March 19, 2011

Quick Start, Strong Finish for No. 8 Gannon

from press release

- The No. 8 Gannon women's lacrosse team raced out to an 8-1 lead in the first 11 minutes and rolled to a 20-9 victory against Edinboro Saturday afternoon in the Lady Knights' home opener at Gannon University Field.

The offensive explosion marked the second time this season Gannon had reached the 20-goal plateau. The Lady Knights accomplished the feat earlier with a 23-6 victory at Erskine (S.C.) in the season opener on February 26.

Gannon took firm control during the early portion of Saturday's match. The Lady Knights snapped a 1-1 tie with seven consecutive goals. Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) tallied three of the team's first eight goals, including the contest's first score 1:59 after the opening face-off.

In all, five different Lady Knights scored during the run. Mary Eshenour (Waterloo, N.Y./Waterloo) found the back of the net twice. Fugate's third tally with 19:13 left in the first half gave Gannon an 8-1 advantage.

Edinboro was finally able to stop the Gannon surge on Shannon Rohrich's free-position goal at the 12:25 mark. It brought the end to a scoreless stretch that lasted 15 minutes and 24 seconds. The Fighting Scots ended the half by scoring three of the final five goals. Rohrich's second score with eight seconds left on the clock sent the Scots into the break with a 10-4 deficit.

The two teams went back-and-forth for the first 10 minutes of the second half, before the programs took turns making runs. Leading 13-6, Gannon appeared to be putting the match to bed when it rattled off three straight goals. Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn), Eshenour and Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) scored to give the home squad a 16-6 lead and a running clock with 17:56 to play.

However, Edinboro refused the go away. The Fighting Scots immediately answered with three goals of their own in the span of two minutes and 44 seconds. Kaitlin Magee's score with 13:14 remaining brought the Fighting Scots within 16-9.

But Gannon then closed out the deal with the match's final four goals to record a 20-9 victory. The Lady Knights held Edinboro scoreless for the final 13 minutes en route to the win.

Gannon out-shot Edinboro 47-20 and won 21 of 31 draw controls. The Fighting Scots turned the ball over 22 times, including 16 that were caused by the Lady Knights.

Eshenour and Fugate led the offensive explosion with five goals each. Eshenour added two assists for a team-high seven points. Fugate dished out one assist to account for her six points. The duo also combined to secure nine of Gannon's 21 draw controls

Fisher and Neagle recorded hat tricks with three goals each. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) chipped in two goals. Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) and Christie Valentine (Friendship, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) completed the scoring with one score each.

DerCola and Fisher led the team in ground balls with eight and seven, respectively. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) recorded eight saves between the pipes, turning away four shots in both halves.

Gannon, ranked eighth in the latest Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) national rankings, improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with its second consecutive victory. Edinboro dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Lady Knights return to action Tuesday, March 22 against NCAA Division I Niagara at Gannon University Field. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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