Royals Drop Decision to Goucher in Landmark Semifinals

SCRANTON, Pa.-Scranton lost the one that mattered most Wednesday evening at Fitzpatrick Field. Just four days after a nail-biting 8-7 victory over Goucher to secure the number two seed and home-field advantage, the Royals fell behind 5-2 at intermission and scored just twice more the rest of the way en route to an 8-4 loss to the Gophers in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference tournament.

Senior midfielder Pierce Ingram (Austin, Texas/Westwood) scored two of his three goals in the second period during a 4-0 rally that put the Gophers ahead for good.

Goucher, now 7-7, also received two goals from junior attacker Sam Morgan (Wilmot, NH/Kearsarge Regional), a goal and an assist from junior attacker Dylan Zook (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley), and a goal apiece from senior midfielder Steve Patterson (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake School) and sophomore midfielder Owen Demmerly (Medford, NJ/Shawnee).

Scranton, which ends its 2014 season with a 10-7 record, received a goal and an assist from junior attacker Will Mahle (Montgomery, NJ/Montgomery) and a goal apiece from sophomore midfielders Alec Mikrut (Belle Mead, NJ/Montgomery) andBrad Elkin (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Preparatory) and freshman attacker Ryan Mygatt (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan).

In what was expected to be an evenly-close game-the three previous meetings were decided by a goal-the Royals cut Goucher's halftime lead to two on an unassisted goal by Mahle with 6:46 left in the third period, then shaved it down to one on Mygatt's goal with 13:05 left in the fourth period on a play set up by freshman attacker Brian Quinn (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh).

Less than a minute later, Ingram picked up a ground ball in front of the Royal cage and fired in a shot to swing the momentum back in Goucher's favor. Gopher junior goalkeeper Karl Wiszumerski (Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School) then ended two potential Scranton scoring opportunities with saves and Morgan found the back of the net with 7:40 left on a play set up by Zook that extended the lead to three.

Defensively, the Gophers frustrated the Royals, limiting them to only 13 shots on goal, nine of which were saved by Wiszumerski. Scranton sophomore goalkeeper Nicholas McKaba (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris) stopped four shots.

The Gophers held a 34-32 advantage in shot attempts and a 30-23 margin in ground balls.

Royal junior Matt Finor (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South) won 10 of 16 face-off, including all three of his attempts in the first period as the Royals led 1-0 with 8:40 left on a goal by Mikrut. Elkin gave Scranton its last lead when he opened the second period with a goal off of an assist from senior John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph's Preparatory).


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