Gophers Earn Top Seed by Nipping Rangers

Gophers Earn Top Seed by Nipping Rangers

Boncaro's Fifth Goal Provides Final Margin of Victory

MADISON, N.J. — While other teams were playing just to get into the Landmark Conference postseason tournament, Goucher and Drew both had playoff berths locked up before the opening face-off in Ranger Stadium this afternoon. Still, with the tournament's No. 1 seed up for grabs, the two teams had plenty of incentive to win.

In a game that featured no fewer than six ties and the lead changed hands four times — and the two teams were never separated by more than two goals — head coach Kyle Hannan's Gophers prevailed 11-10.

Kyle Boncaro (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) contributed five goals and an assist to the victory and it was the sophomore attackman's fifth goal that provided the winning margin as it gave the Gophers (12-3, 6-0 Landmark) an 11-9 advantage with 5:25 left to play. The Rangers (8-6, 4-2 Landmark) closed to within 11-10 on an unassisted goal by Jon Bucknam with 3:37 remaining and got off three more shots after that, but goalie Chris Stricklin (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) made a pair of saves and David Jadin (Chanhassen, Minn./The Blake School) forced two turnovers for Goucher down the stretch.

Stricklin finished with nine saves.

The Rangers led 3-2 at the end of the first quarter and were on top 4-3 in the second period before the Gophers tallied three successive goals in a span of 5:28 to open up a 6-4 advantage. But with :30 showing on the clock, Bucknam notched his second goal of the contest to make the score 6-5 in Goucher's favor at the break.

The Gophers struck first in the third quarter, going ahead 7-5 on an unassisted goal by Matt Lynch (Ivyland, Pa./LaSalle College) 1:32 into the period. Drew responded with back-to-back goals by Sam Nepveaux to create a 7-7 tie before regaining the lead on an unassisted goal by Tyler Morse.

The Rangers were looking for another tie-breaking goal late in the third quarter, but instead committed a turnover with :16 remaining. Justin Dunn (Denver, Colo./Mullen) came up with the ground ball and, two passes later, Jackson Lane (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill) deposited the ball in the net to put the Gophers back in front, 9-8.

Drew got off 13 shots in the fourth quarter, but had only a pair of unassisted goals by Bucknam to show for it. Lynch completed his three-goal, two-assist performance with an unassisted goal 4:26 into the period that put Goucher up 10-8.

The victory was the Gophers' seventh in a row since a 13-12 loss to Eastern Connecticut St. back on March 23 and that's the longest winning streak in the 19-year existence of Goucher's men's lacrosse program. In addition, they are now 16-2 all-time in Landmark Conference games.