Gannon Downs Slippery Rock to Win Fifth Straight

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. Christie Valentine's (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) career-high five goals and a dominating defensive performance helped Gannon win its fifth consecutive match Tuesday night with a 10-6 victory at Slippery Rock.

Gannon appeared to be just fine early, grabbing a 4-1 lead midway through the first half. Four different Lady Knights scored during the opening run, capped by Jess Fugate's (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) unassisted tally at the 15:03 mark.

However, that's when Slippery Rock got its offensive jets going. The Rock held Gannon scoreless for a little over 10 minutes while scoring three goals to knot the match at four.

The Gannon defensive unit was clamps down after that. The Lady Knights held Slippery Rock scoreless for the next 26 minutes and seven seconds. In the process, Gannon found the back of the net five times to assume a 9-4 lead. Becky Hilker (Bowmanville, Ontario/Clarington Central SS) scored her second goal of the first half with 2:45 to play, giving the Lady Knights a 5-4 edge at the break.

It became the Christine Valentine show during the second half. The junior midfielder scored the first two goals after the intermission to give Gannon a 7-4 lead. Stevie Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) followed with an unassisted score, before Valentine struck again at the 16:58 mark for a 9-4 advantage.

It wasn't until Slippery Rock scored on a free-position shot with 8:48 remaining that the long scoring drought came to an end. The Rock did manage two of the contest's final three goals, but it wouldn't be enough to stave off a 10-6 Gannon victory.

Valentine led all scorers with a five goals, including four during the second half. Her performance tied a career-high previously set against Notre Dame (Ohio) on March 14. Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) was credited with all four of Gannon's assists.

Lombardoni and Hilker tallied two goals each. Fugate also added a score. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) recorded five saves between the pipes, including four during the first half.

Gannon, which was among others receiving votes in the latest Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) national rankings, improved to 6-2 overall and remained perfect in the PSAC at 3-0. The Lady Knights have won five consecutive matches after returning from a 1-2 spring trip. Slippery Rock dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in league play.

Head coach Lindsey Lowman's squad returns to action Friday, April 5 at West Chester. The Golden Rams are ranked second in the latest IWLCA national rankings and were one of two teams to receive first-place votes. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.


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