Women’s water polo claims three of four games at invitational


The Gannon University women’s water polo team made it into the win column in a big way over the weekend, as the Knights took three of their four matches at the Mercyhurst Invitational, held at Cathedral Prep’s David M. Hallman III Aquatics Center.
Gannon opened tournament play Saturday by beating St. Francis of Brooklyn, 15-11, and then followed with a 14-8 win over La Salle later in the day.
The Knights suffered their only tournament loss Sunday morning to Virginia Military Institute, 12-7, but rebounded to beat Siena, 18-16, in their tournament finale.
Gannon had lost to Siena, 11-9, in the season-opening Bucknell Tournament.
In the tournament-opening win over St. Francis, Francesca Williamson, Campbell Ruh and Sydney Fountain tallied first-period goals for Gannon, but the Knights trailed 4-3.
The Terriers led 7-5 at halftime, but that two-goal deficit at the half was not enough to stop Gannon.
The Knights fought back and outscored St. Francis 6-3 to take an 11-10 lead at the end of the third. In the fourth Alison Cooney, Williamson, and Elizabeth Barr sealed the deal for Gannon.
Cooney, Williamson and Fountain each finished with four goals for Gannon while Ruh, Barr and Lizzie Rodriguez each added one.
In game two, four players — Ruh, Barr, Cooney and Williamson — each contributed three goals, and Kristi Howe and Grace Villano added one each. Ruh also had four assists and five steals.
Goaltender Isabelle Vieira also made 10 saves and had three assists.
Gannon took an early lead over unbeaten VMI Sunday on a pair of Cooney goals, but the Keydets scored four out of the next five goals and eventually ran off a string of five straight goals that stretched from the second quarter into the third and resulted in a 10-4 VMI lead.
Ruh and Cooney both contributed third-quarter goals for the Knights but VMI eventually led 11-6 and held on for the win.
Cooney and Ruh finished with three goals apiece and Fountain added one.
Gannon closed out the tournament against Siena with its highest-scoring game of the weekend. After finishing the first period in a 2-2 tie, the Knights erupted for eight second-period goals to take a 10-7 lead at halftime.
Fountain scored three of the second-period goals while Williamson notched two and Ruh, Barr and Cooney each contributed one goal.
Gannon scored twice to start the third period and eventually led 16-11 with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Siena scored three straight goals to get within two goals at 16-14, but the Knights’ lead never dipped below two goals the rest of the way.
Cooney, Fountain, Ruh and Williamson each finished with four goals for Gannon and Barr chipped in with two more.
Gannon will host Lindenwood in a 7:30 p.m. exhibition match Friday at the Carneval Athletic Pavilion Pool. The Knights will play twice Saturday at the Penn State Behrend Invitational — once at 11:30 a.m. in another exhibition against Lindenwood and then a 4 p.m. match against host Penn State Behrend.

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