The Gannon University lacrosse team was defeated by Indiana University of Pennsylvania 18-8 in its second Pennsylvania State Athletic contest of the season Tuesday at Gannon University field.
Coach Lindsey Lowman said the Knights didn’t have a strong start against IUP.
“We came out tentative and committed some errors in the first half,” Lowman said. “We didn’t play to our potential.”
Lowman said that IUP put Gannon in a hole quickly, going up by seven goals in first 10 minutes. She explained that the Knights made adjustments during halftime and came out with a better effort. Junior defender Jessica Kallenborn agreed with her coach’s sentiment.
“We struggled in the first half, but picked it up in the second,” Kallenborn said.
The long journey of the 2014 season started for the team in Florida where it dropped its first two contests. The Knights were defeated 10-6 by Saint Leo University on March 2 and Florida Southern College handed Gannon its second loss on the season 20-13 on March 4.
Senior midfielder Stevie Lombardoni said the Florida trip highlighted the team’s strengths and exposed the weaknesses the Knights needed to work on.
“We had to adjust to each player’s ability since we are such a young team,” Lombardoni said. “It definitely showed during the Florida Southern game.
“That was our stepping stone to start playing together as a team. Ever since that game each person on that field had a role and knew when to step up, especially during crucial times.”
Kallenborn said the trip to Florida served as a learning experience, which helped the defense mesh together.
“Each of our playing styles complements one another’s nicely,” Kallenborn said.
Lowman said the trip to Florida offered a great bonding experience for her team on the 20- hour bus ride. She added that the Knights used this time to read an inspirational book together, and worked toward embodying one word as a team: patience.
“We need to work on being patient with the ball and each other,” she said.
The Knights seemed to find their stride following the trip when they were able to string together four consecutive wins against Young Harris College, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Notre Dame College and most recently in their PSAC debut against Seton Hill University.
Gannon secured the 8-7 victory over the Griffins Saturday at Gannon University Field with goal from Lombardoni with only 19 seconds remaining in the game off an assist from senior midfielder Christie Valentine.
“Every single player out there works so hard on that field,” Lombardoni said. “So when I finished the game with the goal it was truly amazing knowing that I helped my team to a win.”
Kallenborn said she was pleased with how the defense played against Seton Hill.
“I think anyone who watched our Seton Hill game can agree that our defense played phenomenally,” she said. “We played with the ball on our defensive end for the majority of the game and only allowed seven goals.
“We came up with big stops that really helped us to be successful with the win.”