Air Force deals shock to Virginia

Falcons pull off 7-6 win over '03 national titlists

February 29, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Air Force, led by William Meister with two goals - scored four in the third quarter to take the lead and two more in the final period to upset defending national champion Virginia, 7-6, in men's lacrosse yesterday in Denver.

The No. 2-ranked Cavaliers (1-1) have won three NCAA championships.

"This was a great win for our team and this program," Air Force coach Fred Acee said. "We had a solid game plan and executed it to perfection. All of our players contributed to this major upset."

The Falcons (1-0) trailed 3-1 at the half before scoring six of the next seven goals, including two in the opening three minutes of the final period to build a 7-4 lead.

Virginia cut the lead to one on two goals by Matt Ward, the second 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 left.

Virginia called timeout with 33 seconds remaining to set up a final play, but Air Force prevented the Cavaliers from getting a shot off before time expired.

Falcons keeper Justin Pavoni recorded five of his 14 saves in the opening quarter. Virginia's Tillman Johnson finished with 11 saves.

Virginia 1 2 1 2 - 6

Air Force 1 0 4 2 - 7

Goals: V-Ward 3, Christmas, Mullen, Yevoli; AF- Meister 2, Brown, Dangler, Kehler, Kuchta, Lorden. Assists: V-Dixon, Gilbert, Poskay, Ward, Yevoli; AF-Benzing, Colosimo, Dangler, Meister, Miller. Saves: V-Johnson 11; AF-Pavoni 14.

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