Gannon Rolls Past Notre Dame in Blustery Home Opener

ERIE, Pa. It took Gannon a bit to warm up during Thursday's blustery conditions at Gannon University Field. But Lady Knights finally did during the second half and rolled past Notre Dame (Ohio) 19-9 in the 2013 home opener.

With a wind chill near 20 degrees, Gannon erupted for eight consecutive goals during the second half. The run decided a match that had a three-goal difference beforehand. Leading 11-8, the Lady Knights held the visiting Falcons scoreless for 27 minutes and 51 seconds.

Steve Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) started the run 2:09 into the second half with a free-position goal. Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) was the main scoring culprit, pouring in five of the eight goals. Her rampage included four unassisted tallies. Becky Hilker (Bowmanville, Ontario/Clarington Central SS) and Natalie Bonnepart (San Jose, Calif./Gunderson) also chipped in scores during the run.

Fugate's final score gave Gannon a 19-8 lead with 11:55 to play. The Lady Knights then slowed down the action as the two squads went scoreless until Notre Dame's goal with 1:17 remaining. The Falcons' late goal capped the scoring, giving the home squad a 19-9 victory.

The first half went back-and-forth for the full 30 minutes. Gannon seemed to get off on the right foot with the first three goals. Fugate scored 49 seconds into the affair, before Bonnepart and Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) followed with scores.

Notre Dame responded with back-to-back goals, starting the alternate swings. Neither team could muster more the two consecutive goals the rest of the half. Gannon did receive a momentum boost when Hilker found the back of the net with 1.3 seconds left, sending the Lady Knights to the intermission with a 10-7 lead.

Fugate led all scorers with seven goals, five assists and 12 points. Her point total equaled the third-highest in school history, falling two points shy of the school record. The seven goals were the 14th-highest single-match total in school history. The senior also recorded five ground balls, five caused turnovers and four draw controls.

Valentine produced a career-high five goals and four draw controls. Bonnepart recorded a hat trick to go along with one assist. Hilker chipped in two goals while Lombardoni and Kelsey Bright (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) added one score each. Bright's goal was the first of her collegiate career.

Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) was a catalyst from the feeder role, dishing out a career-high five assists. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) turned away a season-high 10 shots, including five during each half.

Gannon evened its overall record at 2-2 while remaining perfect in four all-time meetings against Notre Dame (Ohio). The Falcons suffered their first loss in three matches. The Lady Knights return to action Wednesday, March 20 at Lake Erie. The non-conference match is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.


Create a free lacrosse website