FINAL: Robert Morris 5, Green Bay 1
Robert Morris women’s soccer team achieved their first conference victory of the season, taking down Green Bay, 5-1 on Sunday at North Athletic Complex.
The Colonials are now 7-1-2 overall this season and 1-1 in the Horizon League. The Phoenix fell to 0-6-2 overall and 0-2 in conference.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Playing their second conference game and first at home, the Colonials got off to one of their hottest starts to a game this season.
The first chance at attack came in the sixth minute of the match. Left back Emily Rocco stepped up into Green Bay’s defensive zone, blasting a shot into the bottom right corner, but the play was called offside.
That goal didn’t count but the next one would, as nearly three minutes later, RMU was awarded a free kick just outside the right corner of the 18-yard box. Veteran midfielder Kaoru Hayashi stepped up to the ball. With her left foot, Hayashi sniped the ball over the wall, curling nicely to the top right corner, hitting the bottom of the crossbar and going in.
Keeping the pressure on, around the 13th minute mark, Haleigh Finale hit a shot wide. Following Green Bay’s goal kick, the Colonials regained possession and entered the offensive half. Finale got on the ball again, taking it down the right wing and she crossed a pass finding Malia Kearns at the top of the box. With the one-time finish, sophomore Malia Kearns finished the ball past the keeper, taking an early 2-0 lead.
Immediately after going down 0-2, the Phoenix put numbers forward on the counterattack. Closing in on goal, Grace Miller had a chance to score, only for graduate goalkeeper Brenna Murray to make a clutch diving save. Trickling around the box, the ball landed off the rebound to the feet of Lanie Weikert. Her shot was going in if it weren’t for Jillian Marvin’s stop on the goal line.
Going the other way, RMU attempted four more shots over a few minutes. Holding possession well, the Colonials received two corner kicks. Hayashi was at the corner again. Her cross landed to Elisa Corvalan, heading the ball to Renae Mohrbacher near the goal. The Freedom High School talent took a touch off the turn and banged home another goal.
“She’s so good with her back to goal,” stated head coach Chris Shaw. “It’s so difficult to get the ball off Renae as she’s technically clean.”
Controlling the game through the first half, RMU made some substitutions. Lidia Nduka stepped onto the pitch and made a quick impact as she’s done consistently all season. Moving forward towards goal, she slid a pass through the Phoenix’s midfield finding Kearns. Before the defense could approach her, Kearns cashed in from distance, chipping Green Bay’s keeper, making it 4-0.
“The group responded really well from last game,” said Shaw. “We earned some early goals. It was a very dominant first half.”
Before the end of the half, freshman McKenzie Pritts offered one more chance for the Colonials. Hitting a shot on frame, Mallorie Benhart pulled up with the save.
With two minutes left, Elle Blessinger of Green Bay was issued a yellow card.
Entering the second half with the starters back on the field of the North Athletic Complex, RMU confidently continued their strong play. The Phoenix made a change in net, bringing on Payton Lang.
For Green Bay, foul trouble hurt their chances as in the 51st minute, forward Zoey Pagels received a yellow card, and then during the 58th minute, Elle Blessinger off a rough tackle was issued a second yellow, making it a red card and was removed from the game. Therefore, the Phoenix would play the remainder of the game a player down.
With the advantage, the Colonials calmly held possession. Making a play in the first half, the defensive midfielder Elisa Corvalan made another brilliant pass to Haleigh Finale. Taking a few touches, the senior found her way in and placed a shot past Lang to extend the lead to five goals.
Going a man-down, the away side subbed quite often to keep players fresh for the rest of the game.
Sophomore Paloma Swankler and freshman Shauna Gamble almost scored on a few chances late in the game.
Swankler diced up a defender in the box and bent a shot just a few inches off as it hit the crossbar and went out of play. Later in the game, she hopped on the ball in the box again, releasing it quickly but saved by Lang as the goalie approached forward making the stop.
Gamble also created two nice chances, looking for her first career goal. One was saved and another shot trickled inches wide from going in.
Green Bay would end up facing defeat on the road, but managed to get one goal with three minutes left. Running forward on a counterattack, Laney Hoehnke found Zoey Pagels on a breakaway, recording her second goal of the season.
At the final whistle, RMU closed out the match with a 5-1 win.
After facing a team from Wisconsin, RMU will take a road trip out to the state, taking on Milwaukee. The Colonials play at the Panthers this Thursday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m.
SCORING PLAYS AND CAUTIONS
9′ – Goal: Kaoru Hayashi (2, Free Kick)
14′ – Goal: Malia Kearns (2), Assisted by: Haleigh Finale (5)
23′ – Goal: Renae Mohrbacher (6), Assisted by: Elisa Corvalan (3), Kaoru Hayashi (4)
32′ – Goal: Malia Kearns (3), Assisted by: Lidia Nduka (1)
44′ – Yellow Card: Elle Blessinger
51′ – Yellow Card: Zoey Pagels
58′ – Red Card: Elle Blessinger
62′ – Goal: Haleigh Finale (2), Assisted by: Elisa Corvalan (4)
76′ – Yellow Card: Vera Asare
88′ – Goal: Zoey Pagels (2), Assisted by: Laney Hoehnke (1)