Gannon Runs by Slippery Rock for PSAC Victory

ERIE, Pa. Gannon is finding out that there is no place like home. The Lady Knights snapped an early 1-1 tie with an extended 13-1 run that spanned two halves and posted a 17-7 victory against Slippery Rock in the PSAC opener for both squads Tuesday night at Gannon University Field. It marked Gannon's second consecutive home win by 10 goals or more after opening the season with four straight road matches.

After the teams split the contest's opening two goals, Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) ignited a 5-0 run with her second goal of the match at the 21:57 mark. Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) and Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) then alternated the next four scores as Gannon assumed a 6-1 lead with 12:58 left in the first half.

Slippery Rock could only stop the Gannon locomotive for a brief period when Morgan Pettit scored with 8:22 left in the first half. After that, it was all Gannon for the next 13 minutes. The Lady Knights rattled off the final four goals of the half to assume a 10-2 halftime advantage. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) netted two of those four scores, including one with 1:18 left in the half.

The second half began exactly how the first half ended with Gannon scoring. Four different Lady Knights found the back of the net as Gannon accounted for the first four scores of the final stanza. Stevie Lombardoni's (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) free-position goal with 24:29 remaining capped the 13-1 run that lasted 13 minutes and two seconds.

Slippery Rock's goal with 17:02 left ended a scoreless drought that lasted 21 minutes and 20 seconds. It also started a trend that saw Gannon and Slippery Rock battle on even terms the rest of the way. The Rock scored back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to 14-4. The visitors eventually ended the match by scoring five of the final eight goals, before the final horn sounded with a 17-7 Gannon victory.

Neagle led Gannon in scoring for the second consecutive match, scoring a career-high five times on six shots. Grzybinski added a season-high four goals. DerCola rounded out Gannon's trio of hat trick performances with three goals and one assist.

Fugate tied Neagle for game-high in points with five, scoring twice and dishing out a team-high three assists. Lombardoni chipped in two goals while Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) helped run the offense with two assists.

Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) had arguably her best performance of the season. The sophomore goalkeeper turned away nine shots, including several from point-blank range. Six of her saves came during the opening 30 minutes when Gannon took a 10-2 lead. The Lady Knights out-shot Slippery Rock 33-21, including a 23-9 edge in the first half. Gannon also forced 12 Slippery Rock turnovers compared to only three of its own during the decisive first half.

Gannon evened its record at 3-3 overall and moved to 1-0 in the PSAC with its second consecutive victory. Slippery Rock suffered its first loss of the season, dropping to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in conference action. The Lady Knights return to action Friday, March 23 at rival Edinboro. The PSAC match is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.


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