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Robert Morris women beat Youngstown St, 2-1, to earn first-ever postseason berth in Horizon League tournament

File photo courtesy Robert Morris University Athletics

FINAL: Robert Morris 2, Youngstown State 1

From Robert Morris University report 

Robert Morris women’s soccer team beat Youngstown State, 2-1 in their final conference game of the season to clinch a berth in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament.

RMU finishes up the 2023 regular season with an 11-4-3 overall record and 5-4-1 record in the Horizon League. YSU ends their campaign with a 7-7-3 overall record and 3-5-2 record in conference games. The Colonials will be the #4 seed in the Horizon League Playoff Tournament.

“We’re so excited for this team. They have been fantastic all season and definitely deserved to be playing in the postseason,” RMU’s Head Coach Chris Shaw said.

“We had some great individual performances tonight but this was a team win tonight. This whole team contributed to this result. Our bench was amazing with their enthusiasm and cheering. I honestly believe we would not be where we are without their positivity and support from the sideline.”


Within two minutes of the game, goalkeeper Brenna Murray was tested early on, making her first save of the night.

The Colonials began to pick up momentum after the first 10 minutes, settling in against YSU’s 4-4-2 formation.

From the 10th to 20th minute, RMU posted the next three shots in a row.

Earning a corner kick in the 29th minute, the captain Kaoru Hayashi approached the corner to cross in the ball. Off her cross, the ball bounced loose and senior defender Kristi Kania hammered in her first career goal at a vital moment in the season.

For the remainder of the first half, both sides didn’t engage too often on the offensive end and the Colonials remained ahead, 1-0 after 45 minutes.

Entering the second half, RMU played disciplined defense, not allowing a shot on goal for the next 25 minutes.

Around the 70th minute, Hayashi almost scored twice. On her first opportunity, the Penguins tried to clear the ball out from their back line. Hayashi on one touch maneuvered around a defender and hit a volley for an almost highlight reel goal, being saved by the YSU keeper.

A moment later, Hayashi around the same spot possessed the ball outside the 18-yard box. She hit a screamer off the crossbar, inches away from extending the lead.

Following Hayashi’s chances, in a similar situation, Swankler hit two shots on goal in the matter of seconds, but both were saved.

She was denied twice, but not for a third time…

Hayashi from the corner mark again crossed it in. Basically, repeating the first goal, YSU couldn’t clear it and Swankler smashed in her first goal of the season.

After going down, 0-2, the Penguins still had some fight left in them before time ran out. Over the last 15 minutes they paced for seven more shots.

With five minutes to go, YSU finally got on the board off a free kick opportunity. Crossing it in from distance, Chloe Weiland finished off the pass at the back post.

Eventually, time ran out and the Colonials celebrated their final regular season win, pushing them into the Horizon League playoffs.

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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