A Brand New Year: Shoremen dispatch Goucher, Achilles Heal of 2012

By Taylor Konyk
Elm Staff Writer

It’s finally here—it’s finally lacrosse season, and the Washington College Shoremen already charged out of the gate Saturday against the Goucher Gophers defeating them 16-8.

Surely, motivation to get a good start to the season was bred from last season’s losses to Goucher, including the loss that ended the Shoremen season in the NCAA Tournament.

This time was different, however. The Shoremen were favored, ranked number 15 in the country, while Goucher was unranked.

In two losses to the Gophers in 2012 the Shoremen were out-scored by a total of 13-10. The Shoremen obviously played with a chip on their shoulder, outscoring last year’s total in just one game.

The barrage scoring was sparked early in the first quarter with sophomore Grant Hughes bulging the net’s twine unassisted.

From there, the flood gates opened on Goucher and they were quickly buried by a devastating deficit.

At one point, junior Hunter Nowicki put the Shoremen up by seven9, making the score 9-3. Though the Shoremen put themselves in a good position by a substantial lead, the Gophers attempted to fight back.

The second quarter marked a lack in discipline as WC took three 60 second penalties that could have allowed the Gophers back into the game. Fortunately, WC’s penalty kill was on point killing all three man-down advantages.

Though the game was relatively even paced, the Shoremen dominated in one category that had a major influence on the win—groundballs.

From the beginning the Shoremen outworked the Gophers. Groundballs lead to shots as the Shoremen heavily outshot the Gophers 56-39.

It’s difficult to record skill and toughness with a number, but generally the team with the greatest amount of ground balls is working harder than there opponent.

The Shoremen out hustled, outshot, and outperformed their opponent, and recent rival, mainly because they were ball hogs.

Dominating the ground game helped lead to greater time of possession, allowing for good scoring chances.

The numbers tell the story; WC’s 44 ground balls compared to Goucher’s 17 was vital for the Shoremen’s victory.

Though the score was lopsided, favoring WC the entire game, the Shoremen must tend to an area of concern with their clearing game. WC went .68 with their clears versus Goucher’s .84. Against better teams, their clearing percentage must improve.

Fast and efficient clearing is essential in disrupting any team’s offensive momentum. Luckily for the Shoremen, Goucher had no momentum to disrupt.

Overall, the Shoremen opened up with a stellar performance against a team that’s had their number recently. They’re already asserting themselves as an improvement compared to last year’s squad.

With high scoring games like last Saturday’s they should make for an exciting team as well.

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