August 29, 2014

Weiner Leads Gophers Past Blazers in Season Opener

TOWSON, Md. — An early goal from Brandon Weiner (Derwood, Md./Col. Zadok A. Magruder) turned out to be all Goucher needed, as the Gophers allowed only four shots in a 1-0 victory over Hood under the lights at Beldon Field in the season opener for both teams.

Sam Bloxam (Center Valley, Pa./Faith Christian Academy) fired a free kick into the box just over 12 minutes into tonight's contest. The ball ended up at Weiner's feet in the ensuing scramble, and the senior captain drilled a low shot past Blazer goalkeeper Henry Mills.

That was the only goal Goucher managed on the night, but the Gophers held a significant advantage in possession, out-shooting Hood 16-4 and earning nine corner kicks compared to zero for the Blazers.

"I couldn't be any prouder of our effort and performance tonight," head coach Bryan Laut said. "The boys did a great job preparing this offseason and were rewarded for that hard work with tonight's result against a strong Hood team."

Nicholas Stolarz (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) was only required to make two saves in goal to pick up the third clean sheet of his career, but the first of those stops was a memorable one. Hood forward Drew Demich was left one-on-one against the sophomore goalie nine minutes into the game, but Stolarz made a diving stop to keep the Blazers off the scoreboard.

Goucher had 10 of the game's 12 shots in the opening 45 minutes. That advantage continued after the intermission, with Hood not generating a second shot on goal until the 63rd minute.

Tate Becker (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) had a great opportunity to double the Gophers' advantage early in the second half after Nate Margolis (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) led the sophomore in on a breakaway, but Mills dove down to keep him off the score sheet.

Ryan Belluch (Reading, Pa./Muhlenberg) led Goucher with four shots, three of which were directed on goal. Weiner and Thomas Adair (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) each added a pair of shots.

The Gophers will remain at Beldon Field for their next contest, a 3 p.m. matchup against Haverford this Sunday.