NEW BRITAIN, CT– Robert Morris (2-7-2, 1-1-1) continues their first NEC road trip when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Central Connecticut Blue Devils (0-7-1, 0-2-0).
The Colonials look to get back on the right track in conference play after a beatdown on the road against Merrimack (4-3-2, 2-0-0). It was a terrible showing for the Colonials on their first road match of the NEC calendar, as they were dominated in every facet by the Warriors. This came after a pretty decent stretch by the Colonials, which saw them go three games without losing, where RMU looked like they had finally found their game after a tough start in non-conference play. Freshman goalkeeper Mike Zolnierczyk seemed to have solidified his starting job, though it is unclear if that will change with the loss to Merrimack.
Scouting Central Connecticut
Luckily for the Colonials, the Blue Devils have struggled mightily throughout their season so far. They have been blanked in four of their seven games this season and have only managed to give up less than four goals in a game twice. To their credit, the Blue Devils have faced some fairly formidable opponents in their non-conference schedule that definitely played a role in their weak performance; Seton Hall (3-4-0), UMass (4-5-0), Quinnipiac (3-3-2) and Yale (5-0-2) just to name the bigger ones. The Blue Devils roster is also a very young one as well, with only two seniors who have played for the squad this season.
Players to Watch
Ethan Romito (RMU)
One important force for the Colonials so far this season has been the consistent play for freshman forward Ethan Romito. Romito has played very well when he has been given the chance to. He has been rewarded with a starting spot in the last three games for the club; including a season-high 86-minute performance against Fairleigh Dickinson (4-4-1, 0-0-1). He had a season-high five shots against Mount St. Mary’s and was all over the field in his playing time, doing a great job pressuring defenders.
Riccardo Rota (RMU)
A sophomore, Riccardo is another young forward providing a ton of energy on the offensive end for the Colonials. Rota has started the past five games and played a season-high 92 minutes against Howard (2-6-1). Rota also almost scored the game-winner against Fairleigh Dickinson, but he unfortunately just missed and put it off the crossbar. Still, Rota is doing a great job of creating opportunities like that, and it is only a matter of time before they start going in for the Italian.
Panos Ravanis (CCSU)
On a team with a lackluster offense, Ravanis is the lone forward with a goal this season for the Blue Devils, as the majority of their offense has come from their backend. With only four goals total on the season, Ravanis might be the Blue Devils only option if they want to score against the Colonials.
After the horrid loss to Merrimack, the Colonials should be motivated to perform well against Central Connecticut. The Colonials have a better team on paper in nearly every category and look like they should beat the Blue Devils handily. Still, the hapless Blue Devils will put up a decent fight as they continue to look for their first win of the season. Hopefully, the Colonials aren’t the first ones to drop a game against them, however. A loss to CCSU would be a major setback for RMU in their NEC play, and they cannot afford to throw away a game like that. Because of all of these factors, I’ll predict that the Colonials rebound against the Blue Devils and win 2-0.