Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

Falcons soar over lacrosse competition

By Melissa McKeown

Athletic Communications

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – Led by a career-high five goals from Vinny Sandtorv the Air Force lacrosse team posted a 12-8 victory over Presbyterian Sunday at Ponte Vedra High School. The game was part of the “Face Off for a Cause” tournament, with proceeds going to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. With the win, the Falcons move to 1-1 on the season, while the Blue Hose fall to 0-2.

It took less than a minute for Air Force to get on the board, as Ridge Flick found the back of the net with an assist from Brian Massa. However, the next goal did not come quickly, as more than 12 minutes went by before Adam Paranka tallied his first career goal, assisted by long-stick midfielder Dan Gnazzo. Presbyterian notched its first score of the contest with just 50 seconds remaining in the period, on a man-up goal from Drake Peterson.

The Falcons opened the second period with another quick goal from Flick, but the two teams traded scores over the next several minutes. During that stretch, Sandtorv notched a pair of scores, including a man-up goal, while defender Bryan Gilbreath scored his first goal of the season with the first career assist from long-stick midfielder Jeff Pecora. Air Force went on to tally the final goal of the half, as Paranka scored off a feed from captain Griffin Nevitt with just 18 seconds left on the clock to give the Falcons a 7-4 advantage.

Air Force was also first to score in the third period to take a four-goal lead, but Presbyterian began to make a run, scoring four unanswered goals to tie the game at 8-8 with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter. However, the run came to a halt, as the Falcons held the Blue Hose scoreless for the remainder of the contest. Meanwhile, Air Force tallied four goals in the final period, including a pair from Sandtorv and the first score of the season for Nevitt.

In addition to Sandtorv’s five goals, Flick added a career-best three scores to lead the Air Force offense, while Nevitt recorded a career-high tying three assists. For Presbyterian, Clay Patchen scored a team-high three goals, while Jon Athens had a solid performance in goal, tallying 14 saves.

While Air Force took seven penalties in the game, the team was strong on the penalty kill, allowing just two man-up goals by the Blue Hose. Meanwhile, the Falcons were 2-for-3 on the EMO. Air Force also won 15-of-23 face-offs in the contest, led by Zack Carroll who controlled 13 face-offs.

The Falcons return to action Feb. 28-March 1 at the Pioneer Face-off Classic, hosted by Denver. Air Force faces Towson Feb. 28, while taking on Sacred Heart on March 1.

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