SCRANTON, Pa. — Very little separated Goucher and Scranton this afternoon, with each team firing 32 shots apiece and neither squad leading by more than four goals at any point in the contest. In the end, however, it was the Royals who managed enough extra offensive firepower to condemn the Gophers to a 12-9 setback.
Hannah Mae Brown (Pinedale, Wyo./Dunn School) led all scorers with four goals for Goucher (7-7, 2-2 Landmark) in a losing effort, while Christine Dredger and Meghan Kerr each recorded hat tricks for Scranton (3-7, 2-3 Landmark).
Erin Reifsnyder (Austin, Texas/St. Andrew's Episcopal) chipped in two goals, both of which came in the game's opening five minutes. Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) followed Reifsnyder's second strike with a free position goal to give the Gophers an early 3-1 advantage with 22:26 showing on the clock.
Kerry Sullivan pulled one back for the Royals at the 20:25 mark, and that began a four-goal flurry in a span of 2:04 to give Scranton a 5-3 edge. Each team added three more goals in the first half, with Anneke Ossorio (Lafayette, Colo./Kent Denver School) converting a free position attempt in the closing minutes to reduce Goucher's deficit to 8-6 heading into the break.
The second half was more of a defensive affair, with only seven goals total compared to 14 in the opening 30 minutes, but the Gophers were never able to get closer than two goals down at any point.
Brown's third goal, a man-up strike with 19:34 left, made it 9-7 Royals. Dredger responded with back-to-back strikes to give Scranton its largest lead of the afternoon. Brown and Megan Meluskey (Wilmington, Del./Concord) brought the margin back down to two, with Meluskey's goal coming with 3:16 remaining. Kerr, though, scored 33 seconds later after the Royals won the ensuing draw control and Goucher was never able to regain possession.
The Gophers struggled on draw controls later on in the game, controlling only one of the second half's eight draws after Scranton held just an 8-7 advantage in the first half. The Royals also finished with a 28-21 lead in ground balls.
Meissner had Goucher's lone assist, and she also picked up a career-high six ground balls. Reifsnyder and Meluskey each had a game-high eight shots, while Kat Carnevale (Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy) and Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein) caused three turnovers apiece on defense. Emily Gill (White Hall, Md./North Harford) and Scranton's Emily Towey each registered 11 saves in goal.
The Royals honored their seven seniors prior to today's contest, and Gopher seniors Brown and Reifsnyder were recognized as well (picture below). Scranton moves up to fifth place in the Landmark standings after its win, a half-game behind fourth place Goucher.
The Gophers return to action next Saturday with a 12 p.m. road game at Drew. The Rangers (8-3, 3-1 Landmark), who have two additional tilts scheduled prior to the weekend, have won eight of their last games overall.