Gannon Scores First Nine, Cruises by Kutztown

ERIE, Pa. Gannon erupted for the first nine goals of the match and easily cruised past Kutztown 17-6 on an extremely cold Saturday night at Gannon University Field.

As temperatures hovered near freezing at the opening draw, Gannon's Steve Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) scored the first two goals during the opening four minutes and 35 seconds.

Four different Lady Knights then tallied goals to increase the Gannon lead to 6-0 with 20:39 left in the first half. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) followed with a personal hat trick in the span of two minutes and 42 seconds. Her third goal capped the opening 9-0 run with 13:59 showing on the clock.

Kutztown finally dented the scoreboard on Jillian Spencer's tally at the 10:35 mark. But Gannon wasted little time responding, scoring the final four goals of the half.

Grzybinski added her fourth goal at 8:35, before Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) sandwiched a Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) score with a pair of her own goals during the final six minutes and 19 seconds. Neagle's second goal with 11 seconds left sent the Lady Knights to the break with a commanding 13-1 advantage. In all, Gannon out-shot Kutztown 22-7 while forcing 15 Golden Bear turnovers during the first 30 minutes.

The two teams played on more even terms with a running clock during the entire second half. Gannon slowly stretched its lead to 17-3, before Kutztown scored three times during the final 7:02 to account for the final 17-6 score.

Grzybinski and Neagle led the scoring attack with four goals each. Lombardoni also had a hat trick to go along with an assist.

Fugate finished with two goals and three assists. Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) tied Fugate with a team-high three assists in addition to one goal.

The scoring onslaught was completed with single goals from Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair), Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) and Kirstin Bennehoof (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty). Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) turned away seven shots between the pipes.

Gannon improved to 5-3 overall and 3-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with its fourth consecutive victory. Kutztown dropped to 3-6 overall and 0-4 in conference action. The Lady Knights return to action Sunday, April 1 against ninth-ranked West Chester. The match was originally postponed Friday night due to lightning. Game time is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

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ERIE, Pa. Kutztown played its second consecutive game in Erie on Saturday. KU took the short trip to Gannon, but dropped a 17-6 decision under the lights in a PSAC match-up.

The Golden Bears (3-6 overall, 0-4 PSAC) were plagued by a Gannon (5-3, 2-0) scoring onslaught in the first half. The Golden Knights scored the first nine goals before Jillian Spencer (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) put KU on the board at the 10:35 mark in the opening half.

Spencer and Rosa Buffolino (Monroe Township, NJ/Monroe Township) each scored two goals for KU. The duo helped rally their fellow Golden Bears at intermission as KU outscored GU 5-4 in the second half.

Megan Schwar (Alpha, NJ/Phillipsburg) opened the scoring for KU in the second half with a goal at the 24:44 mark off an assist from Lauren Schlitt (Baldwin, NY/Oceanside).

Also scoring for KU was senior Leeann Pica (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy). She netted her team-leading 15th goal of the season with 7:02 left in regulation. Both of Buffolino's goals came in the final five and a half minutes of play.

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