Robert Morris falls to LIU in third straight conference loss

Dante Verme, Contributor

The Robert Morris men’s soccer team (5-8-1, NEC: 0-3-0) opened up the home portion of 2014 NEC Conference play Friday afternoon against visiting Long Island University (3-8-0, NEC: 2-0-0) at the North Athletic Complex.

The Colonials went on the offensive early. Head coach Bill Dennison started both Rafael Bruzal and the NCAA current leading goal scorer Neco Brett to help RMU step the pace up early and put pressure on LIU’s defense.

Redshirt sophomore Logan Keys was starting in goal for LIU, and the Colonials made him busy.

Robert Morris peppered the Blackbirds for 10 shots on goal in the first half. The best chance for RMU came in the final two minutes of the first half when Bruce Cullen played a fantastic though ball to Brett, who was able to chip the ball over Keys 12 yards out from goal.

The ball bounced off the post and was cleared by LIU’s Tanner Sica, and both teams would go into the intermission deadlocked at zero.

The second half saw a chance of pace, as it was the Blackbirds who found their offensive game coming out of the break.

The visitors were able to break the draw in the 59th minute when senior David Nuernberg unleashed a cracker of a shot from 35 yards that went off the crossbar and past RMU goalkeeper Brendan Alfery to give LIU a 1-0 lead.

Down 1-0, the Colonials continued to up the pressure in the final 20 minutes looking for the equalizer.

Their best opportunity of the second half came in the dying moments of the game as freshman Jake Cooper unleashed a rocket from 12 yards out though a screen, but Keys was able to track the ball and force it out of play.

The final save secured the victory for LIU.

Robert Morris will conclude its two game homestand on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. match against St. Francis Brooklyn.