Central Connecticut ends Colonials’ hope of playoffs


Photo credit: Michael Evans

Riley Doyle

It was senior day for the Robert Morris women’s soccer team, and it had a chance at reaching the Northeast Conference tournament for the second time in as many seasons. Though, the team needed a win first.

The Colonials’ (6-12-0, 4-4-0) hopes of playoffs were lost as they took on Central Connecticut (8-10-1, 6-2-0) in their final NEC match-up of the regular season. With the 1-0 loss came the end of a four-game win streak for RMU — and the 2016 season.

The game began quickly with the Colonials on their heels, with most of the play coming in their defensive third. Goalie Makenzie Shearson — one of the three seniors honored before the game — turned away six shots in the first half, but Central Connecticut’s Kelly Kristine connected with the back of the net in the 25th minute. Kristine’s goal proved to be the only one of the match.

The Colonials season began in a significant slump, with the team not seeing a victory until the seventh game against Ohio. With the odds stacked against them, the women’s team fought back the second half of the season and finished .500 overall in the conference, falling just short of the playoffs.

Head coach John Kowalski remained hopeful looking towards next season. He noted that the team this year has struggled with injuries and hopes to come back stronger next season.

“For next year, I think with the younger players that gathered experience this year… and with next years recruitments, we should be that much better next year,” said Kowalski.

Sophomore Jane Schleicher had a solid outing controlling the midfield, giving some much-needed support to both ends of the field. Schleicher said she hopes to use this game as motivation for next season to be able to come back stronger.

As mentioned before, today was the last game for Shearson, Erin Ritzer, and Antonia Grese. Grese and Ritzer finished out their fourth seasons on the teams, while Shearson — a transfer student — finished out the season with 84 saves and a .743 save percentage.