THE STORY: Returning to the Landmark Conference field hockey playoffs for the first time since 2007, the Goucher Gophers fought valiantly but gave up a goal with no time remaining on the clock to lose, 2-1, to the Elizabethtown Blue Jays on Wolf Field today.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Blue Jays broke a scoreless tie when Emma Christman scored on a rebound at 23:29 in the first half. The play was fairly even during the first half as the Blue Jays took 5 shots to the 3 taken by the Gophers. Coming out of the halftime break down 1-0 the Gophers stepped up the intensity. Junior Liz Zengel (Smithfield, VA) was solid in the goal as she repeatedly kicked out and turned away Blue Jay scoring attempts. With 12:17 remaining in the second half the Gophers broke through on a goal by senior Lizzie Barminski (Ventrua, CA). Junior Olivia Dickert (Montville, NJ) passed the ball in front of the cage and Barmninski re-directed the ball into the goal. From that point forward Elizabethtown put their foot on the accelerator and created a number of dangerous scoring opportunities, They were awarded a penalty corner with 30 seconds remaining, but, by the time they set it up there was not time left on the clock. Christman scored her second tally of the day on a re-direct from Addie Stang to end the game and the Gophers bid to move on to the championship game.
INSIDE THE BOX: The penalty corners were even in the first half (4 a piece) and the game ended up with Elizabethtown having 11 to Goucher's 10. The shots were not so even as the Blue Jays outshot the Gophers 15-6. Five for Goucher's six shots were on goal. 11 of the Blue Jay shots were on goal. Junior Emily Jewell (San Diego, CA), was a stalwart on defense and finished the game being credited with one defensive save.
BETWEEN THE POSTS: Goucher' goalkeeper Liz Zengel finished the game with 9 total saves. Elizabethtown's goalie, Hannah Mack, had four saves on the day.
Coach Megan Williams' Take: "I am so proud of this team, and the seniors, and what they have accomplished. I asked them to leave nothing in the tank, and they gave me everything they had and they did. Evidence of this is the fact that we just lost to the undefeated (in conference play) number one seed by one goal."
WHAT'S NEXT: With the loss today, Goucher finishes their 2016 season with an overall record of 8-9. Elizabethtown moves to 13-4. The Blue Jays will host the Landmark Conference championship on Wolf Field at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 5th. They will take on the winner of the other semi-final playoff game between Susquehanna University and the Catholic University of America.