HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Trailing 4-2, Goucher needed to prevail in all three of the remaining singles matches in order to pull out a victory over Philadelphia tonight.
Seth Hoesman (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) kept the Gophers' hopes alive by taking down Jacobo Atri 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (9) at No. 3. The next match to finish was No. 4 and a 6-4, 7-6 (8) triumph by Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan/International School Bangkok) over Juan Velosa created a 4-4 tie.
That left the outcome of the match riding on the results at No. 1 singles where freshman Jack Hodges (London, England/Shrewsbury School) was stationed for Goucher for the first time in his young career. Despite two incredibly close and competitive sets, Hodges bowed to Celso de Vera Rehberger 7-6 (6), 7-5, allowing the Rams (5-5) to come out on top, 5-4.
The two teams split the six singles matches. The other win in singles play for the Gophers (4-3) was achieved by Josh Goldberg (Centreville, Md./Queen Anne's County), who defeated John Perfetti 6-2, 7-5 at No. 6.
Goucher grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the match when Hoesman and Joey Caracappa (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Saddlebrook Preparatory School) knocked off de Vera Rehberger and Nicolas Affolter, 8-3, at first doubles. But Philadelphia took the remaining two matches during the doubles competition, both by scores of 8-6, and entered singles play ahead 2-1.
Due to some scheduling changes, the Gophers will have a day off from competition tomorrow, but then will complete their Spring Break trip here with two matches on Wednesday. The first one, against Lenoir-Rhyne, is set for 10 a.m., and will be followed at 6 p.m. with a match against Washington & Jefferson.