Women’s water polo wins two

Women’s water polo wins two

Under the guidance of first-year coach Sean Morphy, the Gannon University women’s water polo team kicked off its season last weekend by compiling a 2-3 record at the Mercyhurst Invitational.
The games were hosted at Cathedral Prep’s David Hallman Aquatics Center. Gannon defeated Siena College, 14-7, Saturday and beat Washington and Jefferson, 13-9, Sunday.
The Knights lost to California State University Monterey Bay, 14-7, Friday, before falling 17-9 to Villanova Saturday and 14-13 to St. Francis College of Brooklyn Sunday.
In the win against Siena, the Knights were tied at 7-7 until the final 9 minutes and 44 seconds. From that point on, Gannon scored seven unanswered goals to give Morphy his first win at the helm of the women’s team.
Alison Cooney led the way for Gannon with seven goals. Senior Shanen Lazenby, sophomore Grace Villano, senior Rachel Bednarek, junior Christine Uht, sophomore Liz Barr and sophomore Makayla Williams each had a goal. Uht also had a team-high three steals.
Junior Emily Rodriguez held it down in the net for Gannon with 12 saves.
Gannon capped the weekend with a win against Washington and Jefferson. The Knights led the match from the start to finish. Francesca Williamson and Bednarek started the scoring with goals in the opening three minutes and 21 seconds.
Lazenby led the Knights with three goals, two assists and a team-high six steals.
Barr, Cooney and Williamson each scored twice while Villano, Bednarek, Uht and Howe each added one.
After an exhausting weekend packed with five games, Williams said she was happy with the weekend. Williams said even though the Knights went 2-3, they showed good things.
“There was a lot of positive attitudes coming from the players, which was a huge accomplishment from last year,” Williams said.
“I believe with some hard work and application we will be able to do very well this year.”
Friday’s game against the California State University Monterey Bay Otters was piloted by Uht and Cooney. Uht had three assists and three steals and Cooney scored a hat trick at attack in the season opener.
After the win against Siena, the Knights held their own early against Villanova, working a 4-4 tie through one quarter.
In the second quarter, Cooney scored to give the Knights a 5-4 lead, but Villanova responded with five goals of its own to take a 9-5 lead going into half, and the Wildcats outscored Gannon 4-2 in each of the final two quarters.
Barr was the leading scorer for the Knights with three goals and steals. Cooney added two goals while Villano and sophomores Kristi Howe and Lizzie Rodriguez accounted for the other goals.
Williamson stood out for the defenders with six steals.
In Sunday’s match against St. Francis, the Knights trailed 2-1 but scored the final three goals of the first quarter to take a 4-2 lead. Uht scored a pair of goals and Williamson scored one.
In the second quarter, St. Francis outscored the Knights 5-1. Gannon held a 5-4 lead before the Terriers netted three final goals for a 7-5 lead going into half.
During the third period each team scored three goals.
Gannon opened the final quarter with two goals from Williamson and one from Cooney, giving the Knights an 11-10 lead.
After ties at 11 and 12 Gannon took the lead at 13-12 off a goal from Bednarek with 55 seconds left in the match. But the Terriers tied the game with 24 seconds remaining and won it with 15 seconds left.
The Knights return to the water for the Bucknell Invitational Saturday and Sunday in Lewisburg.

BRANDON JACES
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