Team Takes 14-3 Record into Inaugural NCAA Appearance
TOWSON, Md. — Six first-time opponents appeared on Goucher's 2010 schedule and now the Gophers will play a seventh opponent they have never faced before when they make their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Goucher (14-3), which received an automatic bid to the 23-team postseason tournament as champion of the Landmark Conference, will take on Middlebury in the opening round on Wednesday. The game will be played in Middlebury’s on-campus Alumni Stadium/Youngman Field complex with the opening face-off scheduled for 3 p.m.
“It’s an honor for us to be playing such a storied Division III program in our first appearance in the Division III tournament,” Goucher head coach Kyle Hannan commented after the tournament field was announced. “From the day I accepted the position at Goucher, this is what all the players and coaches I’ve had have been striving to accomplish – go to the NCAA tournament. And now we’re here!”
The Panthers (11-5) were runners-up in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, but were awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. They are making their 13th consecutive and 14th overall appearance in the event and have advanced to the championship games in six of the last 10 seasons, winning three straight NCAA Division III crowns in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
During the regular season, Hannan’s Gophers went 3-3 against the six first-time opponents with the wins coming against King’s, 13-2, Gordon, 10-8, and New England, 12-6. The losses were to Washington (Md.), 7-6, Gettysburg, 16-6, and Eastern Connecticut St., 13-12.
The 14 victories the Gophers have accomplished so far in 2010 is already a new single-season record for Goucher’s men’s lacrosse program and the team’s current nine-game winning streak is the longest in the program’s 19-year history.