ERIE, Pa. — Four seniors scored three goals each and East Stroudsburg scored the final seven goals of the game, including five in less than two minutes, to run away for a 16-8 victory against No. 10 Gannon and earn its first PSAC lacrosse postseason victory in 25 years on Tuesday afternoon.
Christine Bradley (three goals, five assists), Michelle Mangiaruga (three goals, one assist), Molly O’Hara (three goals, two assists) and Jamie Wesztergom (three goals) led the offense and junior Amanda Simms made a season-high 12 saves in goal for the sixth-seeded Warriors (10-8), who advance to face No. 2 seed Lock Haven in the PSAC semifinals on Friday at West Chester.
ESU’s attack was slowed only by a half-hour lightning delay late in the first half, and exploded down the stretch after Gannon (12-5-1) pulled within 9-8 with its final goal of the game with 19:46 remaining.
In the first meeting this season, a 15-14 (OT) upset victory for ESU on March 29, Gannon scored the final four goals of regulation to force overtime before the Warriors prevailed.
This time, it was ESU that started and finished strong, seizing control with a four-goal run in 3:30 – three in 39 seconds – midway through the first half, then holding off the Golden Knights after taking an 8-4 lead into an abbreviated intermission following the lightning delay.
Gannon scored the first three goals of the second half to make it 8-7 before Mangiaruga ended the run with the first of her three goals with 21:43 remaining. Neither team scored for more than eight minutes after Gannon cut the deficit to 9-8 before the Warriors began their offensive onslaught.
Wesztergom sealed her second hat trick of the season – both at Gannon – to give ESU a 10-8 lead with 11:19 left, freshman Nicole Miller scored the first of her two goals with 9:38 remaining, and junior Maure Perrymond’s goal with 4:06 left put the Warriors ahead 12-8 to begin the closing 5-0 burst in just 1:47.
The Warriors dominated the draw control, winning possession on 19 of the 26 draws, led by five from Christine Bradley and four by junior Laura Riegel. They held an 18-15 advantage in their win at Gannon in the regular season.
Bradley set a career-high with eight points after entering the game with 10 goals and six assists this season, and O’Hara and Mangiaruga continued their outstanding play, both going over the 70-point mark this season. Both seniors have 71 points – 54 goals and 17 assists for O’Hara and 44 goals and 27 assists for Mangiaruga – going into the semifinal vs. Lock Haven.