Sept. 1 – TOWSON, Md. – The Goucher College field hockey program gave the fans at Beldon Field a show during Goucher Spirit Day, erasing an early two-goal deficit to force overtime against Neumann University. However, the Gophers would fall to the Knights by a 3-2 score.
The final tally of the game came from the Knight's Jessica Harrell, who gathered a deflection in front of the net to hand the Gophers (0-1) their first defeat of the season.
Despite the decision, the Gophers showed grit and determination throughout the contest. Goucher found themselves trailing 2-0 midway through the first half, as Neumann picked up goals from Julia Mustin (15:07) and Harrell (24:49) to take a two-goal lead.
Less than three minutes after the second goal was scored, sophomore Maya Belin tallied her first marker of the campaign, sticking one past the Knight's goal keeper to cut the lead to 2-1. Belin used a long shot from Annie Carter as a catalyst for her deflection, in order to trim the Neumann lead.
Still trailing 2-1 in the mid stages of the second half, Belin once again made a great play. Taking the ball at midfield, Belin showed off her great moves and quick acceleration, weaving past the Knight defense on her way toward the goal. Her final move past the goalie knotted the game at 2-2 with just under 15 minutes left.
For Belin, her second goal of the game marked the first multi-goal game of her career at Goucher College, also finishing with a game-high four points.
The Gopher defense came up big in the waning seconds of regulation. As the horn sounded, Neumann was awarded, not one, but two penalty strokes. The Goucher defense was up to the challenger, however, stuffing both chances, including a big save from goalie Liz Zengel.
The first big chance of the overtime frame came to the Gophers, as Rachel Crain was awarded a penalty stroke with just under five to play. Crain made a nice shot at the keeper, aiming for the top-left corner. However, the ball sailed high and the game continued on.
Just two minutes later, Neumann capitalized on a penalty corner, with Harrell posting her second goal of the game. The goal handed the Gophers the 3-2 defeat.
As a team, Goucher proved to be the aggressors throughout the matchup, as the Gophers outshot the Knights by a total of 24-18. Belin led the charge with five shots, including three on goal, while both Sarah Shklanko and Kristen Shklanko totaled four shots, each.
Annie Carter added an assist in the game for the Gophers, while Zengel played a nice game in her first start in net, stopping five total shots.
Goucher will be back in action on Saturday, September 3, as they travel to Newport News, Va. to take on the Captains of Christopher Newport University. The matchup is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start.