Preview: Women’s soccer hosts Bryant in second NEC conference game

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Preview: Women’s soccer hosts Bryant in second NEC conference game

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

Austin Bechtold, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP — After opening up Northeast Conference play with a 1-0 victory over a struggling Mount St. Mary’s team (1-8, 0-2) last weekend, the Robert Morris women’s soccer team (3-5-1, 1-0) will look for a second straight win this weekend when they host the Bryant Bulldogs (4-3-2, 1-0-1). The RMU homestand continues with the Bulldogs visiting the North Athletic Complex this Sunday at 1 p.m. The last matchup between the two teams resulted in a Bryant 2-0 victory in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Previewing RMU

The Colonials come into this game having won two out of their last five games, defeating Ohio (5-3) on the road and Mount St. Mary’s at home, both games were decided by one goal. RMU’s loses in that same span have come to Howard (3-2), Yale (6-2) and Akron (3-5). The team has struggled offensively all season early on, scoring more than one goal only once the whole year, recording only nine in total. Bryant represents the Colonials second NEC opponent and with a 2-2-1 record at home early on, RMU could feed off of home-field advantage.

Previewing Bryant

Bryant enters Sunday’s tilt with a 4-3-2 record, defeating St. Francis (2-6-1, 1-1-0) on the road Friday afternoon by a score of 2-0. The Bulldogs have been an average team throughout the year and have scored 13 goals in nine games, finding more success on offense than RMU. Going 2-2-1 on the road so far, Bryant should fair well on the road and put up a challenge for the home team. The Bulldogs will bring a relatively experienced team with good offense and a strong defense to their fourth NEC conference game.

Players to Watch

Kayla Veloso-Lima (Robert Morris)

Veloso-Lima comes into Sunday as the catalyst of the Robert Morris offensive attack. This stud freshman forward leads the team in goals (three), assists (two), shots (12) and points (eight) heading into Sunday’s game. If the Colonials are going to have any success over the weekend, look for Veloso-Lima to be in the middle of the action.

Sydney Bruckner (Robert Morris)

RMU goalie Sydney Bruckner has played well early on this season. A 5’6’’ junior from Cumberland Valley High School, Bruckner has recorded all three of the Colonials’ wins and has saved 61 shots for a .859 save percentage.

Remi Manna (Bryant)

This senior midfielder has been Bryant’s best player early on. She has recorded a team-leading three goals and eight points. Manna also leads the team with an impressive .800 shot on goal percentage, providing the Bulldogs with a dangerous scoring threat.

Amanda Spitaleri (Bryant)

Spitaleri, like Manna, has recorded eight points but she has done so playing forward for the Bulldogs. Her stats to identical to Manna’s, except she has done so in only seven games. Look for Spitaleri to have to biggest impact of anyone on the field on Sunday.

Prediction

The Colonials have had a long layoff since their last game on the 22nd and should come out slow to start. Bryant, having defeated St. Francis to give them momentum to win two games in a three-day span, is in for a successful weekend. The two teams match up well, but the Bulldogs offense will be too much for the Colonials to handle on Sunday, with the final score being 2-1 in favor of the Bulldogs.