By Lee Finkelstein
With the Kutztown women’s lacrosse team only trailing by a slim margin of two points at the half, Saturday’s game at Keystone Field against the Golden Knights looked promising. However, once the second half began, KU could not contain Gannon’s offense and lost the game by a final score of 18-7 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchup.
Saturday was Senior Day for Kutztown. Players that were honored were JoAnn McLaughlin, Krystine Beodeker and Lauren Schlitt. All three players were four-year Golden Bears.
Saturday’s game was the last game of the regular season for both Kutztown and Gannon University. Neither team had a good enough regular season record to make it into the playoffs.
With just a minute played in the game, Kutztown star Jillian Spencer scored the first goal of the game. The goal was assisted by teammate Taylor Stone. Shortly after, Kelli Serpi, along with Spencer, each notched unassisted goals.
With 3:39 left in the first half, Golden Knight Kimberly Neagle started a three-goal run to put her team up 5-3 at the break.
Gannon came into the second half with a winning mindset. The team scored four goals in the first four minutes.
Stone had her first goal of the game off a free-position attempt to cut the deficit to 9-4 at the 24:44 mark.
After two more Gannon goals, KU’s Stone scored off of a Brielle Dickey assist. Spencer ended up getting a hat trick while Cara Lord was able to find Taylor Sandin for KU’s final goals of the game.
The passing between Neagle, Tessa Mitchell and Stevie Lombardoni was too tough for the Golden Bears to defend. The three of them accounted for 13 of GU’s goals and seven assists. Christie Valentine also finished the game with a hat trick.
McLaughlin recorded seven saves in goal for KU, and Margaret Maslyn made 13 stops for Gannon. Spencer had her eighth hat trick this season in 16 games. She was also the team’s leading scorer with 34 goals to go along with her eight assists.
Freshman Courtney O’Neill was a good addition to KU this season by showing she has great strength at the defensive end. She led the entire PSAC with 58 groundballs and she ranked third in the conference with 33 caused turnovers.
Kutztown has reached the two-win mark in the PSAC this season for the first time since 1989.