LEXINGTON, Va. - In a physical matchup that totaled 16 penalties, the VMI lacrosse team fell by a 12-5 score to visiting Air Force Academy Saturday afternoon at Drill Field No. 2.
The Keydets (4-8, 0-6) trailed just 3-2 at the half, but the Falcons (9-4, 5-1) utilized a strong third quarter to score five times and pull away from VMI in the second half. Air Force entered the final period with an 8-3 lead then tacked on four more scores while allowing VMI only two to secure the 12-5 win over the Keydets.
A major turning point in the game occurred early in the third quarter on a VMI cross-check penalty. Air Force's Tim Baker scored a goal at the 13:44 mark to put the Falcons up 4-2 but VMI's John Schmank was called for a non-releasable cross-check on Baker to allow Air Force a man-up opportunity. The Falcons took advantage and scored two powerplay goals within the minute to put Air Force up 6-2. The Falcons would finish the third quarter with two more goals before VMI's Ryan Perouty stopped the bleeding with a Keydet goal with under a minute to play before the fourth quarter with VMI trailing 8-3.
The Falcons were called for nine penalties in the game (7:30 penalty time) and VMI was penalized seven times for six minutes in the box. Air Force finished 4-7 on man-up opportunities while VMI was limited to 1-for-8 in extra-man scoring opportunities. Air Force also controlled faceoffs and won 16 of 20 attempts.
Held scoreless against UVA on Tuesday night, sophomore attack Ryan Perouty rebounded with a three-goal effort today against the Falcons. Johnny Daniel was credited with the other two goals for VMI.
Air Force's Jack Flynn led the Falcons with three goals while Baker added two. Seven other Falcons scored solo goals to aid Air Force's victory.
The Keydets close the 2019 season next Saturday on the road in a Southern Conference matchup with Furman at noon in Greenville, South Carolina.