TOWSON, Md. – The Goucher College field hockey Team (0-1, Landmark 0-0) fell to St. Mary's (Md.) 2-1 in penalty strokes on a chilly September night to open the 2017 season.
The Gophers came out of the gate quickly, taking a 1-0 lead only 11:35 into the game when junior Maya Belin (Baltimore, Md.) tipped a loose ball into the back of the cage. The Seahawks fought back and put two shots on goal in rapid succession two minutes later, but sophomore Megan Wells (Wilbraham, Mass.) swatted the attempts away.
Only minutes later, the Gophers threatened again, notching three penalty corners in a row. However, they were unable to get a shot on goal. St. Mary's answered back with three penalty corners of their own. The first resulted in a strike off the post while the second needed a save from Wells and the last two were blocked by the defense.
At the end of the first half, Goucher held a 1-0 advantage.
As quickly as the Gophers took the lead in the first half, the Seahawks leapt to knot the game in the second. Courtney Mellon received a pass from Alyssa Demski and buried it into the goal through traffic.
Both teams struggled to maintain possession throughout the remainder of the half, and both defenses bounced away any opportunities to score. At the end of regulation the game remained knotted, 1-1.
St. Mary's put three early shots on goal in the first overtime, but Wells skillfully struck them away from danger. Finally, in the 83rd minute, junior Jackie Juarez (Glendora, Calif.) ripped a shot on goal for the Gophers in OT, but her opportunity was pushed away. St. Mary's had one final opportunity in the period when Emily Pulkowski bounced a shot off the post and out of play.
The second overtime saw multiple opportunities for each team on the breakaway. However, both goalkeepers remained steadfast, parrying away any chances for defeat. After 100 minutes, the game remained even and sent each team to penalty strokes.
Neither team managed a successful penalty stroke in the first round. Mellon led the second round with a goal to break the stalemate. The goalkeepers allowed no more balls past them through the final rounds. Goalkeeper Alyssa Thompson earned her first win of the season after defending the fifth round successfully.
Wells collected 21 saves in the game, a career-high for the goalkeeper. Thompson played all 100 minutes for the Seahawks and accumulated eight saves.
The Gophers were outshot 33-17 while the Seahawks managed 24 shots on goal compared to Goucher's nine.
Goucher is off until Sunday when it plays host to Johns Hopkins University at 4 p.m. on Beldon Field.