Boncaro Tallies Three Goals, Concludes Season with 58
SALISBURY, Md. — As it did in 1999 and again in 2003, Goucher's 2012 season came to an end with a loss to Salisbury in Sea Gull Stadium.
The first two times those head-to-head confrontations were in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference's postseason tournament. Tonight's 12-4 loss to Salisbury, however, was played on a much bigger stage — the second round of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.
The loss, which snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Gophers, provided the final chapter to an outstanding season for head coach Kyle Hannan and his players, one which saw the team go 18-2, setting a new school record for most wins, capture its second Landmark Conference title in the past three years and record its inaugural NCAA Division III postseason tournament victory, a 5-4 triumph over Washington (Md.) in the opening round three days ago.
With tonight's win, the Sea Gulls (20-0), the No. 1 seed in the lower half of the tournament's 28-team bracket, advance to the quarterfinals where they will face Cabrini, a 12-7 winner over Dickinson in one of the other second-round contests played today.
Salisbury, which came in averaging nearly 18.6 goals per game this season, made it out of the first quarter with a 3-0 lead thanks to an extra-man goal by Tony Mendes at 9:35, an even-strength goal by Cory Nowak at 6:34 and a man-down goal by Rhett DePol with just :27 showing on the clock.
The Gophers, who managed to get off only two shots during the first 15 minutes, got on the scoreboard for the first time 2:29 into the second period when Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) fed Kyle Boncaro (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva), who ripped a deadly shot from close range.
It took the Sea Gulls less than a minute to get that one back in the form of an unassisted goal by Ryan Clarke. Within the next two minutes, Lantz Carter and Erik Krun both scored as Salisbury was on top, 6-1, at the end of the first half.
Boncaro tallied an unassisted goal with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter, but Goucher trailed 8-2 heading into the final 15 minutes.
The Gophers outshot the Sea Gulls, 12-7, in the fourth quarter, but only had an unassisted goal by Zachary Fratella (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) at 12:58 to show for their efforts until Boncaro stuck his third goal of the game — and 58th of the season — with just three seconds remaining.
Boncaro is Goucher's all-time leader in points with 154 goals and 119 assists for a grand total of 273 points.
While the Sea Gulls finished with a slight edge in shots (34-31), there was a more pronounced advantage in ground balls (39-23). The Gophers won only four of the 18 faceoffs attempted and came up empty on six extra-man opportunities.
Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) was credited with nine saves as he tended goal for for the Gophers for all 60 minutes. Although he allowed an opponent to score more 10 goals in a game for the first time in his second full season as the starting goalkeeper, he still ended with a 5.58 goals-against average, which breaks the former record of 5.95 established in 2003 by Reeves Craig.