Gophers Foil Cardinals, Make It Back to Landmark Finals

Gophers Foil Cardinals, Make It Back to Landmark Finals

Lynch Contributes Four Goals, Four Assists to 13-6 Triumph

TOWSON, Md. — Goucher claimed one of the spots in the finals of the 2012 Landmark Conference postseason tournament by knocking off Catholic, 13-6, in the semifinals this afternoon.

The top-seeded Gophers, who are in the championship game for the third year in a row and fourth time in the conference's five-year existence, will face No. 2 seed Drew for the Landmark title on Saturday.

The Gophers, who moved up to No. 10 in this week's USILA Division III national rankings, effectively gained the upper hand in today's semifinal in the opening 15 minutes. An unsettled goal by Jackson Lane (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill) provided Goucher with a 1-0 lead just 1:31 into the first quarter and a goal by Kyle Boncaro (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) bumped the score up to 2-0 nearly five minutes later.

Midway through the period, the Cardinals (9-6) were awarded the first extra-man opportunity of the contest, but it was Goucher's Matt Lynch (Ivyland, Pa./LaSalle College) who scored while one of his teammates was serving time. An unassisted goal by Zachary Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) with 5:38 left to play staked the Gophers to a 4-0 lead, which was the score at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinals were able to whittle their deficit down to three on three separate occasions in the second period, but each time the Gophers responded to regain a four-goal advantage. Catholic goals by Marc Saxton at 14:41, Tyler Catalani at 8:56 and Sean Cummins at 4:48 were matched by Pat Peddicord (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) at 12:30, Sam Woodruff (Glen Ridge, N.J./Kent School) at 6:28 and Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) at :29.

Mark Destro, who went the distance in goal for the Cardinals, made 10 of his 20 saves in the third quarter, but the Gophers (15-1) still managed to put three past him, including one by Lynch with :05 showing on the clock that made the score 10-4 in Goucher's favor heading into the final 15 minutes.

Lynch supplied the Gophers with four goals and four assists as he finished with a career-high eight points. Fratella and Averett added two goals apiece.

Saxton had a hand in four of Catholic's six goals, scoring three of them and picking up an assist on Catalani's goal in the second quarter.

Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) started in goal for the Gophers and, like Destro, played all 60 minutes. He was credited with 13 saves.