Goucher men come up short against Gettysburg, 6-4

March 03, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

One factor that separates the top men's lacrosse teams from contenders is the ability to withstand pressure.

Goucher played well enough to capture its first NCAA tournament berth last year, but the Gophers still have some ground to make up in terms of being lumped in with the top-tier teams.

Goucher learned that lesson Wednesday, as Gettysburg, a three-time NCAA finalist since 2001, withstood a two-goal first-quarter deficit to escape with a 6-4 decision before 241 at Beldon Field in Towson.

"Gettysburg is a very good team, so we know they're going to be there, and they're going to play well and do their thing," Gophers coach Kyle Hannan said. "I think it's more that we've got to maintain our focus for four quarters and be able to execute what we're asking them to execute."

Goucher, which fell to 0-2, appeared poised to pull the upset just five days after the No. 12 Bullets dropped a 7-6 contest to unranked Hampden-Sydney last Saturday.

Junior attackman Rory Averett's goal off of a feed from sophomore midfielder Zach Fratella gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 51 seconds into the game. Goucher doubled the lead with 7:25 left when junior attackman Kyle Boncaro scored on a man-up opportunity.

But Gettysburg (2-1) reeled off six unanswered goals. Tallies from senior midfielder J.C. Ward and sophomore midfielder Bobby DeWees sent the Bullets into halftime with the score tied at 2.

Gettysburg scored all four of the goals in the third quarter. Junior attackman Pat Sartory recorded one goal and two assists during the run, and junior attackman Dylan Schmitz scored twice.

"We have a lot of experience on our team," said Sartory, an Ellicott City native and McDonogh graduate. "We've been in a lot of big games since I've been here, and I'm only a junior. So we don't get down on ourselves. We believe that were going to win every game we're in. Through hard times, we've kept that mindset going."

The Bullets altered their offensive strategy, choosing to attack the Gophers' defense from the wings rather than from the midfield or behind the net. Gettysburg also got a couple goals in transition.

"We also beat their 10-man ride a couple times," Bullets coach Hank Janczyk said. "They were gambling a little bit, which isn't a bad idea with the wind. But I think being able to dodge from the wings and being able to push the ball a little bit helped us."

Averett's goal with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter ended Goucher's scoreless drought of 44:30. Averett added another goal with 3:39 remaining in the game, but the Gophers couldn't hang onto the ball long enough to create quality scoring opportunities and send the contest into overtime.

"Gettysburg's a great team, but we can't really measure ourselves against them because we didn't play our best," said Averett, who led all scorers with three goals. "If we had played out best, maybe we could have measured up, but in the second and third [quarters], we fell down. We came back, but I don't think we can measure up. They're a great team, and we've got to step up and get a win on Saturday [against Randolph-Macon]."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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