Colonials win big on Senior Day with 4-0 shutout over Mount St. Mary’s


Photo credit: Katey Ladika

Carter Conroy

The Robert Morris Colonials women’s soccer team (5-11) improved to 3-4 in conference play with a big win this afternoon over the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (5-10-1). The Colonials won by a score of 4-0 on Senior Day and what was the final home game of the season for the team.

The victory was the second straight win for RMU after they won on Friday against Farleigh Dickinson in a match that went to double overtime.

Robert Morris opened the scoring 17:34 into the first half with a goal from senior Maleha Kureishy who had her first of the season. The goal came after the Colonials were granted their second corner kick of the match that was taken by another senior, Erin Ritzer. The kick hit off of some players in front and was kicked back, right to Kureishy who fired a shot into the left side of the net.

“We were looking to try to get, and joking before the game, to get every senior a goal. It was good that a lot of people got into the scoring and into the action. I think Maleha’s goal was amazing, it was great for her to score because she’s just done so much good work for us this season, it was just awesome,” said senior forward Erin Ritzer.

Shortly after the first goal, at 25:21, the Colonials tallied their second of the game off the foot of sophomore Kristina Kelley who chipped the Mountaineers goalkeeper for her eighth goal of the season. The goal made it 2-0 early for RMU and was assisted by Jane Schleicher and Maleha Kureishy.

Head coach John Kowalski was prepared for Mount St. Mary’s strategy against his team early.

“We knew they would come out very strong, so we needed to control the ball, score a goal early and make it easier for ourselves, so we did,” Kowalski said.

Later in the first half, at 43:56 the Colonials added a third goal to make it 3-0. This goal coming from another leading goal scorer on the team, junior forward Jane Schleicher, her seventh of the year. Schleicher’s goal stemmed from an incredible individual effort as she was able to beat two defenders and fire a shot that hit the goalkeeper and then trickled into the net. The lone assist on the goal came from Kristina Kelley.

The first half ended with the Colonials up 3-0 and Robert Morris leading as well in the shot category ten to six.

“With it being Senior Day, we had a lot of energy so we figured if we could put a few in in the first half it would be crucial and then just ride it out for the rest (of the match). We knew they were going to come out hard because they were still in the hunt for playoffs, so we knew it was going to be pretty intense. To put it away early was pretty good,” said Erin Ritzer.

In the second half, the Colonials nearly scored a fourth goal as Kristina Kelley created a beautiful chance, making a defender miss and shooting a laser that was ticketed for the top left corner of the net but hit the crossbar and deflected out of play.

Finally, very close to the end of the second half, Erin Ritzer scored to make it 4-0 at 88:39. The goal was scored off of a fantastic passing play with teammates Taylor Burkley and Kasia Bak who were granted the assists on the final RMU goal.

Many of the seniors were heavily involved in the goal scoring and this was very fitting with it being Senior Day and the final home game for the team.

“It was meaningful for me, but I’m sure it was a lot more meaningful to the seniors and to the team. I wish the season lasted longer than a month because we are getting all the players healthy and fully back, including Erin Ritzer who is coming back from knee surgery. It was very important for them to play the last home game of the season and get that win,” Kowalski said.

RMU freshman goalkeeper Sydney Bruckner was very strong in net all game long with seven saves and another shutout victory.

Robert Morris will finish their season next Sunday, Oct. 29 with a 2 p.m. afternoon match against Wagner in Staten Island, New York.