I politely disagree with you

I politely disagree with you

Looking ahead to the spring, let’s dive into the world of Gannon University women’s lacrosse. These women warriors don’t get enough credit as they battle the elements ranging from extreme colds to hot temperatures, but mostly extreme cold in Erie during the spring.
Despite these ladies’ hard work, talent and determination, they were selected to finish ninth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Preseason Coaches Poll, released last week.
West Chester secured the top spot by collecting seven first-place votes. Four other teams received first-place votes and they rounded out the top five in Seton Hill, Lock Haven, rival Mercyhurst and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Despite their place in the preseason poll, the Knights will have a solid squad this year. I have seen them practice during baseball practice when we split the turf with them occasionally. I don’t know much about lacrosse but they look like they have some skill out there.
They also have a fresh approach with a new coach, Kerry O’Donnell and some solid returning players, including last year’s leading scorer in Lelani King.
King finished with 40 goals and 24 assists for 64 points during her freshman season. She also led the team in ground balls with 53 and in draw controls with 86 last year.
Speaking of returning players, the Knights will return 15 letter-winners and 10 student-athletes who started at least five matches last season.
Some of the standouts include junior Tessa Mitchell, who finished second in goals with 39 and points with 51 last season.
Sophomore Alexis Strouse also returns after a solid freshman season splitting starting assignments in goal with redshirt sophomore Hanna Magee.
Strouse had 11 starts with a 12.09 goals-against average and a .455 save percentage. Magee netted an 11.33 goals-against average and had a save percentage of .407 in five starts.
The Knights have an even split between freshmen and upperclassmen. That’s good, because they have some new faces and talents and returners to teach them the way.
Gannon finished last season with an 8-9 overall record while posting a 5-7 record in the PSAC. That marked the first time in their 20-year existence that the Knights failed to record a winning season.
The ladies will open the 2016 season at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Young Harris in Georgia.

BRANDON JACES
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