Colonials keep conference tournament hopes alive

Photo+credit%3A+Michael+Evans

Photo credit: Michael Evans

By Collin Wilson

With its fourth shutout in as many games, the Robert Morris women’s soccer team (6-11-0, 4-3-0) remains alive for a Northeastern Conference tournament bid. The win came over Wagner College (3-14-0, 2-5-0) Friday afternoon at the North Athletic Complex by a score of 1-0.

Head coach John Kowalski raved about his team’s defensive effort throughout the win streak, including today’s matchup in which the Seahawks had 11 shots that failed to reach the RMU goalie.

“We’re playing very tenacious, organized and since (Victoria Kraemer) came back… it’s really made a difference in the center of the defense,” Kowalski said.

With Robert Morris dropping its first three conference games of the season, the team knew there would need to be a bit of a turnaround. Lately, the Colonials have handled the one-game-at-a-time approach, which has paid off mightily.

“We have to win this game to have a chance to play on Sunday for a conference playoff game,” said Kowalski.

This would mark the second appearance in the NEC tournament for RMU, as its first came last season with a late surge.

The Colonials are fighting hard for the fourth and final spot sitting at sixth in the standings coming into Friday’s matchup. The fire was visible early with freshman midfielder Kristina Kelley hitting the back of the net in the sixth minute marking her first career goal.

It was all defense that followed for Robert Morris. Kowalski had high praise for his graduate assistant goalkeeper, Makenzie Shearson.

“(Shearson’s) been playing very well in the last four games, especially not making big mistakes. A part of the defense is goalkeeping,” Kowalski said.

The Colonials host Central Connecticut State in their regular-season finale Sunday with the tournament still in sight. The Blue Devils were atop the conference with a record of 5-1, but they dropped a game against Saint Francis (Pa.) earlier Friday to create more drama for the NEC.