No. 14 Gannon Falls to Bloomsburg in PSAC Quarterfinals

ERIE, Pa. No. 14 Gannon fell behind 6-0 and could never recover during a 20-13 loss to Bloomsburg in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon at Gannon University Field.

It marked the second consecutive season Gannon hosted a conference quarterfinal match, but saw its campaign come to an end at the hands of an opponent who it defeated earlier in the season. The Lady Knights had defeated the Huskies 21-16 at Gannon University Field on April 6.

Bloomsburg came out of the gates with all the energy, scoring the first six goals. Four different Huskies netted goals during the run, capped by Julie Falk's 48th score of the year with 18:07 left in the first half.

Gannon finally dented the scoreboard 14 minutes and 10 seconds into the contest when Natalie Bonnepart (San Jose, Calif./Gunderson) scored off an assist from Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair).

The score did little to stop Bloomsburg's momentum. The Huskies accounted for four of the first half's final five goals to hit the intermission with a 10-2 advantage. Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) scored Gannon's only other first-half goal at the 3:43 mark.

The second half was played on more even terms as Gannon out-scored Bloomsburg 11-10 during the final 30 minutes. The Lady Knights used a brief 3-0 run to pull within 12-5 seven minutes into the half. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) recorded the final two goals of that blitz.

Bloomsburg regrouped and produced a running clock by scoring five of the next seven goals. Gannon made one last run with four consecutive scores, pulling within 17-11 on back-to-back Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) goals.

The two teams then alternated scores during the final two minutes, before Bloomsburg celebrated a 20-13 victory.

Bloomsburg controlled the majority of the match, out-shooting Gannon 32-28 overall and 19-7 during the first half. The Huskies also held advantages in ground balls (29-23), free-position goals (3-2) and opponent turnovers (16-14). The Lady Knights won 19 of 35 draw controls.

Fugate led the Gannon offense with five goals, one assist, six points and 12 draw controls. Grzybinski was close behind with four goals. All nine goals scored by Fugate and Grzybinski came during the second half.

DerCola recorded two goals, three assists and five points. Bonnepart and Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) added one score each. Fisher finished with two assists. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) recorded eight saves between the pipes, including seven during the first half.

Gannon, ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II South regional rankings and 12th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) national rankings, saw its season come to an end with a 12-6 record. Bloomsburg improved to 10-7 overall and advances to the PSAC semifinals against West Chester. Lock Haven will host the PSAC Final Four May 4-5.

Head coach Lindsey Lowman's club entered the postseason as the PSAC regular-season co-champions after trying Lock Haven and West Chester for first place in the conference standings. The Lady Knights dropped to the third seed after losing the head-to-head seeding tiebreaker.

Gannon won 12 matches for the fourth consecutive season, reaching double digits in wins for the eighth straight campaign. The Lady Knights finished one victory shy of the school single-season record for victories. The 1998 and 1999 teams hold the single-season record with identical 13-2 marks. The team's nine conference wins also represented the most during the program's four years in the PSAC.


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