Senior midfielder Stevie Lombardoni’s goals bookended the Gannon University lacrosse team’s 12-11 victory over Shippensburg University Sunday at Gannon University field.
Lombardoni was able to set the tone for the game when she netted the first goal, and sealed the deal for the Knights with 2 minutes, 9 seconds remaining.
Coach Lindsey Lowman said Lombardoni has been clutch for the team this season, but mentioned that she hasn’t done it alone.
“When it comes down to the wire, she is able to put it in the back of the net,” Lowman said. “But she couldn’t do it without her teammates setting her up for the goal.”
Lombardoni has been no stranger to ripping home game-winning goals this season. Sunday’s contest proved to be the third time the senior midfielder was able to give her team the edge in one-goal games.
“It’s a great feeling that I can complete everyone’s hard work with a win,” Lombardoni said.
Lowman said the win was well-deserved and much needed coming off an 18-7 loss to Slippery Rock on April 1.
“I think that after the loss at Slippery Rock we had to come together,” she said. “We talked about heart and fighting to the end.”
The Knights battled and showcased their offensive firepower in the win Sunday, but the defensive unit did not disappoint.
Sophomore defender Paige Darby said the defense played well as one cohesive unit.
“Our defense played stronger than our last game and the communication was much better,” Darby said. “We worked together and were able to stop major plays from their attack.”
Lowman said that senior goalkeeper Margaret Maslyn helped set the stage for a strong defensive effort for the Knights.
“It’s big for her to make the first save,” Lowman said.
Maslyn explained how important corralling the initial shot is to her game.
“It brings confidence to the whole team and me,” Maslyn said. “It sets the tempo for the game.”
Lowman said that Maslyn goes beyond stopping big shots for Gannon, and mentioned that she is a very vocal leader. Maslyn said she has a good relationship with the defense, which will only help the team improve.
“If a ball goes in, the defense brings it into a huddle and we talk about what went wrong to prevent it from happening again,” Maslyn said.
The Knights return to action against West Chester University of Pennsylvania at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Gannon University Field.
The Knights will look to improve their 6-5 overall record and their 3-3 mark in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action with a win over the Golden Rams.
Lowman said that West Chester is a perennial power-house and mentioned that her team would need to play Gannon lacrosse for the entire game.
“We haven’t put together a complete game yet this season,” Lowman said. “We have to do it the full game to take it to West Chester.”
West Chester is ranked No. 14 nationally while sporting a 6-3 overall mark and a 3-3 PSAC record.
The Golden Rams are coming off a 9-6 loss to Lock Haven University, and have not dropped consecutive games since 2009.
Darby said the defense will need to come together to deal with the speed of West Chester.
“In order to play with them, we need to be confident in our teammates and skills as a defensive unit.”