GETTYSBURG, Pa. — A competitive game after the opening 15 minutes was slowly tilted against Goucher over the remaining three quarters. By the time the final whistle sounded, Gettysburg had handed the Gophers their first defeat of the season with a 14-4 setback.
The score was only 3-2 in favor of the Bullets, who are receiving votes in the USILA national rankings, after the first quarter. Goucher, though, struggled all afternoon to contain Bijan Firouzan, Jameson Smith and Paul Werner, as each ended the contest with four goals to their credit.
Smith opened up the scoring less than three minutes in. Gavin Wilson (Charlestown, Pa./Great Valley) responded with his fourth strike of the season with 6:45 left on the clock. Those were the only two goals in the first 14 minutes, but a hectic final 60 seconds eventually ended in Gettysburg's favor.
Jimmy Morris fired in a man-up goal with 39 seconds remaining to briefly put the Bullets in front. Faceoff specialist Tristan Morris (Houston, Texas/Houston Christian), however, immediately fired back with his second career strike. Conner Annunziato (West Chester, Pa./Bayerd Rustin) registered an assist on the play, picking up his team-high 12th helper of the 2015 season.
Morris' response took only 22 seconds to materialize, but Gettysburg then needed only 12 seconds to reclaim its advantage, as Firouzan directed an unassisted goal past Karl Wiszumerski (Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School).
The Gophers (2-1) were outshot 9-3 in the second quarter, and all three goals in the frame were tallied by the Bullets (1-0). Firouzan again struck in the final 10 seconds, this time getting a shot past Wiszumerski to give his team a 6-2 lead heading into halftime.
Gettysburg continued to expand its advantage afterwards, scoring four of the five goals in each of the last two quarters. Will Brennan (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) and Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) accounted for the final two Goucher goals, with each picking up their third strikes of the season, while Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) and Sam Woodruff (Glen Ridge, N.J./Kent School) recorded assists.
The Bullets ended the afternoon with a 42-20 advantage in shots, and they picked up 42 ground balls compared to 18 for the Gophers. Gettysburg also won 14 of 22 faceoffs.
Demmerly finished with a team-high six shots, while Thomas Rakes (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) had three of Goucher's six caused turnovers.
The Gophers, who had their scheduled home opener against Washington (Md.) cancelled due to last weekend's snow storm, will remain on the road for their next contest, a 3 p.m. tilt at Randolph-Macon this Saturday. The two teams have split their previous 14 meetings, with the Yellow Jackets earning an 18-12 victory at Beldon Field last season.