#1 Ranked Army Holds off Air Force 31-29 to Stay Unbeaten in College Play

Air Force’s Nate Luther looks to score on West Point GK, Spencer Knudsen.

This past weekend both Air Force and Army participated in the Cal Cup tournament and the two sides met in a college vs college match to open the tournament Friday night.

The two long time rivals had previously met this season at the Air Force Academy with Army dominating that contest for a 40-28 win. Starting out it appeared that this match was heading to a similar scoreline as Army led 10-4 midway through the first half. Air Force then changed tactics on defense with a man to man defense at half court that transitioned to a more traditional defense as Army moved the ball forward. This tactic disrupted Army’s offensive flow, created some turn overs and hurried shots and allowed Air Force to cut the lead to 12-11 before Army closed out the half with 3 goals for a 15-11 lead.

The two team traded goals for much of the second half and Air Force cut the lead to 1 goal several times, but never could quite tie the match. Towards the end of the match Army went on a bit of a run and extended the lead to 30-24 with 3 minutes left. Air Force again applied the pressure and was able to cut into the lead for the final 31-29 victory.

Army’s Luke Windish led all scorers with 9 goals. Kendrick Thomas added 8, while Air Force scoring was led by Quinton Riddle and Anthony Sanders-Oseguera with 7 goals each.

Both teams later lost to Alberta and Cal Heat 2 in pool play and failed to make the semifnals. Both teams did, however, pick up wins vs Chicago Inter in consolation play on Sunday. As far as the overall tournament results go, San Francisco Cal Heat won the Men’s Title and Alberta won the Women’s Title.

Army Team Captain Kendrick Thomas: Whenever Army and Air Force get together, it’s always a hard fought match. Thankfully Army pulled through with the win. We as a team were thankful to be a part of this tournament. We had some great competition out here. It was definitely a learning experience. We are excited for the competition coming up in the future.

Air Force Team Captain Austin Faulkner: The Cal Cup was a huge step in the right direction as we had all our starters for the first time and were missing only two 1st team players.

Despite having a 1-3 tourney record when we look at the quality of the matches and the scores we feel great moving forward. In the game against West Point turnovers hurt us early and often, but we settled in and lost 31-29 which is great compared to how the game at home went. We held Alberta tight and they are a very talented club with some Canadian national team players. The Cal Heat II game was a tough 19-20 loss, but their goalies put forth an amazing effort. The final day we came out and put together a win against a Chicago Inter team that has been competitive in recent tournament and we feel good about our next competition, the Valley of the Sun Tournament in Arizona.

Finally, it was great to see our coach, Mike Cavanaugh, honored for his efforts to develop team handball in California.


Luke Windish 9
Kendrick Thomas 8
Michael Turner 5
Will Considine 4
Blake Havern 2
Cedric Davis 1
Robert Purdy 1

Air Force
Anthony Sanders-Oseguera 7
Quinton Riddle 7
Richard Vaughn 6
Emari Hill 4
Nathan Luther 2
Tevin Miller 1
Mark Simpson 1
Benjamin Pagel 1


Match Video: Link
Match Photos: Link
Full Tournament Results: Link