Sharbaugh’s leadership, talent critical for success

It was bound to happen, but the pressure is officially off senior forward Amanda Sharbaugh. She’s now the career goals and points record holder at Gannon University.

At the end of last season, she tied Erin Cray (1997-00) for the most goals scored in a career with 41. However, she had to wait nine months before surpassing Cray.

Sharbaugh was able to get the monkey off her back early after scoring two goals in the first game of the season against Wheeling Jesuit. Gannon won 3-1.

The next game, she surpassed former Knight Courtney Rowan (2005-08) for the most career points after scoring the deciding goal in a 1-0 victory against Ashland University.

Despite breaking the goals record, the Knoch, Pa., native remains humble.

“It’s something I just wanted to get over with,” she said. “It was known at the beginning of the year that I tied the record last year, so once that goal went in I thought didn’t have to worry about it.”

Sharbaugh has started every game of her career, even as a freshman on a 2008 team that was stacked with upperclassmen. That year she scored 15 goals, tied for the most goals in a season and the most by a freshman in a season.

“I was honored to play with such experienced players,” she said. “I learned that I had to be vocal. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be involved in the play.”

The following year, she scored 10 goals and contributed seven assists while the team continued to win as the Knights made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009. Sharbaugh also led Gannon to its first ever win against Mercyhurst in its 20-plus year history.

During her junior year, she scored nine goals and recorded two hat-tricks in the first three games of the 2010 campaign.

This year, she scored her fourth career hat trick in a 4-1 victory against Mansfield University. Sharbaugh said that her goal this year is getting to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament.

“It’s my last chance to play at this level or maybe even to play competitively ever again, so I’m just trying to make the most out it of every game,” she said.

The physical therapy major said that she owes her success to her coaches at Gannon, head coach Colin Petersen, assistant coaches and the players around her over the last four years.

Petersen said Sharbaugh loves the game and that her drive and character are two big attributes that have added to her success. “All of her statistics speak for itself,” he said.

Of all the players who have entered into the program, Petersen said she has made the most impact of any Knight.

Senior midfielder Katie Urban is one of four seniors who have been Sharbaugh’s teammate all four years.

Urban said that it has been a privilege to play with her over the years.

“Her skill and character make her a great teammate and fun to play with,” she said. “Playing with each other for four years has allowed us to know each other’s game and to be able to read off each other.”

Urban said that she is also a great motivator and can change the momentum of a game with her finishing ability.

Students can check out Sharbaugh and the rest of the Knights as they complete their five-game homestand against Edinboro University at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

JACOB TARR

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