March 10, 2012

Niagara Downs Gannon for First Victory

from press release

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. - Junior Fran Pollastro scored three goals to help the Niagara women's lacrosse team (1-3; 0-0 MAAC) to a 10-8 victory over the Gannon Lady Knights (1-3; 0-0 PSAC) on Saturday afternoon at Niagara Field, giving head coach Amber Hill her first win as a Division I head coach.

With the Purple Eagles down 6-5 at the end of thirty minutes of play, Pollastro netted two of her three goals in the second half to help push Niagara to the win.  Freshman Carrie-Jo Farrugia  and senior Emily French each contributed two goals while sophomore Paige Matecki added two helpers.

"Today's win has hopefully begun the push in the positive direction that the team needs," Hill said.  "Mistakes were made and we still have to tighten up a lot of things all over the field, but I'm happy the girls came out on top today."

The teams traded goals in the opening minutes of the first half with the Purple Eagles striking first off the stick of Pollastro with a nice feed from freshman Courtney Pierce.  Senior Sarah Grzybinski tied it back up less than three minutes later,

Farrugia and senior Nicole Karek grabbed the next two goals for Niagara, giving them the 3-1 lead, but a 5-2 run to end the opening half led by Stevie Lombardoni with three goals, gave the Lady Knights the 6-5 lead heading into intermission.

Gannon opened the second frame with a goal from senior Rachel DerCola to put Niagara in a two-goal hole.  The Purple Eagles rallied back though, scoring the next four goals to jump out to a 9-7 lead, including the eventual game-winning goals by senior Caitlin Sacco with 12:22 left to play.  Grzybinksi would tally her second of the game with a little more than eight minutes remaining, but Niagara's solid defending would keep Gannon off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

"We needed the win to show the gials that their hard work has finally paid off," Hill added.  "We're excited to play Duquesne next week and keep the win train rolling from here on out."

Freshman Courtney Pierce also added a goal in the victory, while Niagara goaltender Kaitlin Sorgi stopped six Gannon shots.

Matecki finished the contest winning five draw controls, senior Taryn Burkholder forced three turnovers for the game.

The Purple Eagles are back in action next Friday, March 16 when they host Duquesne at 7 p.m. 

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