First Loss to Cardinals Keeps Gophers from Playoffs

First Loss to Cardinals Keeps Gophers from Playoffs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a game that it absolutely, positively had to win in order avoid missing the 2015 Landmark Conference postseason tournament, Goucher entered the fourth quarter this afternoon against Catholic down by a goal.

The Gophers, who were outscored 3-0 in the third period, managed to tie the score at 7-7 exactly four minutes into the fourth on a goal by Will Brennan (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) that was assisted by Leo Sementilli (Ellicott City, Md./Howard). The Cardinals, however, regained the lead on their very next possession thanks to an extra-man goal by Brian Keith and went on to down head coach Brian Kelly's squad, 10-8.

This was Catholic's first victory over Goucher in 21 all-time meetings between the two rivals.

The Cardinals (9-4, 4-2 Landmark) expanded their advantage to 9-7 on an unassisted goal by Tim Keith and to 10-7 on an unassisted goal by Victor Licata.

Following Licata's goal, which came with 4:44 left to play, it took the Gophers (7-6, 2-4 Landmark) just 13 seconds to close to within 10-8 on an unsassisted goal by Michael Morgan (Austin, Texas/Westwood). Morgan got another shot off following a faceoff win by teammate Christopher Lasprogata (Ardmore, Pa./Harriton), but this time the opposing goalie made the save.

In fact, Harrison Holak made three saves down the stretch for Catholic, including one during an extra-man opportunity for Goucher during the final minute of play. Holak finished with 16 saves.

The two teams traded goals in the first quarter, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Goals just eight seconds apart in the first minute of the second period by Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) of the Gophers and Tim Keith produced a 3-3 deadlock.

The next two goals belonged to Goucher, which assumed a 5-3 lead on an unassisted tally by Gavin Wilson (Charlestown, Pa/Great Valley). Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) closed out the scoring in the first half with an unassisted goal that provided the Gophers with a 6-4 cushion after 30 minutes.

Catholic went ahead for the first time on a goal by Dylan Neville with 1:28 remaining in the third quarter that snapped a 6-6 tie.

The Cardinals, along with Susquehanna and Scranton, sewed up the three remaining available spots in the Landmark playoffs today. Goucher is the only school which made the tournament field every year in the conference's first seven years of existence.

The Gophers will close out their 2015 campaign one week from today with a Landmark Conference contest against the Royals.