In their rematch at 84 Lumber Arena, the Robert Morris Colonials suffered a heart breaking loss at the hands of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Though the Colonials looked to improve on their previous night’s performance, a 2-2 tie, it didn’t take long for the Nittany Lions to strike.
At only 1:33 in the first period, Penn State’s Micayla Catanzariti wrapped one around the goal post to give PSU an early lead.
RMU had many good scoring opportunities, but none found their way to the back of the net. Junior forward Mackenzie Johnston had a brilliant attempt just outside the crease. Unfortunately Penn State’s goaltender, Celine Whitlinger, was ready for the contest.
The Nittany Lions’ Bella Sutton gave up an interference penalty halfway through the period. RMU fought for possession of the puck, but PSU kept the explosive power play at bay.
Late in the period, Robert Morris freshman forward Sarah Quaranta took a checking penalty. The Colonials were able to kill off the penalty and hold PSU to a one goal game.
Coming back after intermission, PSU scored another quick goal to further their lead. Hannah Hoenshell whipped one right over the shoulder of Dodds, which sailed straight into the back of the net to the fans’ dismay. Time of the goal was 3:46.
The fans were even more upset with the referees as freshman forward Amber Rennie was sent to the penalty box at 5:27 on a holding call after she had been brutally checked by a Penn State defenseman.
Penn State dictated a fast and aggressive pace, but at 11:24 Jordin Pardoski caused a hooking penalty, giving Robert Morris the extra man advantage once again.
However, the Colonials could not seem to find the net yet again, either shooting wide or getting pushed off the puck by Penn State’s defense.
At 13:50, the Nittany Lions used their full strength to their advantage and Micayla Catanzariti put yet another one past RMU goaltender Jessica Dodds.
Things were looking pretty down for the Colonials until a fortunate hooking call was given to PSU’s Laura Bowman. While she served her two minutes in the penalty box, the Robert Morris power play unit was able to score its first goal of the night.
Junior defender Mikaela Lowater received a beautiful pass from senior captain Ashley Vesci and slapped it right past Whitlinger.
“Ashley (Vesci) set me up perfectly,” Lowater said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better pass. That goal was really able to lift our team.”
The roar from player and spectator alike was deafening and filled 84 Lumber Arena for all to hear.
The period ended on a 4-on-4 contest, with penalties to RMU’s Johnston and PSU’s Paige Jahnke nullifying each other for 1:16.
Right off the opening faceoff of the third period, sophomore forward Brittany Howard was flying. She blew past Penn State’s defense only seconds into the period.
Both penalties expired, and PSU managed to find the back of the net again at even strength. Nittany Lions’ Laura Bowman slipped one past a frustrated Dodds at 2:32.
This frustration found its way to other Colonials. At 3:40, fan favorite Howard was sent to the box for a slashing call. The fans highly contested this.
Penn State let up two more penalties, but RMU was not able to capitalize on either.
In an attempt to score, the Colonials pulled Dodds in favor of an extra attacker. This plan backfired, because at 15:06, the Nittany Lions buried the rebound of a 2-on-1 situation into the empty net, sealing the deal and scoring the final goal of the game.
The final score of the match was 5-1 in favor of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Though they didn’t get the win, the Colonials were somewhat okay with the loss.
“I thought we played well,” Lowater said. “We made them play our game, go at the speed we wanted rather than theirs. We kept pressure on them.”
RMU will take these upcoming weeks to rest and work on improvements before they host Maine on Nov. 27 and 28, at 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.