Women’s soccer opens with overtime victory

The Gannon University women’s soccer team was presented with a lot of opportunities Saturday against Mansfield University, but could not cash in until Sammy Valloud scored with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the first overtime, giving the Knights a 1-0 victory at Gannon University Field.

Gannon, which won its season opener Thursday, 2-1 in overtime, over Edinboro University, played aggressively all evening and had several scoring chances earlier.

Mani Brueckner set up the game-winning goal with a throw-in put inside the goalbox. The ball was up for grabs and when Mansfield goalkeeper Alana Greenwalt moved out of the box, Valloud put the ball into the back of the net.

The Knights practice that play, called a scramble, when everyone gets in the box and tries to score.

Valloud was happy she was able to score the game-winner.

“I just wanted to end the game and not force a second overtime,” she said later.

The Knights had several earlier chances but came up empty.

Justine Rodrigues almost scored 13 minutes into the first half and Valloud also nearly scored, but Greenwalt made a terrific save.

Greenwalt kept Gannon off its feet all day with terrific saves and quickness. Gannon’s goalkeeper, Shannon Differ, earned the shutout with three saves.

Gannon’s backline, led by defender Lindsey Green, helped make the shutout stand against Mansfield. Mansfield had very few opportunities to score but one of the big opportunities came when Karyn Anselmo passed to Jessica Allen, and her shot just missed going in.

One player who really stuck out was Brueckner, who played hard all night and assisted on Valloud’s game-winning goal. She was a leader the whole night, passing to her teammates, and set up several scoring chances.

Brueckner said she was thrilled to see Valloud score the game-winning goal.

“It was pure excitement,” she said. “It was a great goal by Sammy, great to start the season 2-0, and it was kind of nice revenge to beat Mansfield after they beat us last season.”

Mansfield defeated the Knights last season 3-2 in overtime.

Gannon coach Colin Peterson said he was pleased to see his team come away with two straight overtime wins to start the season.

“We can’t get too happy as a team, but it helps our players gain confidence and was nice to win two games in a row,” he said.

Peterson, who said his team tried to play a possession game and control the pace, added that the Knights played well despite some injuries.

In the season-opener, Rodrigues scored two goals and the game clincher in overtime at the ninety-sixth minute.

The Knights return to action at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Bloomsburg University, and will host Lock Haven University at 2 p.m. Saturday before traveling to Rochester, N.Y., to take on Roberts Wesleyan at 5 p.m. Tuesday.


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