MOON TOWNSHIP– The RMU women’s soccer team (4-8-2, 2-3-1) drew 0-0 against NEC-leading Fairleigh Dickinson University (6-5-4, 5-0-1) on Sunday. The Colonials showed up against the Knights and played a tight and stout defensive game throughout. Coach Kowalski praised the Colonials’ defensive effort today, “The individual matchups were good, and I think collectively we were able to slide from left to right, and our holding midfielders were playing very well as well.”
FDU got the jump on the Colonials early on, but they stabilized and stayed very even with the NEC leaders throughout the first half. The Colonials were clearly ready for the challenge that FDU posed, as they outworked the Knights for 50/50 balls and lead in the shot department 6-4 at the end of the first half. When asked about how the team played up to the challenge that FDU posed, defender Allie Ball simply said, “We came, showed up, and didn’t let any goals in.”
The second half was much of the same, albeit with increased physicality and emotion. Allie and her teammates expected a physical one from the Knights today, as she stated, “We [knew] they [were] big… but I think we played just as strong.”
Despite the physical play, the Colonials stayed tight defensively and played well under the pressure and pushing from FDU. Both Allie and her defensive partner Courtney Hurey had very strong games, turning away chances before they had a chance to reach keeper Sydney Bruckner. Talking about her defensive partner and former roommate, Allie had nothing but praise for Hurey. “… we became really good friends and we’re able to communicate well… the confidence that we both have [in] each other really makes us good back there.”
The game would head to two overtime periods, with FDU controlling the first overtime but failing to convert on their chances. Emotions boiled over in the overtime periods, but from unlikely sources. The RMU crowd let Madelyn Robbins of FDU hear it after many in the crowd accused her of diving for calls throughout the match, while Coach Eric Teepe of the Knights was given a warning and a yellow card for arguing calls in the second overtime.
The Colonials had a much better showing in the second overtime period, which came down to a great opportunity with under 40 seconds to go. A great free-kick chance came for Brittany O’Connell. Her shot curved around the wall in front and went just off the crossbar and into the corner. The ensuing corner kick also went off a post and landed out of bounds as time expired in the match.
Coach Kowalski was pleased with his team’s performance against the Knights. “I think we played up to the challenge and we had a very good, organized defense… and [our] counterattacks were very evident,” said Kowalski. “[FDU] didn’t really have that many good chances to score…”
This was the Colonials second to last home match of the season as they head on a three-game road trip beginning on Friday when they travel to St. Francis to take on the Red Flash (4-8-1, 3-3-0) in an important matchup in the NEC standings.