) on 3/07/04 @12:49PM
I went to the Denver summer camp, and, being from Wisconsin, it took me two or three days to get accustomed to the thin air. You don't really get tired, you just can't breathe well and it feels like you just got done running a mile when you really only sprinted 40 yards.
Kudos to Air Force Academy for beating Virginia, and especially to Denver (who's only in their third or fourth year of D-1 play). Although the season isn't looking too promising so far for Virginia, they have excellent coaching and a deep talent pool that will pull them through the rest of the season into the NCAA tourney. I bet that Virginia at least makes it to the final 4 again this year. Also, watch out for these western teams who are creeping up on the Lax powerhouses.
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brett hughes
    by (#27384) on 3/01/04 @8:18PM
heard rumor brett hughes got hurt in the denver or air force game . . . any truth to it?
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Brett Hughes
    by (#36082) on 3/04/04 @12:20AM
He got sandwitched between two DU players and had to wind knocked out of him, along with being knocked unconcious. A scarey moment, but he's fine now.
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more serious ?
    by (#68835) on 3/06/04 @8:27AM
I read somewhere one of his teammates said they "had the paddles on him" ? More serious than a concussion right ?
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very good games
    by (#54935) on 3/05/04 @12:35AM
DU and AF held the ball for a very long time at UVA's end
in the 3rd DU held the ball for 4min now if u need a strategy to beat a top notch team well there ya go
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I see a pattern here
    by (#41662) on 3/06/04 @12:49AM
Drexel did the same thing to UVa, they just didn't have the skill players to finish. Quick question: UVa's first 3 games are more indicative of A) growing parity in Men's Lax, B)UVa not playing hard C)UVa just not being that good or D) UVa not having enough character guys to lead the team. Personally, I think the answer is D
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AF is good this year
    by (#68834) on 3/06/04 @8:08AM
AF is doing very good so far this year they have a skilled defense that can hold any attackmen in college lacrosse that is why AF beat Virginia.
Also there goalie is reliable and hes young so they'll have a few years with a good goalie
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(no subject)
    by (#54935) on 3/09/04 @1:29AM
Defense wins championships =D
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