Disheartening. This was the word used when junior goalkeeper, Toba Bolaji, of the men’s soccer team used when describing their season.
A season that saw them go 0 for 10 in the Northeast Conference, a season that saw their last win recorded on September 22, a season that ended on Sunday afternoon with a loss in the 100th minute of play against St. Francis (PA), and a season that will hurt for a long time.
“As a team, we had goals we wanted to accomplish,” said Bolaji. “Unfortunately, we didn’t accomplish them. The worst part is knowing that you have the ability to compete but fail to transcend that skill onto the scoreboard.”
The contest against the Red Flash remained scoreless at the end of regulation, with St. Francis outshooting Robert Morris 17-9 through the first 90 minutes.
It looked as though the two teams would be headed to a second overtime session, however the Red Flash’s Kingsley McLeod had other ideas. In the 100th minute, McLeod received a cross in the box, and chipped the shot into the back of the cage. The loss capped off the 12th on the campaign for the Colonials.
St. Francis added five more shots in overtime to bring their total on the day to 22. Although they outshot Robert Morris by a 2 to 1 margin, Bolaji says those numbers were not necessarily indicative of how the game was played.
“I thought the game was pretty even,” said Bolaji, who finished with 7 saves on the afternoon. “We had some great opportunities at the goal but obviously couldn’t finish. Unfortunately we let up a bit of our intensity in OT and that’s what led to the goal.”
The most obvious reason for the Colonials’ lack of success was the inability to put the ball in the net. They finished with just 3 goals in their 10 Northeast Conference matchups.
“That has been the story of our second half,” said Bolaji. “We can’t score.”
No matter which angle you take, this is a season that will go down in history, for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps even more frustrating? The Colonials played evenly with a majority of their opponents, even vastly outplaying a handful. The soccer Gods were simply not on their side.
“I’ve seen success in my sport, but I’ve also had downtimes like what we have gone through,” said Bolaji. “It’s a hard situation to swallow because our record truly does not reflect the skill we have.”
For the remaining members of the squad, a shot at redemption to showcase that skill cannot come soon enough. One can assume that it could only get better.