TOWSON, Md. — The outcome of Goucher's game against Messiah was still very much in doubt at the start of the fourth quarter tonight.
Despite leading by as many as three goals on three separate occasions during the first three periods, the Gophers were up only 5-3 after 45 minutes. But then in the fourth quarter, Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) scored a pair of goals — his third and fourth of the game and team-leading 13th and 14th of the season — as head coach Brian Kelly's squad was finally able to put away the Falcons for a 7-4 victory.
Goucher's first three offensive possessions were productive as the Gophers enjoyed a 3-0 advantage less than nine minutes into their final non-conference contest of the season. After Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 12:10, Morgan dispensed his seventh extra-man goal of the season at 9:53.
Demmerly became the first Goucher player to reach 13 goals in 2015 when he scored at 6:50 to put the home team ahead 3-0, but just 44 seconds later, the Falcons (2-3) got on the scoreboard for the first time on a goal by Ryan Mayer. Morgan restored the lead to three with an unassisted goal at 1:54.
Messiah drew one goal closer in the second quarter thanks to an unassisted tally by Drew Pagenkopf.
Goucher's Leo Sementilli (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) interrupted a 21-minute stretch during which neither team scored when he and Conner Annunziato (West Chester, Pa./Bayerd Rustin) hooked up with 6:16 remaining in the third period. The assist was Annunziato's team-high 16th of the season. The 5-2 lead held up for just over two minutes before an unassisted goal by Tyler Goglio reduced Messiah's deficit to two.
Before Morgan notched the first of his two goals in the fourth quarter to put the Gophers (5-2) back up by three, the Falcons had several scoring opportunities. They unleashed eight shots over the first seven minutes of the period, but five were wide and the other three were turned away by Karl Wiszumerski (Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School).
Wiszumerski went on to make three more saves during the fourth quarter, boosting his total for the game to nine.
The Gophers finished with a 32-30 edge in shots, while ground balls were 26-24 in favor of the Falcons. Michael Morgan (Austin, Texas/Westwood) and Andrew Schwartz (San Antonio, Texas/St. Mary's Hall) both picked up four ground balls for Goucher.
Goucher plays its first Landmark Conference game of the season on Saturday when it welcomes the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to Beldon Field. The opening faceoff is set for noon.