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The Level Rises: Robert Morris top Indiana State, 2-1, to remain unbeaten

FINAL:  Robert Morris 2, Indiana State 1

Match Stats 

From Robert Morris University Athletic Department Report 

Robert Morris women’s soccer team continued their success at home, winning their fifth straight game, beating Indiana State, 2-1. The Colonials are now 5-0 overall, and the Sycamores head home with a 0-1-4 record.

“We want to build against teams. We know they’re going to press against us but that’s our identity and who we are. We’re going to build out of the back and keep working at it.” – Head Coach Chris Shaw

“This is by far the deepest team we’ve ever had. When we bring in players off the bench, it doesn’t drop the level, instead the level rises because those are fresh legs out there for us and they’re also quality players.” – Head Coach Chris Shaw


Early on, the Sycamores started the game off strong. Graduate goalkeeper Brenna Murray came prepared, as she made two vital stops within the first seven minutes to keep it a scoreless game.

Through the first four games of the year, RMU has scored a goal in the first half in all but one match. In the 13th minute, Renae Mohrbacher got that early goal once again for the Colonials. Sophomore Malia Kearns made a terrific play down the left side, using her speed, beat a player and found Mohrbacher inside the six-yard box. Mohrbacher pounced in the shot to take the early 1-0 lead.

Continuing on through the first half, both sides made some subs and each side shared chances. During a six-minute stretch, the Sycamores earned two corner kicks and posted three shots. Maddie Helling of Indiana State off a rebound on a corner kick chance smashed a shot on frame, only to be denied by sophomore Jillian Marvin, standing next to the post, clearing the ball out.

After some key saves by Murray and Jarvin, RMU got back to the other side of the field. Earning a few corner kicks as well, Kaoru HayashiShauna Gamble and Elisa Corvalan all sprayed chances at the net. The Colonials next best chance came in the 40th minute, as Lidia Nduka was all alone on a breakaway but the shot was saved by the Sycamore’s keeper. Nduka missed her chance then but would have the final say later in the game.

In the final minute of the first frame, the Colonials kept battling for that very important second goal. Malia Kearns and Paloma Swankler both took shots and the team had two more corner kicks. After 45 minutes, RMU remained ahead, 1-0.

“We went in at halftime and talked about some things and got a little bit more organized,” said head coach Chris Shaw.

Entering the second half, the Sycamores kept their foot on the gas, looking to tie the game. In the first 16 minutes, they had four corner kicks. Finally, in the 62nd minute, they got their game-tying goal. Maddie Helling scored her second goal of the season, off an assist by Isabella Hunter.

Coming into this game, Indiana State finished with a tie in their first four games. The outcome seemed to be heading that way, until Lidia Nduka had something to say about it…

In the 70th minute, head coach Chris Shaw put Nduka back into the game. And, just two minutes later, she did what she’s done all season, which is score goals. “She just scores goals,” Shaw said. “She’s got a nose for goal.”

Midfielder Elisa Corvalan was on the right side of the field, just outside the 18-yard box. She made a drop pass to the right-back Jillian Marvin who whipped one across the box. Nduka got her head on it, landing in the left panel of the net, giving RMU the lead, 2-1. “She’s athletic and strong,” Shaw added. “That goal she scored today was world class.”

With 18 minutes to go, Indiana State made eight substitutions, but had no answer. RMU’s backline of Emily RoccoJillian MarvinKristi Kania and Emerson Johngarlo pressed hard, and didn’t allow a single shot on goal for the rest of the match. In conclusion, RMU went on to win their fifth straight game, and their home opener, 2-1.

13′ – Goal: Renae Mohrbacher (2), Assisted by: Malia Kearns (2)
62′ – Goal: Maddie Helling (2), Assisted by: Isabella Hunter (1)
72′ – Goal: Lidia Nduka (6), Assisted by: Jillian Marvin (1), Elisa Corvalan (2)

For the first time since 1999, the RMU women’s soccer program has won five straight games. In the 1999 season, the Colonials beat Temple, Canisius, Saint Francis, Westminster and Howard. This is the first time ever that RMU has won five in a row to begin a campaign. With a win in the next game against St. Bonaventure, RMU will achieve a new record of most wins in a row, and continue their streak of most consecutive victories to begin a season.

After scoring another game-winning goal in today’s home opener, Lidia Nduka increased her goal total to six on the year. She ranks second in goals across the country and second in game-winning goals with two. Only three other players have six goals across the NCAA and one player has seven. Nduka is first in both categories in the Horizon League.

The Colonials stay at home for another game, as they’ll host St. Bonaventure on Sunday, September 3 at 1:00 p.m. at the North Athletic Complex. Sunday’s game will be Alumni Day.

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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