BALTIMORE, Md. – Goucher College men's tennis head coach Eric Spangler has put together a tough spring season for the four-time defending Landmark Conference champions. The Gophers are scheduled to play in non-conference play three teams that are nationally ranked in the preseason, two teams that participated in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships, eight teams that advanced to their conference postseason, seven teams that moved onto the conference semifinals and two programs that lost in the conference championship game.
For the second-straight year, Spangler takes his Gophers to his alma mater at Salisbury to open the spring schedule and will face Virginia Wesleyan for the second-straight spring opener on February 22. The Marlins, who lost in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference semifinals last season, defeated Goucher 5-4 last season while the series is tied at 2 since the Gophers joined the Landmark Conference.
Methodist joins the schedule for the first time dating back to the 2007-08 season after losing in the USA South championship in 2019. Goucher will play Methodist and Salisbury on February 23 on the Eastern Shore. Salisbury, who was ranked in the national preseason poll, lost in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals last season and the two teams will battle for the ninth time since 2007-08 and for the seventh-straight year.
Opening the month of March, the team will face another preseason nationally-ranked opponent when the squad travels to the College of New Jersey on March 8. The two teams will battle for the fourth-straight campaign after the College of New Jersey lost in the opening round of the NCAA Championships last season.
Goucher will head to Florida for Spring Break, starting with St. Lawrence on March 15. The Gophers will then face Colorado College and Grinnell on March 16. Goucher defeated Grinnell 5-4 last season in the Sunshine State while Grinnell would advance to the NCAA Championship second round in 2019. The squad will wrap up its Florida trip on March 18 against Hamilton, who was ranked in the ITA/Oracle Northeast Region last year.
Returning from Florida, the Baltimore team will play three-straight Centennial Conference opponents with the first one being the match that team members and family circled on their calendars when the team travels to Haverford on March 21. Haverford, who lost to Swarthmore in the conference semifinals, is coached by former Gopher head coach Brendan Kincaid who led the team to its first three Landmark Conference titles and recruited all but one player on the Goucher roster.
The team will travel to Franklin & Marshall on February 22 before the Gophers make their 2019-20 home debut and open the Evelyn Van Dyke Schroedl '62 Tennis Center against Washington on March 25. Franklin & Marshall fell in the Centennial Conference semifinals while Goucher has won the last two meetings against Washington in a series that will see its eighth-straight match and its 10th match dating back to 2009.
After playing Washington, Goucher will open its title defense and drive for five with possibly two of its most difficult opponents in the circuit when the squad travels to Drew on March 28 and Scranton on March 29.
Returning home, the team will play five matches in five days. After playing Catholic on April 1, Southern Virginia will make its first trip to Baltimore dating back to 2007-08 on April 3 after advancing to the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals last year. The Gophers will then play Elizabethtown (April 4), Moravian (April 5) and Harford Community College (April 5) to wrap up the homestand. Goucher and Harford Community College has split the last two meetings with the home team coming away with the victory.
After traveling to Susquehanna on April 11, the squad will host York for the 12th-straight year with the Gophers winning the last four matches. York lost in the Capital Athletic Conference quarterfinals last season.
Goucher closes out the regular season at home against Juniata on April 18 and then travels to Swarthmore on April 25, who is nationally ranked.The two teams will square off for the second-straight season after Swarthmore fell to Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference championship game.
The unanimous preseason favorite competed in two tournaments in the fall and finished 2018-19 16-5 overall and 7-0 in conference play.