Goucher taking program's first-ever ranking in stride

Gophers debuted at No. 19 in latest USILA poll

March 29, 2012|By Edward Lee

For the first time in the program’s 21-year history, Goucher elbowed its way into the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, moving to No. 19 in the latest version published Monday.

It’s a heady honor for the Gophers, who are trying to downplay the ranking.

“It’s definitely exciting for the program. I think the biggest key here is we have to keep it in perspective,” coach Kyle Hannan said Wednesday. “I’m glad that the guys are recognized for their hard work and the success that they’ve had, but like I just got done telling them, the things that we can control are practicing, winning games, and winning the Landmark Conference. We can’t control a group of coaches that sit on a poll and decide where people are going to be ranked. It’s nice to be ranked, but we have to keep it in perspective.”

Goucher’s 18-8 rout of league rival Drew extended the team’s winning streak to six and helped the team improve to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Gophers are the only team in the league with a 2-0 mark, but Hannan dismissed the notion that they are the team to beat in the conference.

“There’s still a lot of Landmark games to be played,” he said. “I do feel that we’ve created a lot of shots this year, and a lot of our success has gone with how well we’re shooting the ball. If we’re shooting at a good percentage, we’re scoring a lot of goals, and that’s exactly what happened against Drew. We shot the ball 50 percent, and one thing that we’ve been doing all year that helped against Drew was we’re riding extremely well. We’re really getting a lot of second opportunities to score goals, and with our shooting and second opportunities, we really cashed in and scored 18 goals against a very good team.”

Hannan said it hasn’t been difficult for the coaches and players to temper their excitement over getting ranked.

“[I]t’s a focused group,” he said. “Our goal wasn’t to be ranked in the top 20. Our goal is to win the Landmark championship. So I think they have a pretty good understanding of that. I think they’re proud of being recognized for the work and success they’ve had, but I believe that they understand that ranking isn’t going to help us win games. I think it’s neat. There’s a pride factor involved, but they also have a true understanding of what it means.”

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