Colonials shut out, fall to Niagara.

Brooks Bratten, Staff Writer

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The Robert Morris men’s soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision on Sunday afternoon to Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. Their overall record is now 1-2-1. The Colonials were originally supposed to participate in the Mayor’s Cup this past weekend in Oneonta, N.Y., but tournament organizers cancelled the event due to flooding rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. The game against the Purple Eagles will count towards the Colonials’ overall record.

RMU outshot Niagara 16-13, but the Colonials couldn’t finish their chances when it mattered most.

“We played well,” said RMU head coach Bill Denniston, “but we didn’t put away the chances we had in the second half.”

The first half ended in a scoreless tie, with the Colonials outshooting the Purple Eagles by an 11 to 9 margin.

“We played the first half with a lot of emotion and desire,” said junior defender Sam Colosimo. “We were playing with a lot of fire and were really taking the game to Niagara.  Unfortunately, nothing seemed to go our way and we couldn’t finish our opportunities.”

Just two minutes into the second half, the Purple Eagles broke the tie, converting on a corner kick to take a 1-0 lead. Niagara wasn’t the only thing to strike, as lightning soon halted play after the goal.

When the match did resume, the Colonials continued to get chances in and around the goal, but couldn’t find the back of the twine.

“I believe it had to do with a lack of focus when we are around the opponent’s goal,” said junior goalkeeper Toba Bolaji, who had 3 saves on the afternoon. “The final third is where we need to move forward and stay focused on scoring. We need to make improvements on that part of our game.”

Niagara then converted on a free kick opportunity in the 83rd minute to give them a two goal cushion.

Although the Colonials couldn’t convert when it mattered most, they know that the chances were there, and that is a positive moving forward.

“I think we’ve just got to play to get behind teams quicker and we’re going work on some finishing,” said Denniston. “When we get chances, we’ve got to score goals.”

“We believe in each other and we know that we have the personnel to win a conference championship this year,” said Bolaji. “This game showed us that we are beatable and that all games will come down to who wants it more.”

Perhaps Denniston summed up the afternoon best.

“A good game, a bad result.”

Notes:

The Colonials return home to the North Athletic Complex on September 22nd, taking on cross-town rival Duquesne. Conference matches against Sacred Heart and Farleigh Dickinson wrap up the 3 game home stand.

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