Colonials toppled by Dukes in overtime thriller at Rooney


Ethan Morrison

Gal Ben Dayan attempts a penalty kick he would eventually score on against Duquesne.

Tyler Gallo

PITTSBURGH– In its thirteen previous meetings at Duquesne’s Rooney Field in program history, Robert Morris had never won a game, playing to an 0-13-0 record at the confines of Rooney since the two teams first met in 2002.

Despite having a lead and scoring multiple goals for the first time since 2019, the Dukes (1-1) snuck out with another victory, winning in double-overtime 3-2 and stretching the Colonials’ (0-2) winless streak at their field to fourteen and further cementing its legacy as a “house of horrors” for the Colonials.

Head coach Jason O’Keefe, who saw his team score more than one goal in a regular-season game for the first time since he took over the helm, was not disappointed with his team’s effort in the hard-fought loss.

“At the end of the day, Duquesne scored more goals than us, and that’s what I told [the team] after the game,” he said. “We have to learn from [the loss], continue to grow, and move on to the next game.”

The two teams battled hard for the first several minutes and both recorded a few off-target shots, but neither team found the back of the net until Duquesne senior Ryan Landry sent a rifle of a shot to the top-left corner past goalkeeper Friedrich Petrelli for the first score of the game.

At the 18th minute, Duquesne’s Ade Akinjogbin misplayed a ball in the box, and when Gal Ben Dayan scrambled for it, Brandon Franklin knocked him over, setting up a penalty kick. Ben Dayan capitalized on that miscue, sending a solid shot past Domenic Nascimben for the team’s first goal of the season, matching last season’s mark in just the second game.

Duquesne responded with a few shots, but it was RMU who answered next, surpassing their 2020 goal total on a Hugo Kadima-Owen Jowett connection. Jowett headed the ball in for his first collegiate goal and made it 2-1 Robert Morris.

Ben Dayan and Jowett are part of 15 new players to join Robert Morris this season, transforming the team completely from last year. O’Keefe remarked upon what the new players bring to the table.

“They bring a winning mentality, a lot of those guys come from winning programs,” O’Keefe said. “They bring a dynamic piece to the game that we didn’t see last year. If you don’t have that, teams can sit on you and keep you locked down. The returning group has all bought in after last year, we’re excited about them and the new guys going forward.”

The Dukes answered right back on a beautiful shot, as Landry had a head of steam and found Logan Muck who buried it to knot the game at two just two minutes later at the 33rd minute.

Duquesne had most of the control for the rest of the half, but the score remained the same heading into the break.

RMU and the Dukes traded chances early on in the second half, but both Petrelli and Nascimben kept their respective opponents off the board with some solid saves.

Jayden Da found Muck wide open in front again, who proceeded to bomb a shot on Petrelli. Petrelli stood tall, scrambling for a huge save at the 66th minute.

Tensions started to flare up in the waning minutes of the game, as frustration boiled through for Maxi Hopfer and Noe Bijou, who both received a yellow card in the 86th minute after Hopfer shoved Lorenzo Guagneli and Bijou retaliated.

The score remained knotted at two heading to the end of regulation, and as the teams marched to overtime the weather started to turn in Pittsburgh, and a weather delay of an hour and ten minutes ensued before play resumed.

Hugo Kadima had several chances to notch the golden goal for Robert Morris in the first overtime, but fell short each time, whether it be from missing the net or going offside.

In the second overtime, Nate Dragisich found the open lane, crossed it to Ryan Goodhew who found the back of the net to seal a victory for Duquesne, the tenth straight winless affair for the Colonials at Rooney Field.

The Colonials will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Akron to take on the Zips at 7:00 p.m.