Eagles Overcome Gophers in Battle for First Place

Eagles Overcome Gophers in Battle for First Place

HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Neither Goucher nor Juniata had lost more than two games in either of their previous six Landmark victories this spring. In today's battle of unbeaten teams, it was the host Eagles who were able to keep their streak alive.

The Gophers had their eight-match winning streak stopped with a 7-2 setback this afternoon. Juniata (11-4, 7-0 Landmark) extended its own win streak to 10 matches, and the Eagles also clinched the No. 1 seed in the Landmark postseason tournament later this month.

Juniata jumped ahead by sweeping the three doubles matches. Seth Hoesman (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) and Joey Caracappa (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Saddlebrook Preparatory School) fell to 14-2 in dual matches at No. 1 with an 8-6 loss to the Eagle tandem of Dean Polisena and Matyas Kohout. The Gophers' No. 2 duo of Jack Hodges (London, England/Shrewsbury School) and Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan/International School Bangkok) were also bested for the first time this spring. Sho Sato and Logan Moore dropped them to 7-1 as a team after emerging with an 8-3 victory. Bryan Gregory and Mike Lifshitz completed the sweep with an 8-1 win over Britt Shortle (Lake Mary, Fla./Trinity Preparatory School) and Josh Goldberg (Centreville, Md./Queen Anne's County) at No. 3.

All six singles matches were decided and straight sets, with only two outcomes favoring Goucher. Hoesman handled Kohout 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2, while Hodges topped Sato 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3. The next two closest matches came at No. 4, where Fujitani fell 6-4, 6-4 to Gregory, and at No. 1, where Polisena held off Caracappa 6-1, 7-6 (4).

Goucher (12-5, 6-1 Landmark) now knows that it will enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. The Gophers also learned their semifinal opponent, as Moravian wrapped up the third seed with a 9-0 shutout win over Susquehanna. The Gophers have one more regular season contest before they host the Greyhounds on Tuesday, April 28. That matchup will take place at Scranton tomorrow afternoon. The Royals (4-7, 3-3 Landmark) are one of three teams currently fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot.