FAIRFIELD, Conn.– The Robert Morris women’s lacrosse team (8-4, 1-2 NEC) will look to square up their Northeast Conference record this coming Thursday afternoon on the road. They prepare to embark on their final two road games of the regular season starting with a showdown out in Connecticut against the Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-10, 1-2 NEC) who have an identical conference record to the Colonials. Before these two teams get together for the first and only time this season, let’s take a look at who has the advantage going into this key NEC matchup that could possibly have tournament seeding implications.
Recapping Robert Morris
The Colonials are coming off of their first conference win of the season last Friday, as they took down the Saint Francis Red Flash 18-5 in a dominant showing at Joe Walton Stadium. Kerri Sayrafe and Mackenzie Gandy notched multi-point games for the Colonials in the win, and RMU firmly established its offensive power in the NEC with a solid victory over a fierce in-state foe on home turf.
Scouting Sacred Heart
The Pioneers have an identical record to RMU and are coming off a hard-fought 16-15 overtime loss to the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds on the road this past Sunday. Lydia Werlau was hot with her stick for the Pioneers as she potted 9 goals in the loss and proved why she has been an offensive standout for SHU the entirety of their 2018-19 season thus far.
Players to Watch
Kerri Sayrafe (RMU): As previously mentioned, Sayrafe has been on a tear for the Colonials even though she is not at the top of the stats table. Her last outing against SFU showcased her shooting power from anywhere on the field, and why she is one of the most consistent scorers on the red, white, and blue with 17 goals and a total of 18 points. if she begins to start firing rapid shots, the Pioneers will be in big trouble early and may not be able to recover.
Clio Kerr (RMU): Another powerhouse on offense and a recent representer of her home country of Ireland on the world stage, Kerr is another player that the Pioneers will have to be careful of if they hope to steal a win from RMU on their home turf. Kerr scored twice in the victory against SFU and ranks fifth on the team in overall points with 15 (12G, 3A). Much more a shooter than a passer, Sacred Heart will have to guard Kerr staunchly for the entire contest if they hope to contain her at all.
Lydia Werlau (SHU): Similar to the effort of Sayrafe, Werlau had her standout matchup in the Pioneers’ most recent game and also proved why she is an offensive threat despite SHU’s under .500 start, with an astonishing 31 goals and 5 assists for 36 points to lead her team. Like Sayrafe, if Werlau begins to find her scoring touch fast and early, we may very well be looking at a back-and-forth matchup that could go into overtime with the offensive prowess of both sides.
Cassie Cesario (SHU): Cesario is second on her club’s point list, right behind the aforementioned Werlau, and is as much of a shooting threat as her teammate, with an equally impressive 28 points so far this season (17G, 11A). The junior from Oceanside, NY will be looking to extend her point total in this matchup, and RMU’s defenders must look at trying to lock down on her and Werlau if they want to have any chance at evening their NEC record.
I feel that the shooting and passing power of RMU will simply be too much for SHU to handle. The Gandy twins and Sayrafe will torment the Pioneers in another dominant win for the Colonials, 17-9.