SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Every game has sort of been a playoff game for Goucher since head coach Bryan Laut's squad got off to an 0-3 start this season in the Landmark Conference. The Gophers kept themselves in the chase for a berth in next month's postseason tournament by beating three of the four conference opponents they've faced the past three weeks — and needed a win over Susquehanna this afternoon and a little help in order to return to the tournament for a second year in a row.
Their chances, however, took a big hit when Maxfield Reed scored early in the second half to put the Crusaders up 1-0. And then they nose-dived when Reed tacked on a second goal in the 88th minute.
Susquehanna grabbed one of the two remaining unclaimed berths with their 2-0 victory; the other went to Catholic, a 3-2 winner today over Juniata.
The Gophers (6-11-1, 3-5 Landmark) would have earned one of the bids had they won since Drew and Moravian battled to a 3-3 draw.
"Today was a disappointing day for us," Laut said following the contest. "We had a chance to make our league playoffs but ultimately fell short. It was a good push this final month, but we just couldn't get over the final hurdle.
"Hopefully we learned some valuable lessons this season for the future. As for our three seniors, I cannot express how much I appreciate their dedication and hard work in helping us grow our program during these four years."
The Gophers were limited to one shot the entire first half and didn't attempt their second until after Reed's first goal at 54:37. The Crusaders (9-6-2, 4-2-2 Landmark) finished with a 15-4 advantage in shots.
Daniel Hendry (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg), who started all 18 games in goal for Goucher this season, made five saves.