Goucher got its first NCAA tournament win in program history, edging Washington, 5-4, in a first-round contest Wednesday afternoon. And the Gophers’ reward? A second-round date with South Region No. 1 seed Salisbury this Saturday.
Goucher is 18-1 and riding a 15-game winning streak, but senior attackman Rory Averett said he thinks the pressure is on the nine-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (19-0).
“They are an incredible team, but I do think it’s on them,” Averett said after Wednesday’s victory. “They’re supposed to beat us. We’re playing free. We’re playing with everything that we’ve got and hopefully, we’ll come out on top. But no one expects us to win that game. So we’re going to go in there, fire it up, compete the whole game and see after 60 minutes where we are.”
Junior defenseman Paul Taylor, who may be tasked with trying to contain Salisbury senior attackman and Division III’s points leader Matt Cannone, agreed with Averett. “Now that we’ve won the conference championship and won the first round, it’s all or nothing.”
Coach Kyle Hannan was more reserved in his comments and declined to get into too many specifics about Salisbury.
“We’re going to enjoy this one right now, go back and take a deep breath and hopefully be rested because we’re going to play the best team in the country,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy this moment and then re-focus and go out there and play and see what happens on Saturday.”