Colonials power past Syracuse, EWU in Kick-off Classic

Nick Buzzelli, Staff Writer

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The Robert Morris University women’s soccer team opened the 2011 season in Fort Myers, Florida as part of the fifth annual Embassy Suites Kick-off Classic. The tournament, which included Syracuse and Eastern Washington University, was held on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University.

In the Colonials’ first match of the season, the Colonials secured a 1-0 upset victory against the Syracuse Orange.

Although the contest started out scoreless, five minutes into the second half, forward Ayana Davis put the Colonials on the board after she received a pass from Rachel Sebbens that split the Syracuse defenders.

The Orange had plenty of scoring chances late in the game, however they were unable to capitalize. Robert Morris goalkeeper Jessica Olin stopped all six Syracuse shots en route to her 14th career shutout.

“Upsetting Syracuse was an amazing feeling, it was something that words cannot begin to describe,” commented Olin, a native of New Port Richey, Florida  “My family being there to see it made the win all that much better.”

Two days later, against the Eastern Washington Eagles, Robert Morris scored early. R. Sebbens tallied her first goal of the season less than five minutes into the match. However the Eagles registered the equalizer before halftime.

The contest would remain in a deadlock until Jess Sharik’s goal in the 65th minute. The Colonials then added one more point to the score after Davis netted her second goal of the season to give Robert Morris the 3-1 victory.

Olin added, “The win against Syracuse was fantastic, but Eastern Washington was not a bad squad and we were ready to play. The momentum from the big win Friday night definitely carried into Sunday morning.”

Seniors Brianna Bell, Holly Sieradzki, and Olin were named to the Embassy Suites Kickoff Classic All-Tournament team, while Davis and Olin were named the Northeast Conference’s offensive and defensive players of the week respectively.

“Being named NEC Defensive Player of the Week is such an honor. I am truly humbled by this accolade,” explained the RMU senior goalie. “I have to give credit to my team, especially my defense, for playing with so much heart and withstanding the hot temperatures. Without them, this amazing weekend and accolade would not have happened.”

The Colonials’ victories marked the third time in program history and the first time in three years that the club opened the season with two straight wins.

Last year, the Robert Morris University women’s soccer team finished the season with a record of 6-11-2 but because of a recent hot streak, the future is looking brighter than ever for the Colonials.

RMU will travel to Washington D.C. in the next away match on September 2to face the American University Eagles and then, two days later, will venture four miles to take on George Washington University.

“I am looking forward to the matches against American and George Washington. We matched up against American my freshman year and beat them at home 1-0,” stated Olin. “I am also looking forward to George Washington because the past two years both matches have been close games. I am interested to see how we do against them when we travel to Washington D.C. to play them at their home field.”

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