Lead Stands Up to Yellow Jackets' Furious Rally

Lead Stands Up to Yellow Jackets' Furious Rally

ASHLAND, Va. — By scoring 10 consecutive goals during a more than 35-minute stretch that started in the first quarter and was still active well into the third period, Goucher built up a lead that was able to withstand a furious rally by Randolph-Macon down the stretch today.

Just barely.

The Gophers entered the fourth quarter up 11-3, but the Yellow Jackets battled to the very end and managed to close to within 12-11 before time finally ran out.

This was Goucher's first victory over Randolph-Macon since 2012 and provides the Gophers with an 8-7 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.

Randolph-Macon needed 39 seconds to score its first goal in today's contest and it took nearly nine minutes for Goucher to get on the scoreboard, but with Jake Ziegler (Buffalo, N.Y./Nichols School), Leo Sementilli (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) and Gavin Wilson (Charlestown, Pa./Great Valley) supplying the goals, the Gophers owned a 3-1 lead after one period.

A man-up goal by Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) 39 seconds into the second period was followed by even-strength goals by Sam Woodruff (Glen Ridge, N.J./Kent School) at 9:53 and Conner Annunziato (West Chester, Pa./Bayerd Rustin) at 4:29 as Goucher's advantage grew to 6-1 by halftime.

The first four goals in the third quarter all belonged to the Gophers (3-1), who assumed a 10-1 lead midway through the period on an unassisted goal by Tristan Morris (Houston, Texas/Houston Christian).

Even after the Yellow Jackets (1-4) scored twice in the opening 4:39 of the fourth quarter, Ziegler restored the visiting team's lead to seven goals when he stuck his second goal of the contest with 9:46 left to play. After that, Randolph-Macon drew closer thanks to goals by Sam Mayer at 8:25, Miles Muncie at 6:23, and Kyle Keepers at 5:53. An extra-man goal by Ryan Davidson with 4:44 left to play reduced Goucher's lead to 12-9.

The Yellow Jackets drew within two goals when Ryan Davidson scored with 3:36 remaining and within one on an unassisted man-up goal by Schylur King with :18 showing on the clock. Morris, however, won the ensuing faceoff and the Gophers maintained possession of the ball long enough for time to run out without the home team getting off another shot.

Thanks to a 15-3 edge in the fourth quarter, Randolph-Macon wound up with a 34-32 advantage in shots. They also finished with 29 ground balls, five more than their opponent.

Through three quarters, the starting goalkeeper for Goucher made nine saves and allowed only three goals. In the fourth period, however, Karl Wiszumerski (Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School) added four more saves to his total, but let in eight goals.

The Gophers, who have yet to play a home game this season, will welcome McDaniel to Beldon Field on Wednesday for a night game. The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.