Goucher's Playoff Hopes Damaged with Loss at Drew

MADISON, N.J. — Drew pushed Goucher on the brink of elimination from postseason play this afternoon, with Landmark Conference scoring leaders Krysta Cento and Nikki Klelman combining for 14 points to help send the shorthanded Gophers to a 20-11 defeat.

Goucher (7-8, 2-3 Landmark) will now need a win over Susquehanna next Saturday, as well as a Scranton loss at last place Merchant Marine, to clinch the fourth and final spot in the Landmark Conference playoffs. The Rangers (10-4, 4-1 Landmark) sealed their own playoff berth with the win.

Forced to compete a player down this afternoon, the Gophers nevertheless got off to a strong start, as Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) and Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein) each tallied unassisted goals in the opening three minutes to give Goucher a two-goal lead.

Drew responded with the game's next four goals before Erin Reifsnyder (Austin, Texas/St. Andrew's Episcopal) broke the streak with a free position conversion. The Rangers followed with four more goals in a row to open up an 8-3 advantage, and they would take an 11-5 lead into halftime.

That advantage was pushed up to 13-6 early in the second half. Three unanswered strikes from Reifsnyder, Anneke Ossorio (Lafayette, Colo./Kent Denver School) and Megan Meluskey (Wilmington, Del./Concord) got Goucher within four with 23 minutes still remaining, but Drew put the game out of reach with a seven-goal outburst over the following 10 minutes.

The Rangers finished the game with a 35-20 edge in shots. Kleiman, who leads the conference with 52 goals, led the way with six markers in this contest. Cento, meanwhile, added five goals and three assists to push her conference-leading point total up to 88.

Reifsnyder led the Gophers with four goals, and she also had the team's lone assist. The senior co-captain is currently third in the conference with 57 points on the season.

Perry, Meluskey and Ossorio each finished with two goals apiece. Meluskey tied a career-high with four draw controls, while Claire Lippay (Jenkintown, Pa./Jenkintown) led the team with a season-best six ground balls.

Drew has now won seven straight meetings between the teams since Goucher began Landmark play with a pair of victories in the series back in 2008.

Prior to today's contest, the Gophers wore memorial t-shirts in honor of men's lacrosse player Matt Gabriel (picture below). Reifsnyder and Hannah Mae Brown (Pinedale, Wyo./Dunn School) were also recognized by the Rangers as they celebrated their Senior Day.

The Gophers regular season finale against Susquehanna, the defending conference champions, will take place at 12 p.m. on Saturday during Goucher's Blue & Gold Weekend.