Knights Hold off Fighting Scots for Senior Night Win

ERIE, Pa. - Gannon raced out to a 7-1 lead and then held off a late Edinboro rally en route to a 12-10 Senior Night victory Wednesday at a cold and windy Gannon University Field. As a result, the Knights remained perfect in seven all-time meetings against the Fighting Scots.

With a wind chill in the 20's due to 20-mile-per-hour wind gusts, Gannon's five seniors lit a fire under the Lady Knights. Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn), Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian), Stevie Lombardoni (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico), Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) and Maddie Ulfig (Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) were honored during Senior Night festivities prior to the match. The group then accounted for 10 goals, 10 ground balls, nine draw controls, four caused turnovers and six saves during the match.

Gannon was in firm control throughout the majority of the first half. Neagle and Valentine scored during the first minute of action, igniting an opening 7-1 run. Neagle, Valentine and Lombardoni scored two times each during the blitz. Tessa Mitchell (Rush, N.Y./Rush Henrietta) capped the run off an assist from Neagle with 7:46 left in the first half.

Edinboro used the final six minutes of the half to stop Gannon's momentum. The Fighting Scots scored the final three goals, including Cydney Hrycko's second consecutive score with 19 ticks left to pull Edinboro within 7-4 at the break.

Gannon regained control during the opening portion of the second half. Valentine and Neagle opened the final stanza with back-to-back goals for a 9-4 lead. Neagle's fifth goal of the match off a free position shot with 13:26 to play gave the Lady Knights an 11-6 edge.

That's when things got interesting. Edinboro fought back with three straight goals to climb within 11-9 at the 8:23 mark. Gannon called time-out and decided to run the clock out. Lombardoni won the ensuing draw control and the plan worked to perfection for the next six minutes and nine seconds.

Gannon ran the clock down to 2:14, before Edinboro's pressure with its goalie pulled forced a turnover. After a time-out, the Fighting Scots went coast-to-coast and cut the deficit to one when Rebecca Martin scored off an assist from Hrycko with 1:45 left.

Edinboro also won the ensuing draw control, bringing the crowd to its feet for a photo finish. But Valentine stole the ball from Jenny Wirth after an Edinboro time-out with 1:25 showing on the clock. Her empty-net goal with 27 seconds remaining iced the victory.

Gannon held advantages in shots (26-18), ground balls (22-21), draw controls (14-10) and fewest turnovers (13-16).

Neagle led all scorers on both sides with five goals and one assist. Valentine added three goals, three ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers. Lombardoni filled her statistical line with two scores, five draw controls and three ground balls. Mitchell completed the scoring with a pair of goals. Maslyn recorded six saves between the pipes.

Gannon evened its record at 8-8 overall while improving to 5-6 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with its second victory during the last three matches. Edinboro fell to 7-9 overall and 3-9 in conference action.

Head coach Lindsey Lowman's club concludes the regular season Saturday, April 26 at Kutztown. The Lady Knights can clinch their 19th consecutive winning season with a win. The program has never had a losing season during its 19-year history. Saturday's game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.


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