Gophers Power Past Blue Jays in Second Half

Gophers Power Past Blue Jays in Second Half

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. — In Goucher's first Landmark victory this season, 10 different players scored goals in a 17-4 win over Merchant Marine. The Gophers were not as varied in their scoring this afternoon, but the efforts of Stefi Perry (Houston, Texas/Klein), Rita Meissner (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) and Sophie Smith (Lawrenceville, N.J./Madison) were more than enough to get the team back over .500 in conference play.

Perry scored five goals, while Meissner and Smith added four apiece to lift Goucher to a 14-10 triumph over the Blue Jays. The Gophers trailed 6-4 midway through the first half, but scored 10 of the game's next 11 goals to take a commanding lead over their hosts.

With the win, Goucher (8-4, 2-1 Landmark) surpassed last season's win total with five games still remaining on the regular season schedule, and the Gophers now stand alone in third place in the conference standings.

"Draw controls were crucial for us in the second half," head coach Ceri Miller said. "That helped us turn the tempo of the game in our favor. Anneke Ossorio (Lafayette, Colo./Kent Denver School) stepped up for us on that front, and Stefi, Sophie and Rita really set the tone on offense. From there we didn't look back."

Jessica Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) was the only other player to register a goal, and her strike with 18:53 left in the first half helped Goucher begin to climb out of an early 4-1 deficit. Perry followed with back-to-back goals to level things up at 4-4, but Elizabethtown (4-6, 1-2 Landmark) responded with two markers of its own to reclaim the advantage.

The lead would be short-lived. Meissner fired in a man-up goal with 6:43 on the clock, and she added an even-strength strike 40 seconds later to tie things up again. Perry converted on a free position attempt to put the visitors in front for the first time at 3:28.

The Blue Jays managed to tie things up once more in the final minute before the intermission, but the Gophers took control in the second half. They went ahead for good on a man-down strike from Smith 1:18 in.

That was the only goal for over 10 minutes of play, but a third goal from Meissner began a stretch of six tallies in under seven minutes. Goucher won four draw controls over that span to keep the possession on its offensive side of the field. Ossorio led the way with a season-high six draws, while Perry added four of her own.

When Elizabethtown did gain control of the ball, a stifling Gopher defense led to several unsuccessful clearing attempts. The Blue Jays were only 12 of 22 on clears, with eight different Goucher players causing turnovers during the game.

Three late Elizabethtown goals accounted for the final scoreline. Emily Gill (White Hall, Md./North Harford) made seven stops in goal for her eight victory of the season. Zoe Merz (Westminster, Md./Westminster) chipped in two assists, while Borucki and Jojo Franklin (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver School) also dished out helpers.

The Gophers will have their final two non-conference games of the season next week, beginning with a 4 p.m. contest at Notre Dame (Md.) on Tuesday.