Gannon Knocks off No. 14 IUP on Senior Night

ERIE, Pa. Natalie Bonnepart (San Jose, Calif./Gunderson), Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) and Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) all set or matched career-highs with five goals to lead a balanced scoring attack as Gannon knocked off 14th-ranked Indiana (Pa.) 19-13 Saturday evening on Senior Night at Gannon University Field.

Gannon started slowly out of the gate as Indiana (Pa.) owned a 5-1 scoring advantage during the first 16 minutes and 11 seconds. Bonnepart then played a major role during a 4-0 run that knotted the contest at five.

Neagle started the run with her second goal of the match. Bonnepart, who entered the match with three goals this season and four during her career, then tallied back-to-back scores. Sarah Grzybinski's (New Market, Md./Linganore) unassisted goal with 3:52 left in the half capped the run.

IUP momentarily regained the lead at 6-5, but Gannon answered with the final three goals of the half. Neagle and Fisher scored, before Bonnepart struck again with 13 seconds left on the clock. In all, the Lady Knights scored seven of the final eight goals of the half to assume an 8-6 lead at the break.

Gannon dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half, extending its lead to 16-9 by scoring eight of the first 11 goals during the final stanza. The two teams traded the first six scores, before the Lady Knights put the match out of reach with a 5-0 blitz.

Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian), Bonnepart and Grzybinski kick started the run. Fisher brought it to an end with consecutive goals. Her tally at the 17:25 mark gave the Lady Knights their biggest lead of the evening at 16-9.

Indiana (Pa.) regrouped during the final 13 minutes, out-scoring Gannon 4-3. But neither team was able to score during the final five minutes and 30 seconds as the Lady Knights celebrated a 19-13 victory.

Gannon held slight advantages in shots (36-28), ground balls (38-29) and turnovers forced (24-16). IUP won 21 of the contest's 34 draw controls.

Fisher led all scorers with five goals, three assists and eight points. The eight points represented a career-high while her five goals tied a career-high accomplished two other times.

Bonnepart, who has played most of her career on defense, more than doubled her career scoring output during one match. The junior finished with five goals, two assists and seven points.

Neagle completed Gannon's trio of five-goal scorers with five tallies of her own, also tying her career-high accomplished once earlier in the season.

The home squad's scoring was rounded out by three Grzybinski goals and a Valentine score. Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) and Stevie Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) dished out two assists each. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) recorded eight saves between the pipes, including six during the final 30 minutes.

Gannon improved to 8-5 overall, 6-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and 15-0 all-time against IUP with its seventh victory during the last nine matches. The Crimson Hawks, ranked 14th in the latest Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 15 Poll, dropped to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

The victory was important for Gannon in the PSAC standings. The Lady Knights moved into a third-place tie with Mercyhurst, sitting one match behind West Chester and Lock Haven for first place. Gannon moved one match ahead of IUP and two matches ahead of three other PSAC teams for the right to host a conference quarterfinal match. There are three league contests remaining in the regular season.

Gannon returns to action Friday, April 20 at Millersville. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.


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