Tuesday may have been April Fool’s Day, but the joke was on the Golden Knights.
The Slippery Rock University lacrosse team (4-5, 1-3 PSAC) earned their first win against Gannon University (5-5, 2-3 PSAC) ever, in a very convincing fashion by a score of 18-7 at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
The all time series between the two is now 7-1 in favor of the Golden Knights.
“We reduced our turnovers, won the ground balls and draws and had less fouls,” SRU head coach Emily Hopkins said. “We finally put everything together and came out and played 60 minutes of quality lacrosse.”
The win ends a four game losing streak for SRU, the teams longest since a five game skid in 2010.
Three of those losses came by only one goal.
“Possession was a big component to our offensive success,” junior attacker Paige Costatino said. “The longer we have the ball, the longer the other team doesn’t. I think we also played to our strengths, which can make any team successful.
SRU scored the first seven goals of the contest, taking the lead two minutes into the game and never trailing their previously undefeated foe.
“We worked on possessing the ball on offense and slowing the game down while looking for quality opportunities,” coach Hopkins said.
The opportunities were plenty in the first half as SRU jumped to a 12-2 lead.
The scoring for SRU slowed down in the second half as the Green and White only scored six more goals in the final 30 minutes of competition. The Golden Knights tallied five more goals in the second half.
The seven goals allowed by SRU were the third lowest so far this season.
Seven Rock players scored at least two goals on Tuesday night and eight players had multiple points.
Costantino had three goals and one assist for a total of four points, as did junior attacker Jess Verbic. Senior attacker Morgan Pettit had four points as well with two goals and two assists.
“I hope to continue to be there for my team and be someone who is reliable and dependable,” Costantino said.” I also want to help out my teammates more by assisting their goals because that was one of my individual goals for the season.”
Two Slippery Rock players totaled three points on Tuesday night. Junior midfielder Katie Cook scored three goals for SRU for a total of three points and sophomore midfielder Kaytlin Callaghan scored two goals and handed out an assist.
Three SRU players finished the game with two points. Sophomore attacker Anna-Marie Warrington and sophomore midfielder Erin Wilcox each scored two goals while freshman attacker Caitlynn Palladino added a goal and an assist.
Sophomore Jordan Wagner started in net for SRU allowing only seven goals with eight saves.
The Golden Knights were led by senior midfielder Kimberly Neagle and her two goal, two-assist performance. Freshman attacker Tessa Mitchell and senior midfielder Christie Valentine each contributed one goal and two assists in the losing effort by Gannon.
Slippery Rock will face their third nationally ranked opponenet of the season on Saturday when they welcome the Bloomsburg University Huskies (5-3, 4-1 PSAC). The Huskies are ranked 15th in the nation.
“We are really looking for the chance to knock off a nationally ranked team and we are looking forward to obtaining another conference win in our pursuit of the PSAC playoffs,” coach Hopkins said.
The match between SRU and Bloomsburg will begin around 1 p.m. at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.