Top-Seeded Gophers Handle Mariners in Semifinals

Top-Seeded Gophers Handle Mariners in Semifinals

Stricklin Turns Away 16 Shots in Team's Eighth Straight Win

TOWSON, Md. — Goucher held an opponent under five goals for the fourth time this season when the Gophers pinned a 6-2 setback on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy today in the semifinals of the 2010 Landmark Conference championship tournament.

With the victory, the top-seeded Gophers advanced to the tournament's championship game on Saturday where they will take on third-seeded-Catholic. In today's other semifinal, the Cardinals pounced on Drew, 14-5.

Goucher's six goals against the Mariners (7-8) were spread out among five players: sophomore attackman Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) scored two times and junior midfielder Chris Argonish (New Brunswick, N.J./St. Joseph), sophomore midfielder Matt Lynch (Ivyland, Pa./LaSalle College), sophomore attackman Jackson Lane (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill) and senior midfielder Jacob Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) added one goal apiece.

Argonish got the Gophers (13-3) on the scoreboard first with an extra-man goal 10:01 into the contest. Lynch, who was also credtied with a pair of assists, tallied his goal with 1:21 remaining to put Goucher up 2-0 after the first quarter.

Lane provided the Gophers with a 3-0 advantage with the goal he scored 3:47 into the second period. The Mariners didn't solve senior goalkeeper Chris Stricklin (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) until Robert Atkinson's unassisted goal with 4:31 remaining before halftime, but Averett restored Goucher's lead to three by sticking the first of his two goals with just :21 showing on the clock.

In the third quarter, Fratella's unassisted goal at 12:54 made the score 5-1 and then Averett notched his team-leading 43rd goal of the season at 8:56. The Mariners, the reigning Landmark Conference champions, closed to within 6-2 with exactly 3:00 remaining in the period on an extra-man goal by Adam Jerlow.

Stricklin made five saves in the fourth quarter, boosting his total for the game to 16, which matches the career-best save total for a game he established in a 10-7 victory over Catholic on April 21.

Junior defenseman Justin Dunn (Denver, Colo./Mullen) of the Gophers matched his career-best number of caused turnovers in a game as he forced the Mariners to give up possession of the ball seven times.

By extending the current winning streak to eight games, the longest in the 19-year history of Goucher's men's lacrosse program, the Gophers also tied their record for most wins in a season. Back in 2001, Kyle Hannan's first season as head coach, they finished at 13-3.