Top-Seeded Gophers Follow Dominant GK into Finals

Top-Seeded Gophers Follow Dominant GK into Finals

Averett Contributes Four Goals to Victory, Breaks Single-Season Record

TOWSON, Md. — In the six games leading up to the 2011 Landmark Conference postseason tournament, Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) put up some eye-popping numbers as he tended the goal for Goucher: 43 goals allowed and 96 saves for a 7.04 goals against average and a .691 save percentage.

But those statistics have to take a back seat to what he accomplished when the top-seeded Gophers hosted Susquehanna today in the tournament's semifinals. Playing all 60 minutes, the sophomore goalkeeper turned away 19 shots and let in only three as the defending champions advanced with a convincing 11-3 victory over the Crusaders.

In the finals, Goucher will take on second-seeded Scranton, which prevailed in its semifinal today, 12-9 over Catholic.

The Crusaders (11-6) were limited to just 10 shots during the first half today. Mishaw made saves on seven of them and only one got by him.

By the time Mishaw allowed Billy Spack to score Susquehanna's first goal with 5:27 left to play in the first half, the Gophers (11-5) had already assumed a 4-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Zach Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) and freshman midfielder Pierce Ingram (Austin, Texas/Westwood) both stuck unassisted goals in the opening quarter and then junior attackman Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) tallied back-to-back goals 4:08 apart in the second period.

Goucher began the second half with a 5-1 advantage and enlarged it to 10-1 by scoring the first five goals of the third quarter. The 5-0 run featured Pierce's second and third goals of the contest, two more goals by Averett and the first career goal for sophomore defenseman Bryce Carson (Shillington, Pa./Lancaster Country Day School). The even-strength goal by Averett that put the Gophers up 9-1 with 8:55 remaining in the period was his 51st of the season, which breaks Phil Anthony's single-season school record of 50 goals established in 2002.

Goals by Luke Delavan and J.B. Montanye just :18 apart in the final minute of the third quarter allowed the Crusaders to close to within 10-3, but they were unable to get any shots past Mishaw during the final 15 minutes as he finished strong, making seven saves.

In picking up their fifth win over Susquehanna in five tries since the formation of the Landmark Conference, the Gophers unleashed 47 shots, while the Crusaders got off 31. Neither team managed to score a man-up goal as they combined to go 0-for-10 on extra-man opportunities, but Averett was able to find the net once in the third quarter when Goucher was down a man.