Knights await NCAA selection show

The Gannon Univeristy women’s soccer team lost a highly competitive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference quarterfinal matchup to Kutztown University by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday. Despite the loss, Gannon moved up one spot in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings. They share the No. 7 spot with West Virginia Wesleyan University in the Atlantic regional rankings.

The Golden Bears and Knights remained tied through 76 minutes of play until a pair of Kutztown players broke the scoreless match with two goals during the 77th minute. Kutztown’s Carolynne Kahl and Taylor Higgins scored within nearly 40 seconds of each other to take a 2-0 lead.

Gannon, however, countered ten minutes later, as senior midfielder Katie Urban scored an unassisted goal during the 87th minute to trim the lead by one.

In the end, though, Gannon fell 2-1 and its record dropped to 9-5-4 and 6-4-4 in the PSAC West. The Knights will await a decision by the NCAA selection committee who will have a final say in whether or not Gannon will continue its season in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The selection show will be broadcasted online at http://www.ncaa.com on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

In its regular season finale, and on Senior Day Saturday, Gannon showed no mercy to its rival as they shutout Mercyhurst 5-0 Saturday on Gannon University Field.

It was the last time seniors Amanda Sharbaugh, Urban, Andrea Eisenhart, Valerie Lang and Maggie Brinkman would be playing on their home turf in a Knight uniform. Defender Jordan Rickan, also a senior, did not play, as she was nursing a leg injury she suffered earlier in the season.

“It was emotional on several levels,” Sharbaugh said of her last career home game. “But what I’ll remember years from now is how happy everyone was. We were all smiles. We played fun soccer for 90 minutes and it was bittersweet when the final minute was up.”

Urban also called her Senior Day bittersweet.

“All the seniors were sad being our last game of the regular season, but there’s no better way to finish off the season than beating Mercyhurst on our own turf,” she said.

In front of a huge crowd, and in cold and wet conditions, the Knights managed to record their second win ever against the Lakers in their long history.

Freshman midfielder Justine Rodrigues started the onslaught of goals by netting her fifth goal of the season during the ninth minute of the game. Sharbaugh and freshman forward Michelle Genetin both assisted on the play.

Urban added some insurance with her first goal of the season to make it 2-0 during the 43rd minute from a pass by Rodrigues.

Genetin added to the lead by kicking in a rebound six minutes into the second half. That pushed the Knights’ lead to 3-0 before Sharbaugh scored her 16th and 17th goals of the season to complete the shellacking. With the two goals, Sharbaugh broke the single-season goals record previously held by her and former player Erin Cray at 15.

“We showed up to play, and we played some of our best soccer of the season,” Sharbaugh said of the team’s performance. “It was important for us to go into our first playoff game with some confidence.”

JACOB TARR

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