Goucher hoping past doesn't repeat itself
For the second consecutive year, Goucher earned the top seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament. But coach Kyle Hannan is hoping the result is much different when the Gophers (12-3 overall and 6-0 in the conference) play host to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (7-7, 3-3) in a tournament semifinal at Goucher on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Last season, the top-seeded Gophers were upended by Scranton in the semifinals and did not advance to the NCAA Tournament. While the memory of that loss is still fresh, Hannan said the players and coaches aren't harping on that game.
"No, we're not talking much about last year, to be honest with you," he said. "It's a different team and a different year. It's just more about our team at this point and the guys being ready and focused on the 2010 Landmark Tournament against a team that we've already played."
Goucher defeated the Mariners, 11-7, on April 3, using a 4-0 fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie after three quarters. Hannan said the key was making an adjustment on the team's clears to facilitate the transition game and give possession back to the offense.
"We gave up seven goals, but three of them were the direct result of failed clears," he said. "So it was more of between the lines where we were struggling. So then once we were able to get the ball out of our defensive end and create a little bit of transition and get it to our offense, that's when the game significantly changed. So obviously, today, that's a real focal point. We want to be very confident when we're clearing the ball and getting the ball into our offensive end."
The other semifinal between No. 2 seed Drew (8-6, 4-2) and No. 3 seed Catholic (11-3, 4-2) begins at 4 p.m., but Hannan said there won't be any scoreboard-watching.
"Our sports information director, Mike Sanders, asked me about that yesterday," Hannan said. "He said, 'That game might be finished right about when yours is about to start.' I told him, 'I don't want an announcement.' I learned a long time ago that we can only get wrapped up with the things that we can control, and we certainly can't control the outcome of that game up in New Jersey today. So we're just going to keep our guys focused on our task."