Robert Morris Topples the Titans

Moon Township, Pa. February 23, 2013 Redshirt senior Charles Ruppert (Long Island, N.Y./Massapequa) led a strong overall defensive effort to help Robert Morris University to a 9-5 victory over Detroit Saturday afternoon at an overcast Joe Walton Stadium.

The RMU defense did well to allow the Titans just 15 shots on goal, and Ruppert was able to stop 10 of those offerings. It marked Ruppert's third straight and 13th career outing with double-figure saves and moved the veteran over 250 saves for his career. A Colonial goalie has not had a single-game save percentage better than Ruppert's .667 mark from Saturday since Ruppert himself was between the pipes in an upset of nationally ranked Bucknell in March 2011.

Saturday marked the 11th occurrence in program history in which RMU has allowed five or fewer goals and the first at Joe Walton Stadium since 2008. The Colonials have yielded just 23 goals in their first three contests--a new program record for the fewest goals allowed in the first three games of a season.

Senior attackman Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta/Central Memorial) was the game's offensive star as he tallied six points on the strength of a hat trick and a trio of helpers. Hayes extended his career long point streak to 18 games and moved his goal streak and multi-point streaks to 10 games each. In doing so, Hayes becomes just the sixth Colonial ever to score in at least 10 consecutive games. Hayes notched his 23rd career multi-point game, his 19th multi-goal outing and his 13th hat trick while collecting at least six points in a game for the third time in the team's past six contests.

Redshirt junior midfielder Taylor Graves (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) tied his career high with three points courtesy of two goals and an assist. It marked Graves' second three-point performance of the season, his ninth career multi-point game and his fifth career multi-goal effort.

True freshman midfielder Eric Rankel (Philadelphia, Pa./Downingtown West) notched at least three points for the third straight game as he scored once and assisted on two other tallies. Rankel, who leads the team with 12 points, also notched six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

After Detroit scored the game's first goal, the Robert Morris offense and defense quickly found their groove. The RMU defense would hold the Titans scoreless for nearly 22 minutes while the Colonials scored five consecutive goals, from the stick of four distinct individuals, to open up a gap late in the first half.

Detroit would score an unassisted tally with 2:34 left before halftime, but Graves responded with his first goal of the day in the final minute before intermission to set the halftime margin at 6-2 in favor of the hosts.

The teams each scored once in the first six minutes of the second half before the RMU man-down unit went to work. The Colonials killed off three man-up chances for the Titans in a five-minute span to keep Detroit at bay.

With RMU again playing a man down in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Hayes would score a rare man-down tally courtesy of a nice feed from Graves to give the Colonials a five-goal cushion, and Robert Morris was able to hang on with relative ease down the stretch to claim the victory.

Redshirt senior attackman Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario/Hill School) contributed a pair of goals to the Colonial cause to record his 10th multi-goal game in the team's past 11 outings. Morton moved into eighth in RMU history in career goals (44) with his scores Saturday and registered his 16th career multi-point game and his 12th multi-goal effort.

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2013-02-23



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