ROSEMONT, Pa. — Goucher continued its recent offensive surge on the road at Rosemont, using a four-goal outburst to seal a 4-1 victory over the Ravens and clinch back-to-back winning seasons for the second time in program history.
The Gophers (8-6-1) have now scored three or more goals in three consecutive games for the first time since the last three contests of the 2007 season. Nate Margolis (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North), George El-Khoury (Cranford, N.J./Cranford), Andrew Marcantonio (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy) and P.J. Vaccarella (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) struck for Goucher, while Michael Layer (Columbia, S.C./Hammond School) registered his first collegiate victory in goal.
"Tonight was a great team performance," head coach Bryan Laut said. "We had numerous guys step up and make big plays. It was exciting to see the great depth that we have as a program."
The first shot of the match nearly turned into a goal for the Gophers, but an effort from Jeremy Hardy (Brooklyn, N.Y./The Beacon School) rattled off the crossbar in the seventh minute. In the 11th minute, though, Goucher was awarded a penalty kick, and Margolis calmly converted the opportunity for his third goal in as many matches.
Just over six minutes later, El-Khoury doubled the advantage, directing a shot past Rosemont goalie Max McDonald for his first goal of 2014. Tate Becker (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) also recorded his first assist of the season on the play.
The Gophers would take that 2-0 lead into the intermission, and they also held a commanding 10-3 edge in shots.
Marcantonio's tally came 21 minutes into the second half. The sophomore forward was led in on a breakaway by Drew Afromsky (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde), and he was able to beat McDonald in the 1-on-1 matchup.
The Ravens (5-12) broke the shutout in the 73rd minute on a goal from Kaushik Dhanyamraju, but Vaccarella restored the three-goal advantage four minutes later. In alone on a breakaway, he fired a shot past McDonald and into the left corner for his first strike of the season.
Layer, making his first start this fall and the second of his collegiate career, made six saves in the victory before being relieved in the closing minutes by Josh Martinez-Davis (Pasadena, Calif./The Waverly School).
Goucher can now look ahead to its regular season finale against Susquehanna this Saturday. The Gophers currently sit in a four-way tie for the fourth and final spot in the Landmark postseason tournament and are looking to clinch their first playoff appearance since joining the conference in 2007. Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Beldon Field.