The Mountaineers (1-8) fell to Robert Morris University (7-4) in their conference opener at Waldron Family stadium. Despite 12 saves from sophomore goalkeeper, Jillian Petito, and 3 straight goals in the second half from her teammates, the Mountaineers were unable to respond to the Colonial’s late comeback.
Robert Morris got on board first with an early goal 4 minutes into the half. They then added another goal, 3 minutes later to take the 2-0 lead. With under 20 minutes left, the Colonials attempted to add an insurance goal, but brilliant blocking from Petito, allowed her team a chance to counter attack.
With Head Coach Lauren Schwarzmann yelling, “Be aggressive, push forward”, Petito passed the ball to senior, Sammie Knapp, who ran down the entire field and maneuvered her way past 5 defenders to score and put the Mount on the board.
Seconds later, Robert Morris responded to make it a 3-1 game. The Mount would not go down without a fight however, as, first year, Carly Miller came out from behind the Colonial net and shot one in down low to cut the deficit back to 1.
With 9:51 on the board, Robert Morris scored again to force Schwarzmann to call a time out. This timeout would prove effective as Knapp managed to net another goal as time on the shot clock expired.
Down 4-3, the Mountaineers went on a 3-0 run after the break, with a goal scored by senior Kelly Maloney, assisted by Knapp. Sophomore Taylor Carhart and her teammate, Maloney then took advantage of two penalty shot opportunities to take back the lead, 6-4.
Held scoreless for the past 36 minutes by Petito, the Colonials finally found their groove and scored with 13:27 to play. They then tied it up with 12:09 on the clock and eventually took the lead for good, a minute later.
The Mount’s 14 turnovers in the first half proved to be too costly as they fell to 0-1 in conference play. When asked about what could have been improved during the first half, Schwarzmann responded with,
“Just our shot selection was not great. We had some costly turnovers I think in the first half, but at the end of the day, I think we had our chances, but just didn’t finish well.”
She added, “For us, we’re right in there. Every game matters in conference, so for us, it’s just coming out of the weekend on a positive note and picking up a win at St. Francis University.”