RALEIGH, N.C. — Goucher registered several impressive wins while jumping out to a 5-2 record through seven games this season, but only one of those contests took away from the comforts of Beldon Field.
Tonight, the Gophers proved that they could overcome adversity on the road as well, withstanding a challenge from a strong Meredith squad and pulling away late for a 12-7 victory.
Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein) scored three of her team-high four goals in the second half for Goucher, which outscored the Avenging Angels 6-2 after the intermission. Emily Gill (White Hall, Md./North Harford), meanwhile, made 11 stops in goal, racking up double-digit saves for the second time in 2015.
"This was a really fun game to coach," head coach Ceri Miller said. "They threw a lot of different things at us, and we were able to adapt each time. We focused on our objectives and played as a team, and Emily played out of her mind in goal. She stepped up when we needed her most."
It took only 30 seconds for Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) to put the visitors in front, and back-to-back goals from Jojo Franklin (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver School) made it 3-0, Gophers, before the game was less than seven minutes old.
Meredith (6-4), though, responded with four unanswered strikes, taking its first lead on a Lynsi Beers free position goal with 14:45 left on the clock. Sophie Smith (Lawrenceville, N.J./Madison) tied things up again on an unassisted goal 58 seconds later, and Perry's first tally helped Goucher (6-2) regain its advantage shortly after.
Zoe Merz (Westminster, Md./Westminster) added a sixth goal with 3:53 remaining. The Avenging Angels, however, fought back again, pulling within one in the final minute of the first half and tying things up five minutes into the second.
Perry put the Gophers up for good with 18:45 left in the contest. She added two more goals during a 5-0 stretch which gave Goucher some breathing room. Smith and Franklin added free position goals in the run.
Jessica Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) had already made her presence felt on the offensive end with three first half assists, but the freshman attacker was in danger of completing a game without a goal for the first time in her collegiate career. She kept the streak alive, though, with an unassisted strike with 3:23 remaining to round out the scoring. Borucki and Franklin have each scored in all eight contests in 2015, while Perry has at least four goals in each of the last three games.
Gill's 11 stops came with a strong 61.1 save percentage, and this is the most saves she has registered in a victory during her two seasons as a starter.
The Gophers can now look ahead to the start of Landmark play. Goucher will remain on the road for its first conference matchup, a 1 p.m. tilt at Merchant Marine on Saturday. The Gophers defeated the Mariners 17-2 when the two teams squared off at Beldon Field last spring.