COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A hard fought game that took the defending Southern Conference champions to the wire in overtime resulted in a heartbreaking loss for Jacksonville University (0-8, 0-2) to Air Force (6-3, 2-0), 10-9, Saturday at Falcon Stadium.
Shawn Ewert gave the Dolphins an early lead when he scored on an Eric Applegate helper 85 seconds into the contest. Brandon Jones of Air Force answered quickly at the 13:19 mark to tie the game and Marcus Ward gave the hosts the lead on a score at 8:57.
Mitchell Parker then went on a tear, scoring at 8:43 and 6:11 on assists by Ryan Beville and Applegate as Jacksonville regained the lead. Chris Walsch tied the game on his goal with four minutes left in the period.
The Dolphins scored quickly on an extra-man opportunity thanks to Ewert's second goal of the game, this time assisted by Dwayne Mattushik just 24 seconds into the frame. Chase McIntyre scored unassisted at 11:04 to give JU a two-goal lead.
McLean Chicquen doubled the score on a Ewert assist for his score at 6:53, and nine seconds later Chase York found the back of the net from a Beville pass. It was the final goal of the quarter for either squad as the Dolphins shutout the Falcons 4-0 and netminder Ben Gleichenhaus had four saves in the half.
The Falcons returned with energy and tied the game at seven-all with a pair of goals from both Walsch and Nick Hruby.
Chicquen ended the Air Force run with a ringer at 13:26 on another Applegate assist.
After two more Falcon scores, Brett Reilly tied the game thanks to Applegate's fourth assist with just 1:35 remaining.
Both teams fought hard but an Austin Smith goal with just seven seconds remaining in overtime gave the Falcons the win.
"Today was the best lacrosse our team has played all season long, and I couldn't be more proud of this group. There is no easy way to handle a loss like this, but I do know that we have built on the discipline and fundamentals that we focused on this week, and we are a better team because of it. I look forward to a chance to work with this group the remainder of the year and we have five big conference games left in April, and each one is important for an opportunity to play in the postseason. Particularly, I am inspired with the play of Mitchell Parker, who has done everything we have asked of him on the offensive end. He had two goals today. I was also extremely impressed with our defensive effort. We played defense for five minutes straight at the end of regulation, and for almost the entirety of the overtime period right up until the final goal. Our team is getting better, we are developing every week, and I look forward to going back to battle with these guys come Monday afternoon." - Head Coach John Galloway
Jacksonville went 13-14 in clears, and committed eight turnovers to Air Force's 11. Beville and Blake Gatison each picked up three ground balls. Gleichenhaus had 11 saves in goal.
Jacksonville returns home to host SoCon opponent Furman on Saturday, Apr. 1 at noon.