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Mohrbacher’s second half brace rallies Robert Morris to draw St. Bonaventure, 2-2

Photo courtesy Robert Morris Athletics

From Robert Morris University Athletics Report

Robert Morris women’s soccer team continued its strong start to the season, as they stormed back from a two-goal deficit, tying St. Bonaventure, 2-2 in a non-conference match at North Athletic Complex on Sunday. The Colonials are now 5-0-1 overall, and the Bonnies head back to Western New York with a 1-1-4 record.

It was former Freedom High School standout Renae Mohrbacher who scored twice to lead the Colonials’ second half comeback effort.  

“I challenged them at halftime to respond,” Head Coach Chris Shaw, said after the match. “This group has a lot of confidence. There’s a lot of talented players and they’re a very mature group.” 


The Colonials in the sixth minute almost got the start they wanted. Kaoru Hayashi played across a ball into the box. The ball trickled through some players right to Haleigh Finale on the doorstep. She got a shot off, but it was saved by the Bonnies keeper to keep the game scoreless.

Going the other way, in the ninth minute, the away side earned a PK attempt after RMU fouled Olivia Allen in the box. Allen sent it to the right side to give St. Bonaventure an early, 1-0 lead.

The Bonnies continued to pressure, and shortly after their first goal they were given a free kick near midfield. Hannah Walker sent the ball into a dangerous zone. No players were able to clear it out until Sydney Hayward picked it up and spotted a shot into the upper right-hand corner.

St. Bonaventure was out to a 2-0 lead just 18 minutes into the game.

Just two minutes later, the goal scorer Sydney Hayward was given a yellow card for a hand-ball in the box. The captain Kaoru Hayashi stepped up to the dot to take the penalty kick, but unfortunately her shot went just wide left of the net.

For the next 25 minutes, neither side recorded a shot attempt.

“I felt like we settled down for the last 25 minutes,” Shaw added.

“We started to have more of the play.” Today’s game was truly a tale of two halves, as the second half would be all RMU. 

It only took two minutes into the second half for RMU to create their first chance. Lidia Nduka with six goals on the year was looking for her seventh. She hit a volley from just outside the box, hitting the left post, almost going in.

In the 53rd minute, it was finally the Colonials time. Sophomore Malia Kearns found Renae Mohrbacher in the offensive zone. Mohrbacher took a touch, looked at the goal from about 30 yards out and ripped a shot into the top right corner.

“The coaches have been telling me sometimes I just need to turn and hit it,” said Mohrbacher. “The first goal, I did exactly that. I turned and saw the goalkeeper cheating in one direction so I just hit it.”

After scoring a “goal of the year” type finish, Mohrbacher wasn’t done. 

Just over two minutes later, a cross was played into the box. St. Bonaventure failed to clear it out. Mohrbacher was in the right place at the right time as the ball bounced to her and she slotted home another goal, tying the game up, 2-2.

“We talked in the locker room about how we have to overcome adversity. I took the halftime talk as motivation and I think in the second half, we brought up the intensity,” Mohrbacher explained.  

 “She’s been fantastic for us. She was a quality player for us in her freshman year. I told her the other day we needed more goals out of her. She works her socks off and today she was rewarded as she’s strong, smart and just a very good player,” Shaw added. 

Looking to take the lead, the last half hour of the game was all in RMU’s favor. The Colonials earned seven corner kicks, all taken by Kaoru Hayashi.

Haleigh Finale subbed back in after Mohrbacher’s brace. She immediately made an impact on the offense, recording three shots. Hayahsi posted three more shots as well.

With time winding down, RMU’s last chance came in the 87th minute. Off a corner kick by Hayashi, Mohrbacher almost finished a natural hat trick. She headed the ball towards the net off Hayashi’s cross, ringing the top of the woodwork, just inches away from taking the lead.

In the end, RMU’s win streak ended at five, but the undefeated streak continued on for a sixth straight game, tying St. Bonaventure, 2-2.

“The team chemistry and morale from this group has been awesome. I think when we go on such a long win streak that it keeps us motivated to keep going. We feel like we’re always playing for something.” – Sophomore Forward Renae Mohrbacher


9′ – Goal: Olivia Allen (2, PK)
18′ – Goal: Sydney Hayward (2), Assisted by: Hannah Walker (2)

54′ – Goal: Renae Mohrbacher (3), Assisted by: Malia Kearns (3)
56′ – Goal: Renae Mohrbacher (4)

Coming into the game, Renae Mohrbacher was the assist leader on the team with three. Today, she added more to her goal total, achieving a brace in under three minutes. As a freshman, the WPIAL product recorded one goal and four assists in her first-year campaign. Only six games into her sophomore season and Mohrbacher has almost doubled her point total from last year. Through the first six matches of 2023, Mohrbacher has recorded a point in all but one game, producing four goals and three assists total. She earned the game-winning goal against Saint Francis as well in a 4-1 victory.

Against St. Bonaventure, RMU earned a total of 10 corner kicks, and didn’t give the Bonnies one chance to cross in the ball from the corner. On all 10 corner kick opportunities, Kaoru Hayashi took each cross. Having the ability to play long balls with both feet, Hayashi is able to provide good service from both angles, using her left and right foot. The Colonials did not score off a corner kick today, but several chances were created because of Hayashi’s consistency. A few of her crosses were on goal. On two occasions, the Bonnies goalkeeper had to make a save as Hayashi’s cross was on frame.

With a draw, the Colonials win streak of five games comes to an end. RMU pounced 15 shots and five on goal, outshooting the Bonnies as they only recorded seven total shots and two on goal. RMU came up just short of scoring the game winner and winning a sixth in a row. Shaw and his team will now look to beat their previous record set from last year when they started the first eight games of the season undefeated, going 5-0-3. RMU has two non-conference games teed up before Horizon League play begins in the middle of the month.

After the extended Labor Day weekend, the Colonials get back to work with two more non-conference games this week on the road. They’ll face Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md. on Wednesday, September 6 at 2:00 p.m. Then, RMU heads out to Syracuse, N.Y. to play Le Moyne, on Friday, September 8 at 4:00 p.m.

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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