Colonials fall in season opener against Canisius Golden Griffins

Ryan Giacobbi

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The Robert Morris University men’s soccer team (0-1; 0-0 NEC) kicked off their 2018 campaign the wrong way when the team fell to the Canisius College Golden Griffins by a final score of 3-0 on Friday afternoon.

The first half opened up with Canisius holding the offensive advantage early, but the Colonials offense turned the ball around quickly in their favor by making a couple shots early.

The scoring didn’t open up until the Griffins got their first goal 20:45 in the first half, putting Robert Morris in a 1-0 deficit by Alessio Atzori with an assist from Bjarki Benediktsson that came from a corner kick.

The Griffins scored again in the first half, making it 2-0. Troy Brady added the tally from a cross that came off the foot of Manuelle Cavazzoli. This ultimately proved to be all the action in the half as the first half ended 2-0 Canisius.

The second half got off to a quiet start as neither team was able to take over. Things changed, however, when Matt Cillo was sent off at 54:21.

Head coach Bill Denniston gave his thoughts Cillo getting a red card during the game.

“I think it was pretty weak,” said Denniston. “I mean he jumped into the kid. I think it was a foul, but to be sent off for it, I don’t know.”

With RMU down a man and down two on the scoreboard the Colonials attempted to mount a comeback, but the only goal in the second half was scored by the Golden Griffins. It was scored with about 12 minutes remaining when Brady scored his second of the game on a penalty kick, making it 3-0 Griffins.

In the final stretch of the game, the Colonials kept pushing, but they ended up falling short ultimately ended up short.

Through all the action on Friday afternoon, Denniston gave some takeaways from his team’s performance.

“I don’t think it was bad. I mean 15-14 shots. We were playing with 10 men in the second half, we outshot them 10-3,” said Denniston. “We had more chances than I can remember in a game, so there were a lot positives, unfortunately, our achilles heal is giving a goal on a corner, which was their first one, and then on a penalty kick, which looks bad 3-0, but you know 15-14, not bad.”

Colonials goalie Winter Fondi reflected on his performance.

“Well the first goal was another corner, which we were trying to get better at, but for some reason not working hard enough in the corners, there shouldn’t be a time where your man gets the ball ahead of you on the ground, so we work on that, and we need to work on that to where we don’t give up any goals,” said Fondi.

The Robert Morris Colonials continue their season this coming Sunday on the road against the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies at 2 p.m. in Olean, N.Y.

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