Women’s soccer remains perfect

Gannon University women’s soccer coach Colin Petersen said experience counts when it comes to success on the field.

That experience turned into two goals from returning upperclassmen in Gannon’s 2-1 win over Slippery Rock under the lights at rainy McConnell Family Stadium Tuesday.

Gannon (9-0 overall, 8-0  PSAC) remained at No. 4 in the latest NSCAA Top 25 rankings released Tuesday.

Junior Olivia Augustyniak put the Knights on the board in the 22nd minute when her direct kick from 50 yards out found the upper center of the net over Slippery Rock keeper Charlotte Elrod. It wouldn’t be much longer until one of Gannon’s senior leaders extended the lead.

Mani Brueckner scored just 3 minutes, 28 seconds later, bending in a shot from the left side on a corner kick. The score gave the senior midfielder her team-leading seventh goal of the season and moved her to second in all-time career goals with 35.

The Rock (6-3, 5-2) entered Tuesday’s match on a five-game win streak, outscoring their opponents 18-1 during that span.

Brueckner said getting a win over a very good Slippery Rock team is big going into the second half of the season.

“We knew coming in this was going to be our biggest test,” Brueckner said. “They’re getting national recognition and they’re getting votes for the national rankings, so to beat a team like that – they’re a solid team. They played us straight up and it’s just great to just see that scoreboard 2-1, that’s huge.”

Slippery Rock put a dent into the Gannon lead in the 79th minute when Sam Thornton’s penalty kick got past Shannon Differ. That would be the only shot to get behind Differ, as she recorded five saves in the win.

Despite The Rock cutting the lead down to one late in the second half, Petersen said it’s a credit to his squad to grab its ninth consecutive victory.

“I think first off we were much better,” Petersen said. “We were more composed on the board, we had a plan and we stuck to it and it worked out well for us. [Slippery Rock] kept hanging around, hanging around – they made it very difficult for us in the second half and obviously the conditions didn’t help us very much, but we gritted it out and hats off to the girls, they worked their butts off.”



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