Ethan Grandolfo got the party started for Air Force and Ben Ward added another as the Falcon jumped out to a quick 2-0.
The Spiders would would quickly reply with a pair of goal themselves from Austin Reid and Richie Connell would score the first of five goals this afternoon.
Air Force and Richmond would continue to exchange goals. The Falcons would lead 4-3 until Connell scored just before the horn to tie it up 4-4 after one quarter.
The defences held strong in the second quarter as the only goals scored came from Connell for Richmond and Aidan Tolen for Air Force.
Tolen’s goal started a four-goal run for the Falcons with Grandolfo finding the back of the net and Dante Orlando potting a pair as Air Force led 8-5 early in the fourth quarter.
Richmond would get three more back with goals from Tyler Shoults and two from Connell to tie the game 8-8 with 3:53 remaining in the game.
Cue the dramatic finish, as Crouse scored the game-winner with an extra man to give Air Force the victory. It was Crouse’s 13th goal of the season.
Jason Rose picked up the win in goal for Air Force, stopping 10 of 18 shots for the victory.
The victory puts Air Force with a record of 4-7 and Richmond drops to 6-5. Despite the difference in records, Air Force has had Richmond’s number. Air Force is 6-2 all-time against Richmond and 3-1 when travelling to Robins Stadium to face the Spiders.
Air Force’s playoff fate is now held by Mercer. If Mercer loses to Bellarmine, Air Force will take the fourth seed in the SOCON tournament. If Mercer wins, Mercer would take the head-to-head series and the fourth seed into the playoffs.
Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years. For the past five years, he’s been the Saskatchewan correspondent for LaxPhilly.