TOWSON, Md. — Goucher fought bravely throughout this afternoon's contest against a St. Mary's (Md.) squad currently receiving votes in the National IWLCA Coaches' Poll, but the undefeated Seahawks ultimately persevered for a 17-12 victory at Beldon Field.
Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein) and Jojo Franklin (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver School) each netted four goals for the Gophers (4-2). Both also played a key factor in Goucher's 18-12 edge in draw controls, with Perry winning a career-high seven draws and Franklin winning five.
Tori Poffenberger, who entered today with 17 goals in four games, added six more strikes and an assist to lead St. Mary's (5-0). Ali Moulis (4 G, 3 A) totaled seven points as well for the visitors.
"You're not going to win every game, and I was proud of what we left on the field," head coach Ceri Miller said. "There are things we need to continue to work on, but we are starting to see some people, like Jojo, Stefi and Jess, continuously step up to the challenge. I am excited for the rest of the season, we are doing some great things."
The two teams traded goals in the opening three and a half minutes. Franklin answered an early goal from Shelby Newman to level the score up at one. Perry picked up her first tally with 24:12 on the clock, but her goal was sandwiched between two Seahawk strikes on either end, giving St. Mary's a 5-2 advantage through the first 10 minutes of play.
The score remained tight for the remainder of the half. Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) picked up a pair of goals, while Franklin and Perry each added another strike for the home team. Perry's second goal reduced the deficit to 7-6 with 2:33 left in the half. The Seahawks, though, responded with three unanswered markers to take a 10-6 lead into the intermission.
The Gophers got within three on three occasions in the second half, the last of which came after Perry's fourth goal made it 12-9 with 17:32 remaining. Four of the next five scores, however, went to St. Mary's. Franklin and Jessica Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) fired in back-to-back goals to get Goucher back within 16-12 with four minutes on the clock, but the Seahawks controlled possession in the final minutes.
Borucki had a pair of second half goals, giving her a team-high 15 on the season, while Franklin and Sophie Smith (Lawrenceville, N.J./Madison) picked up assists. Franklin's five points were a new season-high, and she has scored multiple goals in four straight games.
The Gophers significantly narrowed the gap from last year's matchup between the two teams, when St. Mary's came away with an 18-5 home victory. The Seahawks used a 34-21 advantage in shots and a 23-15 lead in ground balls to help pull out a win in today's matchup.
Goucher, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, will look to get back in the win column during a 3 p.m. home matchup against Mount St. Mary (N.Y.) this Saturday.