FINAL: Akron 1, Robert Morris 0
from Robert Morris athletic department report
Only an unfortunate deflection separated the Robert Morris University women’s soccer team from Akron on Thursday night, with the Zips claiming a 1-0 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on what was ruled an own goal.
Like last Friday at Ohio, the Colonials (2-5-1) held their own on the road against a Mid-American Conference foe, but this time the result was reversed. With about five minutes remaining in the first half, an Akron header off a long free kick service got a piece of RMU defender Courtney Hurey and bounced past keeper Sydney Bruckner.
Tough luck for everyone wearing blue and red, but not enough to cloud a night that saw RMU hang in there until the final whistle.
“We had some very good chances, and they had some,” Colonials head coach John Kowalski said. “We were a bit unlucky to lose on an own goal. The game could’ve gone either way.”
For evidence of that, look no further than the 25th minute, when freshman forward Kayla Veloso-Lima nearly converted her third goal of the season to put RMU ahead. However, her volley from the right of goal was cleared off the line by an Akron defender, a play that doubled as the only save of the game for the Zips (3-5-0).
In the second half, RMU midfielders Brittany O’Connell and Nicolette Casarcia each pushed good opportunities wide, continuing the theme of the night. The Colonials couldn’t muster a decent look in the final 10 minutes, and thus had to settle for their second shutout defeat of the season.
Not to be forgotten, junior keeper Sydney Bruckner kept her solid play going with six saves on seven chances, lifting her season save percentage to .851, which is on pace to be the fourth-best mark in the history of the program. Bruckner’s efforts were highlighted by a leaping punch of Aislinn Meany’s strike in the 59th minute.
With non-conference play now in the rear view, the Colonials will open a 10-match Northeast Conference assortment with Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday. Kickoff from the North Athletic Complex on the RMU campus is set for 1 p.m., after the men’s team takes on Howard at 11 a.m.
“Now, we are looking into conference play,” Kowalski said. “We want to make the best of it to qualify for the NEC playoffs.”