Gophers Suffer First Landmark Setback Since 2011

Gophers Suffer First Landmark Setback Since 2011

KINGS POINT, N.Y. — Goucher gained a second life when Dylan Zook (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) scored with one second remaining in regulation to send today's Landmark Conference game against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy into overtime. But just 50 seconds into the four-minute extra session, Phil Walker's unassisted goal provided the Mariners with an 8-7 victory over head coach Brian Kelly's Gophers.

The loss snapped Goucher's 13-game winning streak in Landmark Conference contests dating back to 2011.

Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional), who assisted Zook's game-tying goal in the fourth quarter, also set up a goal by Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) that was ruled to have just beaten the horn ending the first period. It put the Gophers (2-5, 0-1 Landmark) up 4-2 after 15 minutes.

The second quarter, as it has often been this season, was a full-fledged disaster for Goucher today. The two-goal lead the Gophers had at the outset was a 5-4 deficit at halftime as the Mariners (2-2, 1-0 Landmark) tallied three unassisted goals in the period, two by Troy Smith.

The Gophers, on the other hand, were outshot, 13-3, won only one faceoff, committed three turnovers and had two unsuccessful clears in the second quarter. In their five losses this season, they've now been outscored 22-5 in the second period.

Goucher also failed to score in the third quarter of today's contest, but because they limited the Mariners to only an extra-man goal by Chris Whitenack, they were down only 6-4 heading into the fourth period.

Goals by Max Roach (Austin, Texas/Austin) and Pierce Ingram (Austin, Texas/Westwood) both knocked two-goals leads for Merchant Marine down to one in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter. It appeared as though Goucher's final chance to even the score took place when goalkeeper Alex Peyreigne of the Mariners made his eighth save of the period and 16th of the contest on a shot by Ingram with just :16 remaining in regulation, but Peyreigne made an ill-advised outlet pass that the Gophers picked off, leaving just enough time for Morgan to find Zook, who created a 7-7 tie by sticking his team-leading 12th goal of the season.

Goucher did win the faceoff to start to OT, but committed a turnover before it could get the ball into its offensive end. Geoff Harty, who had one goal in the first quarter and another in the second for Merchant Marine, got off a shot 30 seconds into the extra session that went wide, but 20 seconds later, Walker took the shot that brought the contest to a conclusion.

By the margin of the two they took in overtime, the Mariners finished with a 38-36 advantage in shots. Ground balls were 30 for each team.

The Gophers will have to wait six days before they return to action on March 22 in another Landmark Conference contest. They'll host Washington & Jefferson, with the opening faceoff set for noon.