Despite the frigid temperatures and light snow coming down, the Gannon University women’s soccer team came ready to play in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) quarterfinals Tuesday.
The Knights (13-3-2) were pitted against Indiana University of Pennsylvania (12-6). A pair of goals from sophomore Emily Cekella and one goal from sophomore Taylor Lewis propelled Gannon to a 3-1 victory.
Tuesday’s quarterfinal victory vaults the Knights into the PSAC semifinals for the third straight year. Gannon will meet top-seeded and host West Chester at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Gannon broke the mold first at the 10-minute, 19-second mark. Sophomore Brigid Casey fed the ball from deep to Cekella, who was waiting in the box to net her fifth goal of the season.
The Knights held the lead 1-0 until the 13:05 mark when IUP junior Gianna Parlavecchio tied it up at 1-1. Neither team scored again in the half, and they went into halftime tied at 1-1.
The next goal came from the head of Cekella at the 61:26 mark. The assist came from a corner kick by redshirt senior Sarah Kaiser and Cekella rose above the rest and put the Knights up 2-1.
IUP’s offense didn’t manage to sneak one past senior goalkeeper Danitza Indacochea. Gannon wasn’t done putting the hurt on the Crimson Hawks as Lewis scored the last goal of the game as she beat a defender and IUP’s goalkeeper to reach a pass from Kaiser at the 84:51 mark.
This ended scoring for both sides and Gannon won 3-1.
Prior to Tuesday night’s win against IUP, the Knights closed the regular season with much excitement Saturday in a 3-2 overtime, on-the-road victory over Millersville University.
Manczka posted the third game-winner of her career after punishing the back of the net in OT, propelling the Knights to victory, and a final regular-season record of 11-3-2.
Millersville’s attack-like offense allowed the Marauders to draw first blood at the 13-minute, 10-second mark off a goal from Talia Grynkewicz.
That would be one of two that goalkeeper Indacochea would let through, while turning away nine throughout the course of the evening.
Gannon didn’t stay down for long, as freshman Hannah Hays scored her second goal of the season a minute later, tying the game 1-1.
Hays’ first goal was scored in 3-0 shutout of California University of Pennsylvania Wednesday.
The Knights and Marauders would remain scoreless for the rest of the half; Millersville outshot Gannon 10-4.
The tables turned in the second half as Gannon had the first four shots.
Their attack-like offense proved effective in the 57th minute of play as Lewis put the Knights ahead, 2-1, on a penalty kick.
But less than four minutes later, Millersville came back to tie things up 2-2 after a corner kick found its way into the net off a deflection.
Despite ramping up its offense, Gannon undershot Millersville 9-4 in the second half as both teams battled back and forth until overtime.
In OT, neither team was able to break the 2-2 tie until 2:05 remained on the clock, and Manczka stepped up and combined her skills and experience as a Knight to end the game.
To set the stage, Kaiser lined up for a corner kick and booted it over to Cekella at the top of the box. Cekella scooted it over to Manczka, who netted it for the overtime win.
On top of their victories, Manczka, Indacochea and Hays swept the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) awards this week.