April 16, 2011

Gannon Routs Shippensburg for Fourth Straight

from press release

ERIE, Pa. - The No. 10 Gannon women's lacrosse team used a 14-1 run to snap a 5-5 tie and easily cruised to a 21-8 victory against Shippensburg Saturday afternoon at Gannon University Field. The verdict extended the Lady Knights' season-high win streak to four matches.

Gannon's post-season fate still remains in limbo despite Saturday's victory. The Lady Knights could have clinched their second consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament berth with either a Bloomsburg loss at Slippery Rock or an East Stroudsburg loss at Edinboro. However, both teams also produced victories.

Head coach Steve Wagner's squad did maintain its position in the race to host a PSAC quarterfinal match on Tuesday, April 26. The Lady Knights own sole possession of third place with a 7-3 PSAC record, holding a half-game lead over Mercyhurst. The Lakers are 6-3 after Saturday's 10-9 victory against Millersville. Bloomsburg (6-4), East Stroudsburg (6-4) and Indiana (Pa.) (5-4) are one game back in the loss column.

Overall, the top six teams qualify for the PSAC Tournament. The top two seeds receive first-round byes with the top seed hosting the PSAC Final Four. The third and fourth seeds will host conference quarterfinal matches.

One day after jumping out to a 5-0 lead against Millersville, Gannon started Saturday's contest with four consecutive goals. Three of the four scores came on free position shots. Sarah Grzybinski's (New Market, Md./Linganore) goal at the 18:29 mark capped the early blitz.

Shippensburg finally got on the scoreboard 12 minutes into the contest on Katie Brewer's 30th goal of the season. It started a 5-1 Red Raider run that tied the match at five with 11:38 left in the first half.

But it was all Gannon after that. The Lady Knights rattled off the final six goals of the first half for an 11-5 halftime lead. Grzybinski and Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) had two goals each during the final 10 minutes of the half.

Mary Eshenour (Waterloo, N.Y./Waterloo) then opened the second half with a goal 57 seconds into the stanza. The 7-0 run came to an end when Shippensburg scored 4:12 into the second half. In all, the Lady Knights held the Red Raiders scoreless for 15 minutes and 50 seconds.

The Shippensburg goal did little to faze Gannon as the Lady Knights proceeded to score seven more goals. Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) scored back-to-back goals, before Eshenour followed with a pair of her own. Eshenour fifth goal of the match with 16:36 left capped a 14-1 run that lasted 23 minutes and 16 seconds. The run spanned both halves and gave the Lady Knights a 19-6 advantage. Both teams then tallied two goals in the final 15 minutes to account for the final 21-8 score.

Eshenour and Grzybinski led all scorers with six goals and one assist each. In the process, Eshenour moved into third place all-time at Gannon with 292 career points. Grzybinski's performance produced career-highs in both goals and points.

Neagle recorded a hat trick with three goals. Fisher, Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) and Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) added two goals and two assists each.

Gannon out-shot Shippensburg 38-22, including a 19-9 edge in the second half. Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) reached double digits in saves for the fifth time this season, turning away 10 shots.

Gannon improved to 11-4-1 overall and 7-3 in the PSAC with Saturday's victory. Shippensburg dropped to 7-8 overall and 3-7 in conference play. The Lady Knights conclude the regular season Thursday, April 21 against rival Mercyhurst at Gannon University Field. The contest will have major post-season implications as PSAC Tournament berths and possible conference quarterfinal hosting rights could be on the line. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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