Colonials Fall to Sacred Heart in Hard Fought Battle

Moon Township, Pa. - April 11, 2010 - In a hard fought battle, the Robert Morris University Colonials concluded their home portion of the 2010 season with a 10-7 loss to NEC preseason favorite Sacred Heart on Sunday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium. Prior to the contest the Colonials honored six women's lacrosse seniors.

The Colonials led for a good portion of the first half and remained within at least two goals of the Pioneers for the majority of play. However, the Pioneers were able to pull ahead with three consecutive goals in the last six minutes of action to earn the advantage towards the end of regulation. Three goals is the smallest margin the Colonials have lost by all season.

The loss brings Robert Morris' overall record to 5-8 and its league record to 3-4, while the Pioneers improve to 10-4 overall and remain undefeated in the NEC at 8-0.

Seniors Ali Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Machester) and Alana Beck (Carle Place, N.Y./Old Dominion) both concluded their careers at Joe Walton Stadium with great performances with both players capturing hat tricks in the contest. Beck also added one assist and two caused turnovers, while senior Alexandra Cardozo (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) contributed two caused turnovers. Junior Ashley Trombetta (Sykesville, Md./Century) led the contest with six ground balls and added one caused turnover and one goal.

From the initial draw the Colonials immediately went to work against the Pioneers offensively and defensively. RMU's resilient defense made it difficult for the Pioneers to maintain possession of the ball, as the Colonials forced four Sacred Heart turnovers in the first six minutes of the contest.

Robert Morris also played strong on the offensive end scoring three unanswered goals in the first eight minutes of play with two coming off the stick of Gibbons. At 1:22 into the first half Gibbons ran the ball up the field, through the Pioneer defense and fired a shot past Pioneer goalie Chelsea Wagner to put the Colonials up 1-0. Beck followed with a goal five minutes later on an unassisted play and Gibbons added her second of the day at 7:41 on a free position shot.

However, the Pioneers stormed back throughout the next 10 minutes and scored four straight goals with two coming from Jackie Pierce to give them a one goal lead at 4-3 with 12:23 left to play.

The Colonials did not falter and with 10:59 left on the clock Beck scored her second goal of the contest on an unassisted play to knot the score 4-4, but the Pioneers scored two more times before the end of the first 30 minutes to give them a 6-4 advantage heading into the second half. Sacred Heart started off the scoring in the second half with Pierce scored her third goal off an assist from Kate Kmiotek at 3:57 to give them a three goal lead.

That three goal cushion only lasted for less than two minutes because the Robert Morris bounced back with a free-position goal from Trombetta at 5:36. The two teams competed for nearly 15 minutes without a goal being scored, but Robert Morris was able to break the silence when Beck scored with 9:37 left on the clock to bring the score within one at 7-6.

However Sacred Heart expanded on its one-goal lead by scoring three times within less than four minutes to grab a 10-6 lead with the clock winding down at 2:44.

The Colonials were able to find the net one more time when Gibbons picked up a feed from Beck with 2:30 left to play, but the Pioneers were able to keep the ball from the Colonials for the majority of the remaining time to secure them the win.

Sacred Heart's Wagner finished the contest with 13 saves, while RMU's Erica Webb (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) made 11 stops. The Colonials were successful on two of seven free-position shots, while the Pioneers converted on two of six chances.

The Colonials head to Smithfield, R.I. next week to take on league opponent Bryant at 4:00 p.m.


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