Women’s soccer heats up in chase for PSAC playoffs

Three weeks ago, the Gannon University women’s soccer team’s season took a turn for the worse. The Knights lost back-to-back games against rivals Indiana and California universities of Pennsylvania on the road, causing them to fall in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference standings.

Now, things seem a little brighter for Gannon, as they have yet to lose a match since Sept. 28, when they fell 4-0 to Cal. The Knights won four times and tied twice, improving their record to 8-3-4.

On Oct. 10, Gannon won a non-conference game against Malone University on the road, in which they shut out the Pioneers 2-0. The Knights were without senior forward and leading scorer Amanda Sharbaugh, who was nursing a pulled hamstring.

However, they managed get off 25 shots, 16 of which were on goal.

Sharbaugh returned to action the next game against Millersville in their second game of a four-game road trip on Friday. Sophomore defender Anna Colaizzo scored her first career goal on a Sharbaugh pass.

The career goals leader also added a goal of her own in the 49th minute. With the goal, Sharbaugh tied her own record for most goals in a season. She had 15 goals in her freshman campaign in 2008. The record is also shared with former Knight Erin Cray.

“I think the goals came as a product of our hard work,” Sharbaugh said. “I feel the pressure to score, but I embrace it. It fuels me. It’s my job to score and I intend to give 100 percent every game to complete my job.”

Gannon’s next and most recent game of the road trip resulted in a 1-1 tie against West Chester University. The Knights currently sit in eighth place in the PSAC standings with a 8-3-4 record.

The top eight teams clinch a spot in the PSAC playoffs.

Sharbaugh said the sudden resurgence was the cause of some lineup changes, but more importantly, she said that the team has played with a sense of urgency. “If we want a chance at the postseason, we knew we had to win the games we were supposed to win,” she said.

Gannon will travel to Slippery Rock University on Friday at 3:30 p.m. as the Knights complete their road trip before returning home to play in the regular season finale against cross town rival Mercyhurst College on Oct. 29.

JACOB TARR

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