March 26, 2011

Kutztown Throws a Scare into No. 9 Gannon

from press release

– TheKutztown University women's lacrosse team dropped an 11-8 decision to ninth-ranked Gannon University in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) contest Saturday afternoon at Keystone Field.

The Golden Bears (4-4 overall, 0-4 PSAC) made the Golden Knights (6-2-1, 3-1) earn the victory. Kutztown controlled long periods of the contest and gave itself a chance to win. Instead of winning, the Golden Bears had to settle for knowing they improved following their two-game weekend against two top 10 programs.

"We're definitely a better team than when we started the weekend," junior Megan Schwarr said. "Now, we just need to capitalize and actually win the games instead of coming close. I think everybody played their hearts out today. I thought the offense and defense had awesome games. Now, we just need to play a full 60 minutes and not have any lulls."

Rachel Mehaffey led the Golden Bear offensive charge by scoring four times. It was the second time this season she scored at least that many in a game. Mehaffey had six goals in a win against Converse early this season. Mehaffey opened the second half with two quick goals to help Kutztown pull into a 6-6 tie with 25 minutes, 40 seconds remaining.

Also scoring for the Golden Bears were Krystine Boedeker, Leann Pica, Katie Fairheller and Gina Carmina. Mehaffey and Pica scored the first two goals of the contest to give Kutztown a 2-0 lead.

Gannon didn't score its first goal until nearly nine minutes into the contest. That was the result of a strong defensive effort by Randy Vite, Justine Simonsen, and Marissa Kalodner. Simonsen led Kutztown with six ground ball pickups.

However, one of the biggest reasons why the Golden Bears had a chance to win was the stellar play of freshman goalie JoAnn McLaughlin, who finished with 19 saves. She made several spectactular stops that at times left Gannon players frustrated. Gannon fired an astounding 41 shots.At one point, McLaughlin stopped nine consecutive chances in the first half. She has a chance to be special by the time she finishes her career.

"Being a freshman, it's definitely different that high school and bit more nerve-wrecking," McLaughlin said. "Watching my team work hard during the game, makes we want to work harder especially after we score. I just tried my best today. I love playing the position."

Mehaffey gave the Golden Bears their final lead of the game, 4-3, with 6:42 remaining before halftime. Gannon eventually got control of the contest midway through the second half by scoring five straight goals. However, Kutztown continued to battle. Goals from Carmina and Boedeker in the final six minutes put pressure on Gannon. The Golden Bears won the ensuing draw control and just missed scoring again as a shot sailed wide.

Kutztown finishes its five-game home stand when it hosts Shippensburg University in a PSAC contest Tuesday afternoon starting at 4 p.m.

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