Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/13/23
From Press Release and Staff Report
With Philly grads playing key roles, host Air Force claimed a stunning 12-10 upset win against 17th-ranked Denver Saturday in the USAFA home opener. The win marks the first time AF has beaten Denver since 2009 and delivers head DU coach Bill Tierney his first-ever and only loss the Falcons.
Air Force seniors led their team to victory from the front as co-team captain Brandon Dodd put up an impressive five goals and one assist while senior teammate Jason Rose (Garnet Valley) made 17 saves (63%).
Rose added four groundballs and a caused turnover. Meanwhile, the defense was spearheaded by junior standout James Chastain (Avon Grove, 3CT, 1GB) and freshman starter Matt Rosato (Haverford School, 2GB). Meanwhile, freshman starting attackman Caelan Driggs (Salesianum School) had a goal and an assist as Air Force overcame a 17-6 deficit in faceoffs.
The Pioneers were the first to strike, going up two goals to none in the opening five minutes. Air Force battled back to tie DU at three at the end of the first 15. Brandon Dodd, Gavin Peene, and newcomer Hunter Panzik were credited with the first-quarter goals.
The Falcons outscored Denver 4-1 in an explosive second quarter giving Falcons a three-goal cushion heading into the halftime break. Dodd got his second goal and hat trick goal in before the halftime horn sounded. Josh Yago and Driggs notched goals in the second quarter.
At the half, AF was outshooting the Pioneers 21-15 and Rose had eight saves to his credit.
Denver had their best showing in the third quarter putting up five goals the four from Air Force. Dodd scored goals four and five in the third quarter and teammates Aidan Tolen and Ethan Grandolfo plugged one in apiece to maintain the AF lead despite being outscored in the quarter.
The final quarter of action was a stingy battle as both teams put up one goal in the final 15 minutes. Shad Bruce gained the momentum for the Falcons on a counterattack via feed from Driggs, sending the AF sideline and fan base into a frenzy. DU got their final goal of the game at 1:46, but it was too little too late.