September 6, 2019

Gophers Start the Season Strong

The Goucher College Gophers kicked-off the fall athletic season with a series of wins from women’s soccer and women’s volleyball to men’s soccer and the cross country team.

If the Gopher bell in front of the Decker Sports and Recreation Center had any rust on it from the summer, the eight wins by the Goucher fall teams in the first six days of the season has surely brought the bell and the Goucher College campus back to life.

Leading the way are the Gophers women’s soccer and women’s volleyball team, with 3-0 starts.

Led by a group of first-years, the Goucher women’s soccer team (and head coach Stephanie Ricketts ’07) is off to its best start since 2012. Megan Kelleher ’23 scored twice in the first two games, including the decisive goal in overtime in the season opener to earn the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor. Fellow first-years Finley Lindsey ’23 and Claudia Roller ’23 have also scored goals, for the first time in their careers, to account for the offense in the first three games. Goalkeeper Christina Charikofsky ’21 lead the defense to a pair of shutouts and joined the accolades to start the season with the Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Week award. The team returns All-Landmark Conference second-team selection Gracie LeFevre ’20, who registered an assist on Kelleher’s game-winner in the season opener.

Head coach Kathy Frankowski has helped the Goucher volleyball team to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 2006 season, while the Gophers have won nine of the 10 sets played this season. Just as with women’s soccer, younger players have helped the team be successful. Rachel Chapman ’23 leads the team in kills (30), and Vendela Lundgren ’23 is second on the team in assists (34). Tes DeJaeger ’22 fuels the team in assists (37) and Cat Hartley ’21 in digs (45).

Powered by two goals by Ari Hooper ’21, the Gopher field hockey team won its first game in the first weekend of action. For her efforts, Hooper was selected as the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Danielle Johnson ’20 posted the squad’s first goal of the season in the victory.

The Goucher men’s soccer team joined the party with a win on Wednesday. Brandon Cohen ’20, a two-time All-Landmark Conference second team selection, scored the final two goals in the win to seal the victory. The team is also experiencing a youth movement, with 10 first-years and sophomores in the starting lineup each game. Xavier Dever ’23 also scored in the win while Yaya Diabagate ’23 posted the first tally of the season. As goalkeeper, Joe May ’23 picked up his first collegiate start in the victory and recorded seven saves while also turning away a penalty kick.

The Gopher cross country teams also started over the first weekend to work toward the Landmark Conference Championships in November. Joey Holtzman ’23 paced the men’s side while Laila Hanson ’22 was the top finisher for the women.

Success has come to start the season at home for the women’s volleyball team, with all three wins coming at the Decker Sports and Recreation Center while field hockey, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer have each registered at least one win at Beldon Field.

The 10-time IHSA Zone IV Region I champion equestrian team started its season on September 8, while the two-time defending Landmark Conference Champion men’s golf team kicked off its third campaign on Saturday. The second year under head coach Steve Baum ’11 for the women’s tennis team began Sunday and the four-time defending Landmark Conference men’s tennis team opens the year on September 20.

It has been nice to ring in the new school year with so much success, and we look forward to it continuing for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign. We hope that you will share with us as we #GopherGreatness and you show how #GoucherProud you are this year.