USAFA, Colo. – Sophomore Kevin Womack (Redlands, Calif.) tallied the game-winning goal with nine seconds remaining to lift the 20th-ranked Air Force water polo team to a 9-8 victory over Pomona-Pitzer Saturday afternoon in the Air Force Tournament.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the Falcons taking the early lead with a score from junior Jantz Johnson (Murrieta, Calif.) in the opening minute of the contest. Air Force held a 4-3 advantage at the end of the first period, but went scoreless in the second quarter, bringing the halftime score to 4-4.
The Falcons notched the first two goals of the third quarter, as scores from Ben Rogers (So., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Brad Duncan (Sr., Fresno, Calif.) gave Air Force its largest lead of the game. However, the Sagehens battled back, registering the next three goals to earn their first advantage with 7:37 to play in the final stanza.
A man-up goal from senior captain Josh Stedman (Brea, Calif.) midway through the fourth quarter tied the game once again, but Pomona-Pitzer scored less than 30 seconds later to regain its lead. An exclusion foul against the Sagehens with less than two and a half minutes to play led to Johnson’s second goal of the game, tying the score at 8-8 with 2:06 remaining. Meanwhile, on the other end, the Falcons were able to kill a 6-on-5 opportunity by Pomona-Pitzer.
With the game still tied at 8-8 in the waning moments of regulation, the Falcons were able to draw another ejection with 13 seconds on the clock, setting up Womack’s winning goal.
For the game, the Falcons scored on four of their seven extra-man chances, while holding the Sagehens to just 2-of-6 scoring on their 6-on-5 opportunities.
Johnson, Rogers and Stedman each tallied two goals to lead Air Force’s balanced offense, while sophomore goalkeeper Caleb Guarino (Diamond Bar, Calif.) registered a season-high 13 saves.
The Falcons (3-7) wrap up competition in the Air Force Tournament tomorrow, as they take on Mercyhurst at 11:00 a.m.
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