TOWSON, Md. — Field hockey forward Justine Ruhlin (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley), who recently became fourth leading goal scorer in program history, and men’s soccer midfielder Lashaw Salta (Allen, Texas/Plano East), who has played a key role on both sides of the ball in Goucher’s 5-4 start to the season, have been announced as the first Gophers of the Month for 2014-15.
The selections of Ruhlin and Salta were made by the school’s sports information staff. Accomplishments from both August and September were taken into account during the award selection process.
Ruhlin totaled six goals and three assists over her team’s eight contests during those months. She began the season with goals in each of the first three games, and scored a clutch, game-tying goal late in the Gophers’ 2-1 overtime win over Moravian on Sept. 27. Ruhlin was recognized as the Landmark’s Offensive Athlete of the Week after that triumph over the Greyhounds, and she recently upped her team-leading point total to 23 (10 G, 3 A). Her 31 career goals are behind only Michele Mohlman (60), Renie Amoss (56) and Chrissy Czajkowski (38) in Goucher’s all-time record book.
“It has been great watching Justine develop over the past three seasons,” head coach Megan Williams said. “And it is only fitting for her to reach her peak performance during her senior year. She is a great leader for the team both on and off the field.”
Salta ended September with a dramatic last-second game-winner over St. Mary’s (Md.), giving Goucher its third victory in program history over its former Capital Athletic Conference rivals. He also scored an early goal against defending Centennial Conference regular season champions Haverford on Aug. 31. A central midfielder, Salta has additionally provided strong support to a Goucher defense which has surrendered only nine goals in nine matches this season, putting the team on pace to match the program’s single-season record of 16 goals allowed back in 1989.
“Lashaw has really stepped up as a leader for us this fall,” head coach Bryan Laut commented. “His work rate defensively in the midfield has allowed us to play a more open and attacking style of soccer, while his ability to contribute offensively was seen most clearly with his huge goal against St. Mary’s.”
Equestrian rider Joey Fink (Baltimore, Md./The Park School), men’s tennis player Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan/International School Bangkok) and volleyball middle hitter Hannah Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional) were also considered for this month’s award.