TOWSON, Md. — By the time the final whistle sounded for today's game against Misericordia, Goucher had turned a 6-3 first half deficit into a distant memory.
The Gophers fired in three goals within 35 seconds of each other to close out the opening session, and they scored seven of the eight goals after the intermission to storm back for a 13-7 victory at Beldon Field.
Jessica Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) had three goals and two assists to lead the offensive effort for Goucher, which is off to a 3-1 start for the first time since the 2002 season. She was one of five Gophers to score multiple goals in today's contest.
"I am really happy with how our team played against a talented opponent," head coach Ceri Miller said. "They definitely pushed us in certain areas and we had to find a way to respond. Those late first half goals were the turning point today."
Back-to-back goals from Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) and Anneke Ossorio (Lafayette, Colo./Kent Denver School) got Goucher off to a good start early on. The Cougars (0-2) did not get on the scoreboard until there was 19:22 left on the clock in the first half. That tally, however, began a stretch in which they registered six of the next seven markers overall, with the last coming on a goal from Emily Hegner with 1:13 left.
Meissner won the ensuing draw control, and sprinted down the field for an unassisted strike 13 seconds after Hegner's goal. Just 12 seconds later, Borucki fired in her first goal of the game, and she assisted on the first collegiate goal for Zoe Merz (Westminster, Md./Westminster) 23 seconds after that to tie things up at 6-6.
That spurt would not have been possible without possession, and the Gophers made a habit of winning draw controls all afternoon. They won 17 of 20 overall, including a season-high seven from Jojo Franklin (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver School).
"Jojo was extremely helpful for us in transition," Miller commented. "Her performance on the draws was the difference maker in the game."
Goucher won the first seven draws in the second half, and Borucki put the home team up for good with an unassisted strike six and a half minutes in. Franklin added two second half goals, while Ossorio, Merz and Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein) also scored after halftime for the Gophers.
Perry also had five ground balls and three caused turnovers to lead a defense which kept Misericordia off the score sheet for over 27 consecutive minutes. She has a team-high 17 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers through the season's first four games.
"Stefi was a huge anchor to our defense today," Miller said. "She is someone we can count on to shut down the other team's top attackers on a consistent basis."
Goucher outshot the Cougars 20-5 in the second half, and 34-21 in the game overall. Borucki, meanwhile, is up to 11 goals and three assists after today's five point output. Sophie Smith (Lawrenceville, N.J./Madison) added a pair of assists to go along with a first half goal.
The Gophers return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, when they travel to Sweet Briar for their first road contest of 2015.