Lightning Delay Slows Gophers in Conference Opener

Lightning Delay Slows Gophers in Conference Opener

SCRANTON, Pa. -- In its Landmark Conference opener, Goucher found itself in a 1-1 tie with Scranton with just under 14 minutes left in the first half. A lightning delay, however, then halted the match for 61 minutes, and it was the Royals who came out stronger after the stoppage, grabbing a 2-1 lead two minutes after play resumed and gradually pulling away for a 4-1 victory.

Demie Huffman (Granville, Ohio/Granville) made a season-high 14 saves for the Gophers (3-7, 0-1 Landmark), including a save on a penalty stroke in the ninth minute, while Antonia DiLuca (Ardmore, Pa./Friends Central) scored Goucher's lone goal. Scranton (9-1, 1-1 Landmark) got back in the win column after suffering its first defeat of the season last weekend.

The Royals had the first seven shots of the match, and they took a 1-0 lead at 10:10 when Kathleen Keale drilled a shot past Huffman for her fourth goal of the season.

Goucher responded quickly, earning its first penalty corner of the contest 40 seconds later. DiLuca took the corner, and she picked up her first goal of the season on a setup from Justine Ruhlin (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) to level the score at one apiece. DiLuca now has three goals in her Gopher career, while Ruhlin recorded her team-leading 16th point.

Scranton earned a second penalty stroke immediately after the weather delay, and this time the Royals were able to convert, with Alyssa Fania recording her seventh goal this season. Keale added a second goal three minutes before the intermission.

Rachel Crain (Charlotte Hall, Md./Chopticon) notched Goucher's second shot two minutes into the second half, but her effort was blocked by the Royal defense. Scranton closed out the scoring with a 45th-minute goal from Meghan Kearney.

The Gophers continue conference play Wednesday night at Catholic. The Cardinals (5-4, 0-1 Landmark) are currently ranked 18th in the nation heading into a weekend match at Moravian. Wednesday's contest begins at 7 p.m.