TOWSON, Md. -- This Saturday marks the busiest day of competition all year for Goucher athletics, with nine programs in action. A sport-by-sport breakdown of the afternoon is listed below.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Landmark Championships - Women at 11 a.m., Men at 12:00 p.m.
The cross country squads begin the start of their championship season with the Landmark Championships, hosted by Catholic at the U.S. Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Home in Washington, D.C.
The Goucher women have had a trio of first place finishes this fall in preparation for the meet, with the Gophers looking to improve on last year’s sixth place Landmark finish.
Goucher is led by junior Katherine Currier (Brooklyn, N.Y./LaGuardia), a two-time recipient of the Landmark Runner of the Week award this year. In her career, Currier has now received the award four times, and she has also recorded top-five finishes in the last two conference championships. She is joined by a deep supporting cast which includes June Chiango (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing Area), Katelynn Zidanic (York, Pa./Central York) and Ellie Ginsberg (Ocean Twp., N.J./Ocean Twp.).
“I’m very pleased with where the women are,” head coach John Caslin said. “If they put everything together and focus on running their race, I think they’re one of four teams in the conference that has a shot at winning it.”
The men have also had a strong regular season, winning their first meet since 1998 as they look to move up from last year’s eighth place finish in the Landmark.
“On the men’s side, I expect us to improve dramatically over where we finished last year,” Caslin added. “These guys have worked really hard. With the improvement of Isaac Jennings (Narberth, Pa./Harriton) and Hugh Geller (Devens, Mass./Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School), along with the return of Troy Browne (Springdale, Md./C.H. Flowers) and the exceptional work from our freshmen, we expect to move up substantially in the standings.”
After this weekend, selected runners from both teams will participate in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional in Bethlehem, Pa., on Nov. 16.
at Moravian - 12:00 p.m. Live Stats
Everything comes down to this weekend for the Gophers (7-9-1, 2-3 Landmark), who have won two conference games in a row and can clinch their first appearance in the Landmark postseason tournament with a win over the Greyhounds (7-9-2, 2-2-1 Landmark).
“We’re a young team that has frequently had nine underclassmen starting for us,” head coach Tati Korba said. “It took us a while to really hit our stride this season, but we seem to be peaking at the right time. They’ve worked really hard to make this game meaningful.”
Goucher has won three straight matches overall, all of which have been by 1-0 margins. Juliana Harkavy (Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway) has recorded clean sheets in all of those victories, giving her eight shutouts for the season and 14 in her two-year career. Nine different players have scored this season in a balanced offensive attack for the Gophers, led by two apiece from Katherine Matthew-Parker (New Orleans, La./St. Martin's Episcopal), Lindsey Puopolo (Glen Arm, Md./St. Timothy's) and Gaby Davis (New York, N.Y./LaGuardia).
Moravian edged out Goucher 2-1 when the teams met to conclude last year’s regular season. With a win, the Gophers would be the fourth seed in the Landmark tournament, playing at either Scranton or Drew next Wednesday night.
Saturday’s home and regular season finale for the Gophers (4-12, 0-5 Landmark) will also be the last match in the four-year career of senior defender Liz Weiner (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry). Weiner has appeared in 52 matches over those four years, starting all 32 matches over the last two. For her career, she has chipped in two goals and an assist while anchoring Goucher’s backline.
Weiner was also around for the Gophers’ last conference victory, which came against Moravian (8-8, 1-4 Landmark) on Oct. 16, 2010. Goucher, which is coming off a 4-0 victory over Notre Dame (Md.) on Monday will look to add another win over the Greyhounds tomorrow afternoon at Beldon Field.
Justine Ruhlin (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) has paced the offense this year with 10 goals and two assists, while Lizzie Barminski (Ventura, Calif./Buena) has registered five goals and six assists for the Gophers.
Men’s and Women’s Swimming
at St. Mary’s (Md.) - 1 p.m.
The Gophers men’s and women’s swim squads, who both opened up with defeats to Landmark powerhouse Susquehanna, continue their difficult early season schedule with a road meet at St. Mary’s.
The Seahawk women have managed three consecutive 10-win seasons, with a 161-43 win over Goucher included in last year’s 11-2 mark. Nicole Craver (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove Area) and Kellyn Brower (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) led the Gophers in their opening meet against the Crusaders, and they will look to continue to rack up points this weekend.
Goucher’s men fell to the Seahawks 135-70 when the teams met last season. Colin Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne), Morgan Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) and Sam Davis (Wilmington, Del./Wilmington Friends) each posted event victories over Susquehanna, and they will attempt to keep their early-season momentum going at St. Mary’s.
at Moravian - 2 p.m. Live Stats
Goucher (7-7-3, 1-3-2 Landmark) can reach two potential milestones with a victory over the Greyhounds (7-8-2, 0-6 Landmark). A win would give the Gophers four conference results for the first time since joining the Landmark in 2007, and it would also give the program its first winning season since 1992.
“For us, the most important thing is that it’s a league game,” head coach Bryan Laut said. “It’s an opportunity to continue to move up in the league. It’s also a chance to finish above .500, which is a great sign for the team and program. We didn’t reach our ultimate goal, which is always to be in the playoffs, but finishing over .500 would be a great step in the right direction.”
The Gophers have shutout Moravian in each of the last two seasons, including a 5-0 win at Beldon Field last year. Nate Margolis (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North) and Parker Bay (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) both have four goals this year to lead the team, while Kevin Tonkovich (Lacey, N.J./Lacey Twp.), Brandon Weiner (Derwood, Md./Col. Zadok A. Magruder) and P.J. Vaccarella (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) have each added three tallies.
vs. Eastern Mennonite - 3 p.m. Live Stats
The Gophers host their final home match of the season against an Eastern Mennonite squad which they have not faced since 1998. Goucher (11-18) enters Saturday on a two-match winning streak, including a straight-set win over Notre Dame (Md.) on Senior Night for Megan Chalk (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), Addie Lanzarotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Culver City) and Tori Rain (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial). The Royals (9-17) have lost eight straight.
After Saturday’s match, Goucher will look ahead to its Landmark quarterfinal matchup at Catholic on Tuesday.
at George Washington University IHSA Show
Goucher looks to continue its impressive start to the season at the Tulip Pond Farm in Poolesville. The Gophers have won each of their first two shows, including registering a perfect 49-point score in their opening show.
Joey Fink (Baltimore, Md./The Park School) was named high point rider in that opening event, and he followed up that performance by being named reserve high point rider at the following show. Alison Radgowski (Northport, N.Y./Northport) has also started strong, recording three first-place finishes, while eight other Gophers have also already earned blue ribbons.
Goucher currently leads George Washington by 34 points in the 2013-14 IHSA Zone IV Region I standings.