The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Women’s Soccer Takes on Top-Seeded Milwaukee in Semifinal Matchup

Samantha Dutch
The Colonials are 0-6 all-time against the Panthers

Women’s soccer faces an uphill battle this Thursday as they take on No. 1 seed Milwaukee in Horizon League Tournament play. It is the semifinals, and a win would see the Colonials make their first final in program history and play the winner of IUPUI and Northern Kentucky.

A loss, on the other hand, would see their historical and record-breaking season come to an end.

The last time Robert Morris faced Milwaukee, the Colonials fell 3-0. They look to avenge that midseason loss and build off the hype and momentum following Sunday’s win.

The Colonials won 4-1, a score line that was fair but relatively unexpected following the first 20 minutes of the game. The Colonials’ habit of starting slow will have to stop entering this match, with the likelihood of coming back against a team like Milwaukee slim.

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The Panthers only conceded five goals in Horizon League play this year. Those were in four games, too. They’ve also scored 26 goals in those games. Positions of losing are essentially unacceptable for the Colonials. Once the Panthers identify a weakness, they intend to capitalize on it.

One of those clinical finishers for Milwaukee has been Kayla Rollins. The sophomore from Ann Arbor, Mich., has 11 goals on the season with two assists to her name as well. Not far behind her is fellow forward, senior Hayley Johnson. She has eight goals and three assists. Brenna Murray is going to have her work cut out for her with the duo.

RMU’s midfield is going to have to slow the forwards down. Workhorse Kaoru Hayashi has been strong centrally, contributing on both sides of the field, and the Colonials will need her to be accurate on set pieces. Freshman Shauna Gamble will likely get the start, making this a massive game for the newbie. She’ll be needed more defensively, and her aerial success must be top-notch.

Malia Kearns will also need to get involved a bit more compared to Sunday. The Raiders limited Kearns’s touches in the matchup, so she’ll need to excel against the Panthers if Robert Morris wants to reach their first Horizon League final.

Haleigh Finale will have to be clinical as well. The senior forward must be as involved as she was against Wright State. She was a part of the play and linked up well with another largely influential player, Paloma Swanker. Swankler will probably be the first option off the bench, and her recent performances will earn her more time, which would be a perfect time to repay Coach Shaw with the product on the scoresheet.

The Colonials have achieved a lot this season, and they want to keep going. Making a conference final in your first Horizon League postseason would be huge and undoubtedly highly regarded nationwide. Coach Shaw and his team have made huge strides for the program, and they won’t want it to end here.

You can watch RMU as they look to upset Milwaukee on Thursday, Nov. 2, on ESPN+. The game will be in Milwaukee at Engelmann Field. The game will kick off at 1 P.M.

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