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Robert Morris women defeat VMI, 3-0, in season opener

From Robert Morris University report

Robert Morris University women’s soccer team began its season on a strong note, defeating VMI 3-0, in Lexington, VA on Thursday afternoon.

The Colonials were led by goals from Taylor Day, Kaoru Hayashi and Lidia Nduka while Brenna Murray preserved the clean sheet with four saves.  

“Happy to start the season off with a win,” Robert Morris’ head coach Chris Shaw, said after his team’s win on Thursday.  

“Definitely had some good moments, but also identified some things to work on. I’m very happy with the effort on the day and looking forward to our next match tomorrow.”

How It Happened 

The chances came early and often for the Colonials on Thursday.

From the start, it took only 26 seconds for sophomore Renae Mohrbacher to record a shot. A minute later, captain Kaoru Hayashi got the team’s first shot on goal.

After three more shots on target, it would be Taylor Day from distance, sniping a goal past Jillian Hall into the top left corner to take an early 1-0 lead, seven minutes into the match. Connecting well in the final third, Elisa Corvalan and Renae Mohrbacher (the team’s assist leader from last season) both produced their first assists of the campaign.

Following the first goal, play continued through the midfield. The Colonials continued to spray shots at the target and lock down defensively in front of graduate goalkeeper Brenna Murray.

RMU was dangerous on the attack and disciplined in the back.

The team during preseason worked on set pieces, and defensively their tactics worked on a free kick in the 31st minute of the game as VMI earned a free kick chance about 40 yards away from goal. RMU played an offsides trap, running forward after the cross was played in and the Keydets were called offsides.

Forward Lidia Nduka subbed into the game and immediately caused commotion for the Keydets back line. In her 19 minutes of playing time at the end of the first half, she created three chances and almost scored in the 39th minute, but as her shot dribbled by the keeper, a defender on VMI cleared it out.

It wouldn’t take long after that for RMU to add to their lead, as a minute later Kaoru Hayashi was fouled in the box and was awarded a penalty kick opportunity. She stepped right up and scored her first of the season to make it 2-0, before the end of the first half.

Into the second half, RMU kept their foot on the gas and continued to go to goal. Lidia Nduka posted five shots on the day and it was finally on her fifth shot that she scored. On the play, midfielder Malia Kearns carried the ball forward and found Haleigh Finale down the right lane in the final third. Finale crossed a pass right to Nduka’s feet wide open for an easy tap in to make it 3-0.

For the remainder of the game, RMU continued to hold their 3-0 lead and played sound defense. Brenna Murray only faced four shots on goal throughout the match and made all four saves.

Match Notes

7′ – Taylor Day (Goal), Assisted by: Elisa CorvalanRenae Mohrbacher
40′ – Kaoru Hayashi (Goal, PK)
65′ – Lidia Nduka (Goal), Assisted by: Haleigh FinaleMalia Kearns

RMU is now 2-0 all-time against VMI in program history. In total, the Colonials have scored five goals against the Keydets and have yet to succeed one. Sophomore Renae Mohrbacher and senior Haleigh Finale both own two assists each against VMI.

Overall, the Colonials outshot the Keydets 26-11, and peppered more shots on frame with 14 shots on goal compared to VMI’s four. Several players got involved offensively as eight different members of the roster recorded a shot and seven players recorded a point during the win. With extended time in the offensive zone, RMU battled for seven corner kicks while VMI had four.

Today, several Colonials stepped on the field for the first time in an RMU uniform. Graduate student and transfer Brenna Murray played all 90 minutes in net. She didn’t let in a single goal, recording a shutout in her first appearance. Defensively, Jill Marvin played her first game for RMU, earning a spot in the starting XI. Maria Veiga also came in at the end of the game. In the midfield, Carson Bogan and Julia Becerra both came off the bench. And, up top, graduate Lidia Nduka subbed in and scored her first career goal as well for the Colonials.

After starting the season with a win, in under 24 hours the Colonials stay in Virginia to take on the Hampton Pirates tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for their second non-conference test of the year.

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