Gophers Explode for Four Goals in Shutout Win Over Hornets

Gophers Explode for Four Goals in Shutout Win Over Hornets

TOWSON, Md. – Nate Margolis scored a pair of penalty kick goals in the first half to ignite Goucher to a 4-0 victory over Shenandoah in the Gophers' home opener at Beldon Field. George El-Khoury and P.J. Vaccarella added a pair of insurance goals in the second half to seal the win.

The win moved Goucher to 2-0 for the second time in head coach Bryan Laut's four seasons at the school. Shenandoah slipped to 0-2 with the defeat.

The Gophers started out sluggish in the opening 20 minutes, with the Hornets holding a 3-0 shot advantage to begin the game. Freshman Kevin Tonkovich, however, drew a penalty kick in the 24th minute after a foul from Shenandoah goalkeeper Rodrigo Casteriana. Tonkovich was injured on the play, but Margolis came off the bench and converted the penalty into the lower right corner.

Eleven minutes later, the Hornets committed another foul in their own box, and Margolis once again stepped up to convert the penalty, giving the junior his first career two-goal game. He had an opportunity for a hat trick just after halftime, but his free header went just wide of the goal.

Goucher added to its lead 13 minutes into the second half on a scramble off a free kick. Tate Becker had his initial shot blocked, but it redirected straight to El-Khoury who slammed the ball past Casteriana.

Vaccarella added his first goal as a Gopher less than two minutes before the final whistle, firing a long-distance blast into the top-right corner of the goal.

The four markers were more than enough for Goucher goalie Ethan DeBandi, who made five saves to earn his second-straight shutout to start the season.

Goucher ended the game with a 14-10 advantage in shots and a 7-5 edge in corner kicks.

The Gophers return to action 4 p.m. Tuesday at McDaniel (2-0). Goucher will be looking to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2005.