No. 17 Gophers Finish Strong in 13-7 Win Over Eagles

No. 17 Gophers Finish Strong in 13-7 Win Over Eagles

Shelton Goes 16x24 on Faceoffs, Picks Up 10 Ground Balls

TOWSON, Md. — Goucher didn't take its first lead in tonight's game on Beldon Field against Eastern until Zachary Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) tallied an unassisted goal with 1:31 remaining before halftime. The go-ahead goal, which snapped a 4-4 tie, was part of six straight the Gophers rang up during a nearly 16-minute stretch that spanned the middle two periods and propelled them to a 13-7 triumph over the Eagles.

The only goal the Gophers, who moved up to No. 17 in this week's USILA Division III national rankings, managed off of 10 shots in the opening quarter was the first of three Kyle Boncaro (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) would contribute to the victory. The Eagles (6-3), meanwhile, countered with only seven shots, but enjoyed a 4-1 lead after 15 minutes.

After Chris Farrar's unassisted goal with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter put Eastern up by three, the Eagles would go without another goal for almost 28 minutes. David Waligurski (Reading, Pa./Holy Name), Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North), Boncaro and Fratella netted one goal apiece in the second period for Goucher, with the last three all in a span of 57 seconds.

Averett accounted for the first two goals of the third quarter as the Gophers (11-1) expanded their advantage to 7-4, but the Eagles knocked their deficit back down to one when they responded with an extra-man goal by Kyle Gillam and an even-strength goal by Eric Waibel. Before time expired in the period, however, Fratella put Goucher up 8-6 with his second goal of the contest.

Fratella's goal ignited a second run of six consecutive goals by the Gophers, one that featured three goals by Matt Lynch (Ivyland, Pa./LaSalle College). By the time Boncaro stuck his third goal of the contest, Goucher was ahead 13-6 and there was only 1:23 showing on the clock.

Both starting goalkeepers went all 60 minutes: Aaron Benz made 16 saves for Eastern and Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine), who entered the game with a 4.83 goals-against average, the sixth-lowest in Division III, stopped 14 shots.

D.J. Shelton (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) handled every faceoff for Goucher and won 16 of the 24. In addition, he picked up a career-high 10 ground balls.