Offensive struggles continue as RMU ties St. Francis Brooklyn

Nick Milliron , Staff Reporter

In the second home game of Northeast Conference play, the Robert Morris men’s soccer team (5-8-2, NEC 0-3-1) tied 1-1 in Sunday afternoon’s match against St. Francis Brooklyn (6-5-3, NEC 1-1-1) at the North Athletic Complex.

It was a hard fought game, but the look on the Colonials’ faces after the conclusion of the fixture expressed the reality of the entire scenario. Now with three losses and a draw in conference, a NEC tournament berth is highly unlikely.

“I’m really disappointed,” said head coach Bill Denniston. “It’s so frustrating to have such a talented team. We’ve had 3 games end in overtime. Soccer is a cruel sport and it just hasn’t gone our way.”

In the opening minutes, it was clear both team’s strategy was similar with lots of short passes and patience. That is, until the ball was passed to upperclassmen Neco Brett or Speedy Williams. Once they received  the ball, the Colonials immediately upped the tempo.

The two Jamaican natives have quite the chemistry.

“Before the game we practice and I talk to him [Brett] about stuff we want to do,” said Williams. “The runs he likes to make and the passes I like to make, so we just talk about it.”

However, the speed of the two veterans wasn’t enough to get on the scoreboard early, and it was SFB who ended up first on the board in the 11th minute off a bicycle kick from Riccardo Milano, placed in the top right corner of the goal.

Directly after that, the Colonials switched gears and upped the physical play. Yet it wasn’t until the second half that they got on the board. The goal came from Bruce Cullen in the 57th minute off of a free kick fired into the top right corner of the net.

“We’ve been working on that free kick for a long time in practice, and my captain talked to me and told me to stay calm,” said Cullen. “And I had one of the best strikes I had all year.”

Robert Morris’ confidence was boosted afterwards, and they tried all they could do to get shots on goal, but nothing seemed to work. In overtime, multiple shots went just wide of the net, with each one getting closer and closer to the goal. Unfortunately, time ran out, and the Colonials left the complex still without a win in conference play.

“I don’t know what we can do. We play so well every game and we have so many chances,” said Denniston. “Our goal this year was to try and cut back on goals against which we’ve done, and for some reason the ball is not going in the net.”

The Colonials look next to Sunday when they travel to Sacred Heart to continue NEC play.