Richmond's first tour through Division I lacrosse came to a close at altitude in the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Air Force, 13-5. With the win, Air Force advances to the first round of The Big Barbecue to face Duke in North Carolina on Sunday. The victory was the first for the Falcons in the NCAA Tournament, previously dropping their first games in the postseason in 1971 and 1988.
Air Force attacked from the start, getting first quarter goals from Mike Crampton and Erik Smith, tallies that sandwiched a bucket from Richmond's Chris Gifford late in the opening period. In the second quarter, though, the Falcons exploded: A four-goal push -- part of a 10-goal run that started with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter and 12:46 remaining in regulation -- stretched Air Force's lead out to 6-1 at the break, and insurmountable lead that the Spiders could not significantly erode (Richmond committed turnovers on about half of their first half offensive opportunities). The four-goal blast came in two bursts: Kyle Cassady and Tommy McKee strung together tallies in a 35-second span early in the second quarter; then Crampton and Smith -- much like in the first period -- pounded in buckets within a 31-second span midway through the quarter.
There was still an entire half to play, but the game was functionally over.
Crampton finished with five points on four goals and an assist. Keith Dreyer finished with three helpers. Mitch Goldberg quietly chipped in a goal and two assists in Richmond's effort.
TRUNCATED ADVANCED BOX SCORE
|Raw Offensive Efficiency||17.24||39.39|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||23.81%||34.21%|
|Shots per Offensive Opportunity||0.72||1.15|
|Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities||62.07||45.45|
|Run-of-Play Groundballs per 100 Possessions||24.19||41.94|
|Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities||27.27||37.93|
|Team Save Percentage||40.91%||68.75%|