SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Entering 2015, Goucher's men's tennis program had never won more than two Landmark matches in a single season. After two more dominant victories today, the Gophers have already surpassed that total after their first weekend of matches this spring.
Goucher began the day by topping Merchant Marine by an 8-1 margin at the Goucher Tennis Courts. The Gophers then traveled up to Susquehanna, playing a match that was originally scheduled for last Saturday, and quickly dispatched of the Crusaders 9-0.
Ten different players contributed to today's wins. Goucher (8-4, 3-0 Landmark) won 25 of 27 contested matchups this weekend and currently sits in a tie with Moravian for first place in the conference.
In the morning match, the Gophers held a 2-1 advantage after doubles, as the tandems of Seth Hoesman (Ellicott City, Md./Howard)/Joey Caracappa (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Saddlebrook Preparatory School) and Jack Hodges (London, England/Shrewsbury School)/Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan/International School Bangkok) came away with wins. Goucher then took each of the six singles matchups in straight sets. Caracappa (6-1, 6-0) was a game away from a shutout at No. 3 singles, while Britt Shortle (Lake Mary, Fla./Trinity Preparatory School) dropped only three games in his 6-2, 6-1 triumph at No. 5.
The Gophers have won seven of eight matches against the Mariners (1-3, 0-2 Landmark) since the formation of the conference.
This afternoon's tilt at Susquehanna was Goucher's third match in less than 24 hours, but head coach Brendan Kincaid's Gophers had no issues with the winless Crusaders (0-7, 0-2 Landmark), losing only eight games across the nine matches. Hodges/Fujitani shutout their opponents 8-0 at No. 2 doubles, while Hoesman/Caracappa and Shortle/Pat Murnin (Salt Lake City, Utah/East) each won by 8-1 margins at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.
Hodges, Fujitani and Chad Resnik (Miami, Fla./Pinecrest School) then each blanked Susquehanna players at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 singles, while Hoesman and John Bescoby (San Marino, Calif./Maranatha) dropped just one game each at No. 2 and No. 5. Bardia Anvari (Clarksville, Md./Mount Saint Joseph) earned Goucher's final point by topping Thomas Magill 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6.
"We didn't play our best tennis at all times this weekend, but we competed at a high level throughout," Kincaid said. "And that was the difference in our results."
The Gophers have now won four straight matches overall. First place in the Landmark will be on the line when they take on Moravian next Saturday at the Goucher Tennis Courts. The two teams currently hold a half-game lead over Juniata, which sits at 2-0 in conference play.