Gophers Keep Mariners Off Scoreboard for Nearly 49 Minutes
KINGS POINT, N.Y. — A run of 13 goals in succession helped Goucher achieve its 12th consecutive victory this afternoon, a 14-3 triumph over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
The Gophers, who had already clinched the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Landmark Conference postseason tournament prior to today's contest, spotted the Mariners (4-11, 0-6 Landmark) 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first quarter, but thanks to an unassisted goal by Kyle Boncaro (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) with 1:56 remaining, the period ended with the two teams deadlocked at 2-2.
Just 35 seconds into the second quarter, Zachary Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) put Goucher ahead for the first time when he scored a man-down goal. An even-strength by Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) with 1:02 showing on the clock provided the Gophers, who moved up to No. 11 this week in the USILA Division III national rankings, with a 4-2 advantage after 30 minutes.
Goucher was able to pad its lead six more times in the third quarter, starting with goals by Sam Woodruff (Glen Ridge, N.J./Kent School), Pierce Ingram (Austin, Texas/Westwood) and Steve Patterson (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake School). After that, Boncaro was awarded an assist on a goal by Averett before sticking two of his own in the final 3:15 of the period.
Boncaro completed his four-goal, two-assist performance when he assisted a goal by Mike Russo (Frederick, Md./St. John's Catholic Prep) 2:51 into the fourth quarter that made the score 11-2 in Goucher's favor. The senior attackman now has 75 points this season, a new school record.
The Gophers (15-1, 6-0 Landmark) tacked on three more goals — by John Curry (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth), David Waligurski (Reading, Pa./Holy Name) and Sam Stein (Littleton, Colo./Colorado Academy) — before Jack Spitz scored for Merchant Marine with 1:46 left to play, ending a scoreless drought of 48:51 by the Mariners.
Averett contributed two goals and an assist to the victory, enough for him to pass Phil Anthony (1999-2002) for second place in career points at Goucher. Averett's total now stands at 226, one ahead of Anthony.
Michael Ackerman had a hand in all three of Merchant Marine's goals, scoring the two the Mariners put on the scoreboard in the opening period and then picking up an assist on the goal by Spitz in the fourth quarter.
Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) was able to lower his goals against average this season to 5.12. He started in goal for the Gophers and played well into the fourth quarter, making a total of 11 saves.