Women’s water polo defeats Mercyhurst


Coming off a two-out-of-three win weekend, the Gannon University women’s water polo team is ready for a rematch against Mercyhurst.
The Knights will travel across town Saturday for a noon matchup with the Lakers, who beat Gannon, 14-8, Saturday in the Knights’ home pool.
The Knights will take a 6-11 record into Saturday’s showdown with Mercyhurst, which will be their final contest prior to the WWPA Championships, which begin April 29 in Hayward, Calif.
In recent action, the Knights won over No. 8- ranked Washington & Jefferson, 13-12, Sunday on Senior Night and whipped Penn State Behrend, 9-3, Wednesday to extend their all-time record to 22-0 against the Lions.
It’s only right that senior Shanen Lazenby would lead the way to the win on Senior Night, as she led all scorers with four goals and added two steals.
However, Gannon did not start the match the way it wanted to. Washington & Jefferson took a 5-1 lead in the first quarter with the Knights’ only goal coming from junior Christine Uht.
It was sophomore Lizzie Rodriguez who put the wind in Gannon’s sails when she scored a goal with one second left in the first, cutting the deficit to three at 5-2.
Gannon continued to ride on that goal until Lazenby and sophomore Francesca Williamson took the reins and opened the second quarter with a goal each.
W&J thought it would shift the momentum when it scored a goal, but the Knights quickly responded with three goals to grab their first lead.
Lazenby tied it with 3 minutes, 29 seconds in the first half and sophomore Alison Cooney clinched the lead with her goal.
Going into the third quarter the score was 9-8 in favor of the Knights.
Cooney gave the Knights a two-goal advantage, making the score 10-8 in the third, but the Presidents responded with two scores to tie it up at the end of the third stanza.
Williamson opened up the fourth for Gannon with a goal but W&J answered with back-to-back goals from Madison Nervig.
Cooney kept the Knights going by tying it up with four minutes left and Lazenby sealed the deal with the 13th with 49 seconds left, giving the Knights a nail-biter win.
On the defensive side of things, senior Rachel Bednarek had five steals. Williamson and Cooney also had hat tricks along with four steals for Williamson.
Prior to the Senior Night win, the Knights took on Penn State Behrend Thursday at the Junker Center and came away with a 9-3 win.
Behrend kicked off the scoring 24 seconds into the match, but it wasn’t enough to throw off Gannon as the Knights managed to net all nine of their goals consecutively in three quarters.
Uht, Williamson and sophomore Liz Barr led it off for Gannon with a goal each to take a 3-1 lead.
The scoring continued for Gannon in the second quarter shutting out the Lions 4-0. Cooney, Williamson, Barr and sophomore Grace Villano all scored, padding Gannon’s lead by six at 7-1.
Rodriguez and Lazenby lit up the scoreboard two more times for the Knights with a goal apiece to end Gannon’s scoring at 9-1.
The Knights couldn’t sweep all three games, however, and lost to rival Mercyhurst Saturday.
Despite the loss Gannon had notable performances from several players. Lazenby moved into second place all-time at Gannon with 118 career sprint-offs, Bednarek hit a milestone of 50 careers assists, Barr had four steals for the seventh time this season, Williamson had multiple goals for the seventh time in 2016 and Cooney netted her fifth hat trick of the season.

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