TOWSON, Md. — Goucher went from being down by just a goal late in the first quarter to staring at an 11-2 deficit with nearly four minutes remaining before halftime when Randolph-Macon strung together eight consecutive goals. The Gophers were able to close to within 14-11 in the fourth period, but the Yellow Jackets managed to thwart the comeback efforts of head coach Brian Kelly's squad and depart Beldon Field this afternoon with an 18-12 victory.
When Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) tallied an unassisted goal with 1:17 remaining in the opening quarter, Goucher trailed only 3-2, but it took only nine seconds for Nick Benhoff to win the ensuing faceoff and get the ball to Ryan Davidson, who ripped a shot that restored Randolph-Macon's lead to two goals.
Davidson scored four more times while the Yellow Jackets (1-3) went on a 7-0 run over the first 11:10 of the second period. Dylan Zook (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) stopped the bleeding with 1:54 left to play before halftime with his fourth goal of the season, but the Gophers (0-3) still trailed, 11-3, after 30 minutes.
Zook accounted for the first two goals of the third quarter as Goucher lowered its deficit to 11-5, but over the next seven seconds, Benhoff won another faceoff and fed Davidson, who notched his sixth goal of the conest to put Randolph-Macon up 12-5.
A man-up goal by Sam Woodruff (Glen Ridge, N.J./Kent School) and an even-strength goal by Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) allowed the Gophers to close to within 12-7 in the final minute of the third period, but before time expired, the Yellow Jackets got one of those goals back as Alex Jesmer scored with :24 showing on the clock.
Goucher was still trailing by five goals midway through the fourth quarter, but then Pierce Ingram (Austin, Texas/Westwood) set up a goal by Steve Patterson (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake School) with just over seven minutes remaining. Less than two minutes later, Ingram added a goal of his own and the Gophers were back in it, down 14-11.
The game's next three goals all belonged to the Yellow Jackets, who stretched their lead to 17-11 on Dan Gallucci's even-strength goal with 1:02 left to play.
Davidson finished with eight goals for Randolph-Macon, while Justin Butler contributed three goals to the victory.
For Goucher, Zook and Morgan both scored three times.
The Yellow Jackets got off 10 more shots than the Gophers (45-35), claimed 15 more ground balls (43-28) and won 28 of the 34 faceoffs. Benhoff had a spectacular day facing off, winning 28 of the 32 he handled, plus he came up with 22 ground balls.
The Gophers will try to avoid only the second 0-4 start in the history of Goucher's men's lacrosse program when it takes on McDaniel on Wednesday. The opening faceoff is set for 3:30 p.m.