Women’s water polo falls to Mercyhurst

The Gannon University women’s water polo team concluded its season with a 13-6 loss to rival Mercyhurst Saturday at Cathedral Prep’s David Hallman Aquatics Center.
The loss put the Knights at 6-12 overall heading into the Western Water Polo Association Championships later this month.
Gannon took an early 2-1 lead with goals from sophomore standout Alison Cooney and Abby Quinn.
Mercyhurst fought back and scored a pair of goals on junior goalie Emily Rodriguez to take a 3-2 advantage after the first period.
Cooney, coming up big, scored back-to-back goals in the second quarter to give the Knights a 4-3 lead.
Mercyhurst responded with a game-tying goal with 2 minutes , 26 seconds left in the first half, making the score 4-4 going into intermission.
The rest gave energy to the Lakers as they went on a scoring frenzy in the third ripping off five consecutive goals to Gannon’s one goal.
Mercyhurst managed to squeeze out a sixth goal of the quarter, making the score 10-5 going into the final quarter.
Carrying the scoring for the Knights, Cooney netted the final goal for Gannon 59 seconds into the fourth, while the Lakers took the reins of offense from there and added three more goals for the final margin of victory.
goals for the final margin of victory.
Along with Quinn and Cooney, sophomore Kristi Howe contributed one goal in the third to break up the Lakers’ scoring frenzy.
Sophomore Liz Barr kept it up on defense with five steals and senior Rachel Bednarek and junior Christine Uht dished out two assists each.
In her 16th start in goal, Rodriguez made three saves in three quarters while rookie Isabelle Vieira took over in goal for the final eight minutes and added one save.
Saturday’s game ended the regular season for both local PSAC schools. Gannon will return to the pool April 29-May 1 at the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship hosted by Cal State East Bay in Hayward, Calif.
Gannon hosted last year’s tournament at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
The team that wins the WWPA tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In the Knights’ inaugural season in the WWPA, they finished fifth at the championships.

BRANDON JACES
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