Knights collect pair of wins

The Gannon University women’s soccer team battled it out with Shippensburg University Saturday.

“We definitely came out hard to play,” senior Maggie Brinkman said.

Gannon quickly earned its only two goals of the game within the first five minutes of game play.

Earning her 12th Gannon assist of the season, freshman Mani Bruekner shot a corner kick directly to senior Jordan Rickan, who headed it straight into the net for her second goal of the season. Starting off strong at only 1:42 into the match, The Knights quickly showed they were ready for a fight.

Just 3 minutes, 1 second later, the Knights made it a 2-0 game. Freshman Sidney Morgan snagged her first career goal with a powerful shot to the bottom left side off a pass from sophomore Michelle Genetin. Not even five minutes into the game and Gannon was leading Shippensburg 2-0, but the Raiders were ready for a fight.

Entering the weekend the Raiders were ranked 10th and the Knights were ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional rankings.

Gannon was forced to play one man down after getting a red card late in the first half. The Knights defense and goalkeeper Brinkman kept Shippensburg off the board for the rest of the first half.

“No one gave up, everyone worked their butts off,” freshmen Sammy Valloud said.

Continuing to play with a man advantage for the last half of the game, the Raiders fought back early in the second half, with Cassie Armold scoring her first goal of the season to make it a one-goal game. The Raiders held an 8-4 shot advantage in the second half.

During the final 13 minutes of the game, Gannon shut down everything Shippensburg shot its way.

With three corner kicks and five shots on net, junior goalkeeper Sarah Geffel stood on her head stopping everything.

Shippensburg’s Kelly Bricker had a chance to tie the game at 2-2 with 39 seconds left when she shot high missing the net. “Hard work paid off for us in the end,” Valloud said.

Winning the game 2-1, Gannon let out a sigh of relief.

“It is not ideal to play a man down for a half,” Brinkman said. “I think my team showed character and perseverance.”

The Raiders outshot Gannon overall with a 15-12 lead, but only one out of those 15 shots slid by Brinkman and Geffel.

Shippensburg dropped to a 6-7-3 overall record, and Gannon, earning it second victory in a row, moved to 11-3-1 overall. Just one win shy of tying the 1998 record of 12 wins, the Gannon women’s soccer team of 2012 has its most wins in a season since 2008.

Preparing to continue the winning streak, the Knights take on sixth-ranked Slippery Rock University 4 p.m. Wednesday at Gannon University Field. Brinkman, Rickan, Sarah Deck, Jenny Jergel, Kara Prokopchak and Mary Reilly of the Knights are being honored as seniors prior to the home finale.

 

BECKY HILKER

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