Baukhages' Goal Lifts Colonials Ober Niagara in Opener

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. February 22, 2014 Embarking on its 10th season in program history, Robert Morris opened the 2014 campaign at home with a contest against the Niagara Purple Eagles on Saturday afternoon. Under sunny skies at an always blustery Joe Walton Stadium, the Colonials defeated Niagara by a score of 16-13 to earn their first win in the lid-lifter for both squads.

Robert Morris (1-0, 0-0 NEC) held Niagara (0-1, 0-0 MAAC) scoreless for the final 10:55 of the second half after the Purple Eagles had tied the game, 13-13, and got the game-winning goal from Emma Baukhages (Gambrills, Md./Indian Creek) with 10:15 remaining in the second half.

RMU received goals from seven different Colonials including a first-half hat trick from Brittany Byerly (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland). Along with Byerly, three other Robert Morris players recorded hat tricks in the victory.

The Colonials quickly got on the board in the first half, needing just 26 seconds to find the back of the net. A member of the All-NEC First Team last season, Brittany Byerly (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) recorded the first goal of the 2014 season for Robert Morris to put the Colonials ahead, 1-0.

After Niagara tied the game, 1-1, a minute later, RMU regained the lead with a pair of goals coming within 40 seconds of each other. Jessica Rutherford (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) cave the Colonials a 2-1 lead before Jessica Karwacki (Sparks, Md./Hereford) pushed the score to 3-1 eight minutes into the opening frame.

Niagara picked up a second goal to bring the score to 3-2, but Byerly answered with her second of the game to reinstall the two-goal advantage, 4-2, as the two teams were 12 minutes into the first half.

A third goal from the Purple Eagles kept them within striking distance of RMU before the Colonials would go on a three-goal run spanning a minute of action. Karwacki picked up her second goal of the game which was followed by Rutherford's second goal of the contest and then by Byerly's third score of the half. The three goals increased Robert Morris' lead to four goals with the score 7-3 as the game approached the midpoint of the first half.

Niagara put a halt to the RMU run with its fourth goal of the game, but the Colonials responded with goals from Kristin Yoviene (Easton, Md./Saints Peter and Paul) and Corey Karwacki (Sparks, Md./Hereford) to grow the lead to five, 9-4, with eight minutes remaining in the first period.

The goal by C. Karwacki's was the final tally for Robert Morris in the period, as the Purple Eagles held RMU off the board for 12 minutes spanning the closing of the first half and the opening minutes of the second half. In that span, Niagara would record four goals, two to close out the opening frame and two goals in the first four minutes of the second half, to diminish RMU's advantage to a single goal, 9-8.

C. Karwacki ended Niagara's run with a pair of goals in nine seconds that completed her hat trick and gave Colonials a bit of breathing room with the score 11-8 even though there was more than 25 minutes remaining in the second half.

After a Niagara goal brought the Purple Eagles back within two goals, Yoviene answered with her second goal of the game and have the scoreboard read 12-9 in favor of RMU just six minutes into the closing frame.

The Purple Eagles closed the gap to a single goal again, 12-11, after netting a pair of goals in 30 seconds. J. Karwacki became the third Colonial to record a hat trick in the contest with her goal at the 19 minute mark of the second half that put RMU up two, 13-11.

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