Goucher College's Rory Averett, right, takes a shot at… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
The Goucher men's lacrosse team advanced to the Landmark Conference tournament final for the third time in four years courtesy of a record-setting performance by Rory Averett.
The junior attackman scored a game-high four goals to pace the top-seeded Gophers to an 11-3 dismantling of fourth-seeded Susquehanna before 285 at Gopher Stadium Wednesday.
Goucher (11-5 overall and 4-1 in the Landmark) will play host to No. 2 seed Scranton (8-7, 3-2), which defeated No. 3 seed Catholic (11-5, 3-2), 12-9, in the other tournament semfinal. The title game is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.
Averett's third goal of the contest with 8:55 left in the third quarter was his 51st goal of the year, surpassing the program's previous single-season record of 50 set by Phil Anthony in 2002.
"I knew I was pretty close," said Averett, who passed Anthony as the school's career leader in goals in the team's 8-7 triple overtime win against Drew last Saturday. "People have been saying a lot about it, but I wasn't sure of how many goals I needed. I don't keep track of that stuff."
The reigning conference tournament champion, Goucher asserted itself early against the Crusaders (10-5, 3-2), sprinting to a 5-1 advantage by halftime.
The Gophers scored the game's first four goals before Susquehanna junior midfielder Billy Spack converted a pass from junior attackman Dustin Breakey from the left wing to end a scoreless drought of 24 minutes, 33 seconds.
Goucher extended its lead in the second haIf by scoring the first five goals of the third quarter. The Crusaders scored twice in a span of 18 seconds to end the period, but freshman attackman George Skelos scored off of a pass from junior midfielder Pat Peddicord with 2:35 remaining in the contest to put an exclamation point on the victory for the Gators.
Goucher freshman midfielder Pierce Ingram scored three goals, while junior attackman Kyle Boncaro and junior midfielder Matt Lynch registered three assists and two assists, respectively.
Gophers coach Kyle Hannan credited the team with getting off to quick start.
"You earn a home game in the tournament and the key is to get out to a real fast start at home against a team on the road," he said. "I was very proud of the guys to come out with that energy. … We set that tone pretty early, and that helps over 60 minutes."