MACON, Ga. (School Release)- The Mercer men's lacrosse team is back in action on Saturday afternoon, welcoming Air Force to Macon for a 1 p.m. tilt at the Moye Lacrosse Complex. The Bears aim to right the ship after falling to High Point by a 12-10 count on March 31, while Air Force strives to build off a recent 10-6 win at Michigan.
SCOUTING AIR FORCE
After falling behind Michigan 1-0, Air Force used a 9-0 run to take control of the March 30th contest in Ann Arbor. The win snapped a four-game slide for the Falcons and pushed the team to 5-5 on the season.
Saturday's game comes in the midst of a four-game road streak for the Falcons that sees the team travel to Denver, Michigan, Mercer and Fairfield. The team is 3-3 in road games this season with wins coming at High Point, at Rutgers and at Michigan.
The Falcons' offense runs through junior attackman Mike Crampton, who leads the squad in points (31) and shots (84). Entering Saturday's play, he's tied with classmate Tommy McKee for the team lead in goals (24).
Junior midfielders Bryan Price and Erik Smith split time taking face-offs for the Falcons. Price is 50-of-83 (.602) at the X while Smith is 59-of-122 (.484). Senior goalie Austin Fox has started nine of 10 games between the pipes and sports a goals-against average of 9.70 and a save percentage of .531.
Mercer has scored 12 or more goals in each of the last five games, but is just 1-4 during that stretch. Freshman Chris Baxa and junior Zack Ward have combined to score 27 of Mercer's 49 goals over the span.
Baxa's 34 points are a program-single season record, besting the old mark of 31 set by Ward in 2012 and Cole Branch in 2011. His average of 3.78 points per game ranks 23rd nationally.
Mercer is the eighth-best face-off team in the nation, thanks to junior midfielder Justin Evans. Evans ranks ninth in the country with a 58.2% (117-of-201) success rate in face-offs this season.
With three regular season games to play, freshman goalie Mike Nugent is 28 saves of setting the program record for stops in a single season. He's piled up 111 through nine games and posted double-digit saves in five-straight games.