The Gannon University women’s soccer team will put the nation’s longest regular-season home winning streak on the line Wednesday when it hosts rival Mercyhurst in a 6:30 p.m. matchup at McConnell Family Stadium.
The Knights have won 18 straight at home and bring an overall record of 7-4-2 and a PSAC mark of 7-4-1 into the game.
Gannon had a productive couple of weeks, beating Mansfield and Lock Haven and playing to a scoreless tie with Edinboro before its five-game unbeaten streak ended with a 3-2 loss to 23rd-ranked Kutztown on the road Saturday.
Saturday’s loss to Kutztown started out well, as sophomore Kelsey O’Connor netted a pair of goals in a little over two minutes to help the Knights wipe out an early 1-0 deficit.
O’Connor gained control of a ball in the offensive zone in the 20th minute of play and beat Kutztown’s goalkeeper to tie the score at 1-1.
O’Connor then put Gannon on top a little more than a minute later when she redirected a pass from Taylor Lewis past the Kutztown goalkeeper.
Gannon maintained its lead until Kutztown’s Cara Griffith tied the score in the 39th minute. The Bears turned up the pressure on Knights’ goalkeeper Shannon Differ, outshooting Gannon 11-5 during the second half, and eventually scored the game-winner on Griffith’s goal with 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in regulation time.
Kutztown enjoyed the edge in shots (18-9) and corner kicks (8-1). Differ finished with eight saves in goal for Gannon. It was her second straight game with at least eight saves and third overall this year.
On Thursday, the Knights extended the nation’s longest home win streak with a 4-1win over Lock Haven.
Gannon scored all four of its goals in the second half, with Nicole Felice finding the net in the 49th minute off an assist from Olivia Sharbaugh.
Taylor Lewis scored in the 57th minute, Hannah Manczka scored in the 80th ninth minute and Lewis added the final goal in the 86th minute. Differ had nine saves but did give up a goal to Marah Foltz.
The win over Lock Haven followed the 0-0 double-overtime tie with Edinboro on Oct. 11. The game marked the fourth straight shutout for the Knights and it came in a rematch of last year’s playoffs with Edinboro.
Edinboro finished with a 17-13 advantage in shots, putting six of them on goal to Gannon’s five. The teams each took four corner kicks.
It was an intense game that was played well by both sides and saw both goalkeepers at their best with Differ stopping six shots on goal for Gannon and Sarah Baskey stopping five shots for Edinboro.
Lewis and Emily Cekella tried to score but were denied by Baskey. Lewis had three shots on goal and Cekella had one shot but nothing went in for Gannon. Halle Hammer of Edinboro had two shots on goal and Alex Brown had two shots on goal but both were denied.
The Knights collected a 2-0 victory over Mansfield on Oct. 8 at Mansfield.
Lewis kept on scoring the goals, tallying once in the first period and once in the second. She was assisted by Cekella and O’Connor.
The defense was good for Gannon as well, allowing only six shots on goal. O’Connor played well by attacking Mansfield with three shots on goal and helping to set up Lewis on her second goal.
Gannon had a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks, which helped create good opportunities for the Knights to score while Mansfield did not get an opportunity. The goalkeepers for Gannon played well with Danitza Indacochea and Differ each stopping three shots by Mansfield and shutting out the Mounties.