SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Facing a 2-1 deficit after doubles, Goucher won five of six singles matches to rally past Susquehanna for a 6-3 victory, ensuring that the team controls its own playoff destiny heading into the final match of the regular season.
The Gophers (9-10, 2-3 Landmark) will clinch a spot in the Landmark postseason tournament with a win over Juniata on Thursday. The two teams are currently tied for the fourth and final spot with identical 2-3 conference records.
Amanda Bercovici (Hackensack, N.J./Bergen Tech) and Alex Walsh (Greens Farm, Conn./Staples) got Goucher off to a good start in doubles, defeating Susquehanna's Shelby O'Reilly and Brielle Ferlauto by an 8-3 margin from the No. 1 spot to maintain a perfect 5-0 record in conference matches.
The Crusaders (6-8, 1-4 Landmark) came back to win the other doubles tilts, including a tight 9-8 (8-6) victory by Claire Smyth and Alyssa Fleischman over Goucher's tandem of Kelsey Turner (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Friends) and Kirsten Cianci (Bolton, Conn./Bolton) at No. 2.
Bercovici and Walsh each won their singles matches in straight sets to put the Gophers back in front. Bercovici turned back O'Riley 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 while Walsh bested Ferlauto 6-3, 6-3 from the No. 2 spot.
Emily Ruff (Easton, Md./Easton) picked up Goucher's fourth point, handing Susquehanna's Kelly Furlong a 6-0, 6-3 defeat at No. 5 to improve to 11-10 overall on the year in singles matches.
The Crusaders grabbed a victory at No. 4 to keep their hopes alive, but Turner clinched the match for the Gophers at No. 3 with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Smyth. Ryan Derham (San Anselmo, Calif./Sir Francis Drake) sealed the final point from the No. 6 position by edging out Megan Rudloff 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) for her second conference win of the season.
Goucher improves to 5-2 lifetime against Susquehanna in Landmark matches after today's victory. The Gophers have now won two of their last three conference matches after a pair of defeats to start the season.
Thursday's playoff deciding match against Juniata is currently scheduled for a 3 p.m. start. The match will also be the final home contest for senior team captains Derham and Hanora Barron (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn).