DerCola, Maslyn Lead Gannon to Win vs. Bloomsburg

ERIE, Pa. Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) recorded career-highs in goals (6) and points (11) while Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) made a career-high 17 saves, as Gannon remained in a tie for the PSAC's top spot with a 21-16 victory against Bloomsburg Friday evening at Gannon University Field.

Friday's contest quickly turned into a slugfest as the two teams combined to score 20 goals during the first 30 minutes. Gannon's 21 scores represented the third time it reached the 20-goal plateau this season, falling one score shy of the season-high 22 set against Lake Erie. The 37 combined goals equals the highest combined score since the Lady Knights dropped a 19-18 decision April 30, 2010 at West Chester during the PSAC semifinals.

Gannon won Friday's match during the final 17 minutes. After both teams were deadlocked in their third tie of the match at 13, DerCola ignited a 5-0 run when she finished a Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) pass with a goal. The blitz continued with another score from DerCola and goals from Stevie Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico), Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) and Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian). The run lasted nine minutes and 52 seconds, giving the Lady Knights an 18-13 advantage with 6:49 to play.

The two squads then exchanged three goals apiece during the final six minutes to account for the final 21-16 score.

Bloomsburg was initially the quickest out of the gate, scoring the first three goals of the match. But the first half was one of runs. DerCola had two goals and one assist as Gannon netted the next three scores to tie the contest at three with 21:08 left in the half.

The visitors came right back with three straight goals for a 6-3 lead and later held a 7-5 edge. It was all Gannon after that until the waning seconds of the half. Fugate and Valentine scored two goals each during a 6-0 run that turned a two-goal deficit into an 11-7 lead.

What momentum Gannon had produced was quickly erased when Bloomsburg scored twice during the final 36 seconds. Samantha King's tally with only two seconds on the clock put the Gannon halftime lead at 11-9.

Bloomsburg battled all the way back to tie the match at 12 on King's free-position goal at the 26:15 mark. DerCola's unassisted tally with 20:14 remaining put Gannon back in front 13-12, before Natalie Draham's unassisted goal at 18:02 tied the match at 13 and set up the strong Gannon finish.

The statistics sheet was almost a dead heat. Gannon held slight advantages in shots (40-39), ground balls (30-29), draw controls (21-18) and saves (17-15). Bloomsburg had only 11 turnovers compared to the Lady Knights' 18 miscues.

DerCola led the 21-goal onslaught with six scores, five assists and 11 points. All three marks were team-highs. Fisher and Valentine added four goals and one assist each. Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) also had a hat trick with three scores and one assist.

Fugate came off the bench for the first time this season to score twice and dish out an assist. Lombardoni and Liz Algie (Adams, N.Y./South Jefferson Central) chipped in one goal each. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) was held scoreless for only the second time this season, but did record two assists.

Maslyn was a stone wall during the second half, coming up big time and time again during the shootout. The sophomore had six saves during the first half, before coming up with 11 stops during the final 30 minutes.

Gannon improved to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the PSAC with its second consecutive victory and sixth win during the last seven matches. The Lady Knights remained tied in the loss column for first place with West Chester (6-1), Indiana (Pa.) (5-1), Mercyhurst (5-1) and Lock Haven (4-1). Bloomsburg dropped to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play with Friday's loss.

Head coach Lindsey Lowman's club returns to action Wednesday, April 11 at 10th-ranked Lock Haven. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.


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