The Gannon University Knights suffered a shutout defeat at home Thursday with a 3-0 loss to Notre Dame College (Ohio) to begin their season. The next game proved to be similar as the Knights were defeated 2-0 by No. 2 University of Charleston (W. Va).
In the season opener Gannon senior Sergio Kobowane pressured the Falcon defense as he fired off three shots on goal within the opening 18 minutes.
Notre Dame broke the mold first and would be the only team to score with the first goal from Falcon sophomore Giulio Bellei in the 37th minute of play.
Despite being outshot 8-2 in the first half, Notre Dame hit the locker room for a brief break leading 1-0.
In the 59th minute of play, Bellei nailed another goal for the Falcons, putting them up 2-0 14 minutes into the second half.
Bellei shared the spotlight with senior Leonardo Paiva as Paiva netted the third and final goal for Notre Dame in the 71st minute.
Despite losing 3-0, the Knights came close to netting a couple goals themselves. Redshirt senior George Stannard and forward Tyler Martin both missed by inches in the second half.
In game two of the season Saturday against the University of Charleston, a light drizzle overshadowed the first half as both teams struggled to score. Three combined shots were recorded while frustration seemed to be building.
After 31 minutes the Knights’ first and only shot of the half was taken by junior midfielder Eduardo de Bonis Encinoso. Encinoso fired a short-range header that was tipped off the crossbar by Charleston goalkeeper Paulo Pita.
Charleston’s first goal came with minutes remaining in the first half as a result of a defensive mistake.
Gannon goalkeeper Jorge Hernandez charged toward the ball, bouncing it off his stomach and into a Charleston forward’s lap for an easy empty-net goal.
Four minutes into the second half, Charleston increased its lead with a quick second goal off a corner kick headed in by Charleston junior Leon Kroiss.
Gannon continued to compete hard through the remainder of the second half adding four more shot attempts. Forward Mathias Krigbaum and midfielder Encinoso finished the match with two shots on goal each.
Charleston has reached the last three NCAA Division II Final Fours, finishing as national runners-up in 2014 and 2016.
The Knights’ next match is Wednesday on the road at 4 p.m. against No. 12 Urbana Blue Knights. Last season Urbana beat the Knights in a double-overtime win at home.