Gophers, Blazers Battle Through Two OTs to 3-3 Draw

Gophers, Blazers Battle Through Two OTs to 3-3 Draw

Grotti's Goal at 75:49 Provides Goucher with 3-1 Lead

TOWSON, Md. — Goucher had to settle for a season-opening 3-3 tie with Hood tonight even though the Gophers enjoyed a two-goal lead with under three minutes remaining in regulation.

The Blazers (0-0-1) got on the scoreboard first on a goal by Gary Higginbothem just 3:41 into the contest and maintained the 1-0 lead until an unassisted goal by Brandon Weiner (Derwood, Md./Col. Zadok A. Magruder) at 16:40 created a 1-1 tie. The Gophers (0-0-1) went ahead for the first time when George El-Khoury (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) shook a defender at the top of the box, turned and curved the ball around the goalie's right side with his left foot for an unassisted goal at 22:05.

Marco Grotti (Milmay, N.J./Millville) staked Goucher to a 3-1 advantage at 75:49 when he accepted a through ball from Nate Margolis (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) and slid a shot under the keeper.

The Blazers, however, wouldn't quietly go away. A successful penalty kick by Eric Diehl at 87:45 reduced their deficit to 3-2 and when Diehl ripped a shot from the top of the box that deflected off a defender and past a diving keeper into the net at 89:07, the two teams were headed for overtime locked up at 3-3.

Although Hood enjoyed a 23-16 edge in shots during regulation, head coach Bryan Laut's squad had the upper hand during two overtime periods, particularly the first 10-minute extra session. The Gophers got off five shots in the first OT, three of which were turned away by goalkeeper Ryan Deuber.

Goucher started freshman Matt Sinatro (West Hempstead, N.Y./West Hempstead) in goal and he made a total of eight saves. His final save was on a shot by Joey Fontanez in the 104th minute where he nearly went horizontal and snatched the ball out of the air.