Coming off a 1-1 week, the Gannon University women’s lacrosse team was looking to get its momentum moving forward again in Saturday’s road meeting with Kutztown.
And for a while, that appeared to be the case, as the Knights built a 7-2 lead. But the Bears rallied to score 10 of the last 13 goals to prevail in a close 12-10 match at Andre Reed Stadium.
Although the game resulted in a loss, the Knights would also display many positives to move forward with.
The loss left Gannon with an overall mark of 2-4 and an 0-2 record in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action going into Wednesday’s 4 p.m. meeting with rival Mercyhurst at Tullio Field.
Gannon’s matchup at Kutztown Saturday was its first on the road since traveling to Florida three weeks ago.
The game started with the Bears scoring the opening goal after seven minutes of play. The Knights would respond quickly though, with senior Tessa Mitchell getting the impressive score, thanks to an assist from sophomore Micaela Capozzo.
It was Mitchell’s 100th career goal and made her the 17th player in Gannon history to reach the 100-goal mark.
Kutztown would counter with another goal, but the Knights would respond in killer fashion. This included three different Knights getting back-to-back goals.
The six-goal streak would start with Kayla Shields scoring with 9 minutes, 11 seconds left on the clock and then adding another one not even 10 seconds later.
Mitchell would then get two more goals to add to her opening score, with assists coming from freshman Erin Rotondo and junior Leilani King.
King would then take charge and get two scores of her own, with no assists needed on either one.
Kutztown finished the half with a goal in the last minute from Sarah Gabriele, giving her a hat trick in the first half and leaving the score 7-3 in Gannon’s favor.
The Bears would take advantage of the momentum they built late in the first half to the start of the second with three straight goals in the first four minutes.
The Knights would slow them down with the help of Mitchell assisting freshman Kennedy Walters to keep Gannon in the lead, 8-6, with 25 minutes left to play.
From there, though, Kutztown would get the upper hand and keep it for 17 of those minutes, scoring five goals from four different players.
King would try to keep her team in the match by assisting on goals from Mitchell and sophomore Alexa Bower, but the Bears got one more on the scoreboard before holding off the Knights during the final five minutes and ultimately claiming the 12-10 victory.
In addition to Mitchell reaching her milestone, King became Gannon’s all-time leader in draw controls.
Wednesday’s game against Mercyhurst will see the Knights take on the nation’s 10th-ranked team according to the latest Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 20 poll.
Gannon will wrap up its three-game road trip at 1 p.m. Saturday at East Stroudsburg before returning home to host West Chester at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at McConnell Family Stadium.