Fugate Tallies 50th Goal as Gannon Sails by Millersville

ERIE, Pa. Gannon used a dominating first half to sail past Millersville 20-8 Friday afternoon at a windy Gannon University Field. In the process, the Lady Knights reduced their magic number for clinching a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament spot to one.

Friday's Gannon-Millersville contest was expected to be a battle between a pair of teams within one match of each other in the standings who had a chance to grab a stranglehold on a postseason berth. Instead, it turned into an offensive shoot-out by the Lady Knights.

Gannon held a slim 3-2 lead before taking complete control. The Lady Knights exploded for eight consecutive goals to assume an 11-2 lead. The blitz began with a Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) goal at the 20:09 mark and ended after a Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) tally with 21 seconds left in the first half.

Valentine, Stevie Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) and Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) found the back of the net two times each during the decisive run. By the time Millersville scored with two seconds remaining in the half, the Lady Knights had held the Marauders scoreless for 23 minutes and 15 seconds. And it came against a team that has reached the 20-goal plateau three times this season.

The statistics told the first-half tale. Gannon held large advantages in shots (23-9) and ground balls (20-9). It resulted in an 11-3 halftime lead for the Lady Knights.

The one-sided affair evened out as Gannon out-scored Millersville 9-5 during the final 30 minutes. A brief 4-0 mini-run midway through the second half pushed the Lady Knights' lead to 16-5 and produced a running clock.

Gannon reached the 20-goal plateau in consecutive matches for the first time since April 3-6, 2012. The Lady Knights poured in 21 goals during a victory last Tuesday at Lake Erie.

Fugate reached a personal milestone when she scored her 50th goal of the season with 8:14 to play. The senior is the 28th Lady Knight to accomplish the feat. She moved into Gannon's all-time top five in scoring during Friday's contest with 268 career points.

The Wooster, Ohio, native led all scorers on both sides with nine points, accumulating six goals and three assists to go along with a match-high seven draw controls. Fugate recorded at least nine points for the fourth time this season and at least seven draw controls for the third time.

Lombardoni tied her career-highs in goals and points with five goals, one assist and six points for the second consecutive match. Valentine scored three times and dished out a career-high three assists to match her career-high in points with six.

Heather Vouros (Victor, N.Y./Victor) doubled her season scoring total with two goals. Other scoring highlights included Sabrina McMaster (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) recording her first goal of the season and Katie Hinsdale (Arlington, Va./Yorktown) tallying her second of the campaign. Neagle and Natalie Bonnepart (San Jose, Calif./Gunderson) produced Gannon's other two goals.

Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) was a force in goal, turning away eight shots in 44 minutes and 18 seconds. Chrissy Yoest (Erie, Pa./McDowell) made one save in 15 minutes and 42 seconds of relief action.

Gannon improved to 9-5 overall and 5-3 in the PSAC with its second consecutive victory. Millersville dropped to 8-5 overall and 3-5 in conference action while seeing its season-high four-match win streak snapped.

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