The Gannon University women’s water polo team came out even during a busy weekend at the Mercyhurst Invitational, held Saturday and Sunday at the Cathedral Prep-Villa Maria Events Center in Erie.
On Saturday, the Knights fell 12-9 to Virginia Military Institute and beat Sienna College, 13-9, and then on Sunday, Gannon edged Saint Francis University, 10-8, before falling, 14-11, to Bucknell.
The Knights started off the tournament strong with junior Liz Barr scoring the first goal of the game at the 7:24 mark, giving Gannon a 1-0 lead over VMI.
After the first quarter, Gannon and VMI remained tied before the Keydets struck for four goals.
Gannon junior Alison Cooney found the net in the third quarter and the Knights added the final three goals of the game, but it wasn’t enough. Freshman Campbell Ruh scored four goals and added two assists to lead the Knights.
The win over Siena was Gannon’s first of the season. Cooney led the way with four goals while Barr and Francesca Williamson each tallied three goals to spark the attack. Ruh contributed two goals and Lizzie Rodriguez chipped in with one.
Cooney scored the first goal of the match at the 4:10 mark. Williamson came back during the second quarter, scoring three goals, with one being the tying goal at the 4:03 mark. At the 3:30 mark, Rodriguez scored the go-ahead goal, giving Gannon a 6-4 lead right before the half.
Barr opened up the final period with a goal to push Gannon to a 10-7 lead. The Knights connected on 13 of their 42 shot attempts. The team was quick with its plays and converted on four of the five power plays.
Gannon came back Sunday to edge Saint Francis, with Cooney netting four goals and Ruh, Barr and Williamson each collecting two goals.
Goals by Ruh, Barr and Cooney gave Gannon a 3-1 lead, and by halftime, the Knights extended their lead to 6-2.
In the second half, Williamson came in with her second goal, pushing Gannon to a 7-2 lead. Going into the final period, the Knights kept a strong lead and they wound up with a two-goal victory.
Bucknell opened Sunday’s final game by scoring three straight goals and the Bisons led 5-1 after one period, with Williamson scoring Gannon’s only goal.
In the second period, Ruh scored her first goal of the match, but Bucknell led 10-2 at halftime.
Barr, Williamson and Ruh put together three goals in the third quarter to help the Knights keep pushing forward, but they trailed 11-5 entering the fourth period.
Cooney’s four fourth-quarter goals helped Gannon cut into the lead, but the Knights came up three goals short.
Gannon connected on 11 of 18 shots attempted and converted on four of five power plays.
The Knights will return to the water Saturday at the Penn State Behrend Invitational. Gannon will take on host Penn State Behrend at 9 a.m. and then meet La Salle at 3 p.m.
Sunday’s action will start at 9 a.m. against Villanova and then conclude at 3 p.m. against Washington & Jefferson.