MOON TOWNSHIP– The Robert Morris men’s soccer (1-5) is looking to bounce back against Duquesne (4-0-1) when the two meet at the North Athletic Complex on Wednesday, September 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Robert Morris is coming off a tough loss against Longwood (3-1), being shutout 3-0; adding on to what has been a difficult season for the Colonials. Robert Morris had more shots and corner kicks, as well as fewer fouls than Longwood. The only things they felt short were the most important of things of all, saves and goals. While the team looks for things to improve, one notable thing they have to improve upon is the play of their goalkeepers. If it doesn’t improve, then there is only so much the rest of the team can do going forward.
Duquesne is having a great start to the year, starting off the year undefeated after their first five games. Duquesne is currently on a four-game winning streak and the Dukes are looking to keep that hot streak rolling. In the Dukes’ last game against California Baptist (1-4-1), the Dukes came out and took an early lead as Zach Hall scored his second goal of the year in the 2nd-minute of the match. From there, they kept up the momentum, winning the game 2-1. Duquesne’s very own Eric Zech won the A-10 Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week last week, highlighting the team’s great talent. While this team clearly has some talent, one thing we have to give them credit for is their ability to play as a team.
Players to Watch
Lorenzo Guagneli (RMU)
The Colonial sophomore is one who is not shy to take the initiative, taking four shots which was the most shots by a Robert Morris player last game. Despite his lack of goals this season, we all know he is capable of doing so, as he scored 17 goals between his 17 games last season, which surely contributed to his selection onto the All-NEC Rookie Team in 2018. With the team looking to get build momentum and get on a roll, you can guarantee they are counting on him to contribute.
The Goalkeeper (RMU)
Three players have been splitting the time at the goalkeeper position for Robert Morris so far this season. Senior Christian Snatchko, sophomore Grant Glorioso, and freshman Mike Zolnierczyk have each played 2 games this season in a rotation. If they keep the rotation they have been going off of so far, then it looks like Mike Zolnierczyk will take the start this week. He will need to do his part and make the big saves in order to keep the Colonials in this match.
Nate Dragisich (Duquesne)
The Dukes freshman is having a great start to his year and he is going to be looking to keep this roll going. He was just named Co-Rookie of the Week in the A-10 conference, as he recorded a goal and an assist this week. His goal came in the 89th-minute against Niagara (1-5) and was the game-winner. As Duquesne is moving forward, you know Nate Dragisich is going to be a key contributor.
Eric Zech (Duquesne)
Duquesne’s sophomore, Eric Zech, is also off to a great start this year, winning Co-Offensive Player of the Week last week. He scored his first career goal recently against VMI (0-5) to win the game 1-0. In his freshman year, he was one of only three players to start all 16 matches for the Dukes, 13 of the games he played without a substitute. The Dukes’ defensive man is surely going to have an impact this week in one way or another.
These teams have fallen onto two very different tracks to start the season. While Duquesne has come out on a hot streak, Robert Morris has hit a rough patch to start the year. Unless the Colonials come out a completely different team than we’ve seen all year, I don’t see them coming out this game with a win. I predict that the Dukes will top the Colonials by a score of 4-1, scoring three of their goals in the first half.