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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #52 Air Force Falcons

It was a down year for the Falcons in 2018, but their season was dominated off the lacrosse field.

Steve Parker

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Furman, Hobart, Fairfield, and Mount St. Mary’s.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#52 Air Force Falcons

Conference: SoCon
2018 Record: 5-10 (3-4 in SoCon play)
Head coach: Bill Wilson (Interim)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Nick Hruby (27)
Assists: Matthew Schwartz (8)
Points: Nick Hruby (34)
Faceoffs: Trent Harper (152-of-287; 53%)
Ground balls: Trent Harper (68)
Caused turnovers: Jeremiah Hemme (12)
Goals against average: Braden Host (8.87 GAA)
Save percentage: Braden Host (47.3%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Chris Walsch (36 Gs, 28 As, 24 GBs in 2017), A Nick Hruby (27 Gs, 7 As, 24 GBs), M Grant Gould (27 Gs, 7 As, 12 GBs in 2017), A Andrew Tien (11 Gs, 3 As)
Senior scoring departing: 50 of 171 points (29.2%)
Senior starts lost: 23 of 150 (15.3%)

Season Summary

Air Force’s 5-10 record was clouded by an off-the-field investigation for “hazing, bullying, abusive sexual contact, and drug use” that saw many of the team’s upperclassmen and coaching staff suspended. Some of the players and coaches were reinstated near the end of the fall, and Bill Wilson replaced head coach Eric Seremet on an interim basis.

With Wilson at the helm, the Falcons didn’t have Chris Walsch and Grant Gould on offense for the entire season. Air Force also didn’t have Paxton Boyer in goal, with Braden Host and Noah Schwab getting starts.

Some of the losses and lack of fall workouts hurt Air Force in the long run, as the Falcons had their worst record since they went 1-13 in 2010, Seremet’s second season as head coach. An 18-4 season-opening loss to Duke, an 8-7 home loss to Cleveland State, and a 23-5 blowout to Cornell were some of the team’s lowlights in 2018. The 18-goal loss to Cornell was the team’s worst defeat since 1990.

But despite the record, Air Force nearly made it to the SoCon Tournament for another season with a 3-4 record. But they lost their final two games to High Point by a goal and Richmond by six goals to end any tournament hopes. They also fell to Jacksonville by a goal and Mercer by two tallies earlier in conference play.

Senior Nick Hruby and sophomores Matthew Schwartz and Trey Lervick were the top three scorers, along with Cameron Carter, Andrew Tien, Jack Flynn, and Chet Dunstan. The close defense was a young unit led by sophomore Doc Szlachetka and freshman Vince Lombardi. Christian Pung, Kyle Richbourg, and Jeremiah Hemme also contributed on defense.

Looking Ahead

The future is a little muddy to predict. The investigation is over, which found about 30 players involved in hazing. but there’s no word of if Seremet will be back, if Wilson remains the interim head coach for another year, or if the school will look for a new head coach, although it could be late to perform the latter.

It sounds like the Academy will review their entire athletics department regarding their culture and climate, which could take a long time. One person told me with how long this might take, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Wilson stay on an interim basis for another year. They may have already begun to replace Seremet, as the team added Nick Ossello on their coaches page midway through the season.

Perhaps the lack of experienced players may have helped Air Force next season. Only two starters depart for 2019, both of them on offense. The Falcons have experience that can drive them back to the SoCon Championship if all goes to plan.

Here’s who the Falcons will be adding to their roster for next year (or in two years, since most of their recruits usually go to prep school for a year).*

Air Force’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Greg Capelle Defense Herricks (NY)
Brenden Crouse Midfield Boys' Latin (MD)
Cole Grindberg Attack Chanhassen (MN)
Bjorn Holm Attack Blake School (MD)
August Johnson Midfield Cheyenne Mountain (CO)
Jack Keating Attack Gonzaga (DC)
Max Lionetti Midfield Smithtown West (NY)
Josh Mahosky Attack Vandegrift (TX)
Drew Martin Midfield Half Hollow Hills East (NY)
Brian Michael Midfield/FO Farmingdale (NY)
Colin Mone Goalie Culver (IN)
Jason Rose Goalie Garnet Valley (PA)
Reid Scarborough Midfield Robinson (VA)
Davis Schiller Midfield Cranbrook (MI)
Jackson Shearer Defense The Woodlands (TX)
Josh Tauss Attack/Midfield Cathedral Catholic (CA)
Troy Tuveson Defense Hereford (MD)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Air Force get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    0-3
    (2 votes)
  • 50%
    4-5
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    6-7
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    8+
    (5 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now