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Robert Morris women’s soccer opens season 4-0 for first time in program history with convincing win at St. Francis

The Robert Morris Colonials women’s soccer team continued its hot start to the season, beating the Red Flash 4-1.

RMU remains undefeated, as they’re 4-0 overall, and SFU falls to 0-4 in 2023.

It didn’t take long for the Colonials to get one on the scoreboard. At the 6:36 mark, senior Haleigh Finale put away a goal off a double-assist by Renae Mohrbacher and Taylor Day.

After scoring early on, RMU collectively defended as a team. Saint Francis was held to just two shots in the first half.

The Colonials kept looking for that second goal. After Finale’s opening strike, she created two more close chances later in the half. The team added two more shots and got two more corner kick attempts. RMU would just have to wait till the second half to run up the score.

“We made some adjustments in the second half,” said head coach Chris Shaw. “The team did a fantastic job of implementing those changes.”

Shaw’s squad quickly followed his tactics, as this time it only took five minutes into the second half for a goal. After setting up her teammates the past few games, sophomore Renae Mohrbacher got one herself, scoring off a pass by captain Kaoru Hayashi.

Hayashi wasn’t done facilitating the offense as in the 77th minute, she set up Lidia Nduka to take a 3-0 lead.

As time was winding down, with three minutes to go, Kassidy Fischer ripped in her first goal of the season. Paloma Swankler also produced her first assist and teammate Haleigh Finale gathered up another point with a secondary assist.

In a quick counterattack off the kick-off by SFU, they were awarded a penalty kick just seven seconds later. Lauren Pyle scored the goal. After 90 minutes, RMU left with another victory, 4-1.

RMU picked up their ninth career victory against the opposing program and second in a row for head coach Chris Shaw and his staff. Last year, senior Haleigh Finale scored one goal and one assist and today she did the same, giving her six points in two games against the Red Flash. Sophomore forward Renae Mohrbacher has also been a part of three goals in two games against Saint Francis, collecting one goal and two assists.

On the Colonials squad through four games, Kaoru Hayashi leads all forwards and midfielders in minutes played, reaching 275. She was rewarded today with her consistent play, earning two assists to the stat sheet in today’s win, including an assist on Mohrbacher’s game winning goal.

Every game she has scored, and it hasn’t stopped yet. Against the Red Flash, nothing would change for Lidia Nduka as she put the ball in the back of the net once again. Coming off the bench in all four games, Nduka has implemented herself as a super sub in Shaw’s game plan. In the Horizon League conference, Nduka is ranked first in goals (5), and has helped the team rank first in goals scored this year (11).

From Palm Springs, Calif., Shauna Gamble got her first taste of college soccer today at Saint Francis. Playing in the midfield, she played a solid 50 minutes in her first career game.

Never before has the women’s soccer program began the season with four straight wins till today. The 2023 squad has taken on four different non-conference opponents and has won them all. Their shutout streak with the help of Brenna Murray, lasted for 3:57.15 of game time. The 2022 squad went eight games unbeaten to begin the season which is another program record, having five wins and three ties. The 2023 team will look to repeat similar success, as they prepare for four more non-conference tests and then conference play starts up in September.

RMU finally gets to return home and host a game at the North Athletic Complex. On Thursday, August 31 at 4:00 p.m., the Colonials will play Indiana State in their official home opener of the 2023 campaign.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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