Weekend Roundup 2/14-2/16

Evan Basista, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– Over the past weekend, Robert Morris University athletics was busy with seven teams in action.

Robert Morris softball team (4-4, 0-0) to Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and the Runnin’ Bulldog Softball Tournament. The Colonials played a total of five games over the weekend, finishing with a record of 2-3.

On Friday, the team was victorious in both of their matches, winning 2-1 over Valparaiso (5-5) and 6-4 against Colgate (3-2). Pitcher Dana Vatakis’s no-hitter was broken in the bottom of the seventh and final inning against the Crusaders, but she stood strong and finished out the complete game, notching six strikeouts along the way.

In the second game, things looked troublesome early for the Colonials, as Colgate hit a grand slam in the top of the first. However, those would be the only runs the Raiders would score, as RMU shut the door defensively the rest of the way and the offense battled back with six unanswered. Alaina York hit the go-ahead two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth as part of a three-run inning for the Colonials.

Things would not go as well for the softball team on Saturday, as they dropped both of their games. Falling 12-4 to the tournament host, Gardner-Webb, and 3-0 in their rematch against Colgate.

In their game against the Bulldogs, the Colonials were on the right side of a first-inning grand-slam this time, jumping out to a 4-0 lead courtesy of Briana Bunner.

However, they were on the wrong side of the end result; this would be the only scoring for RMU in the game, as Gardner-Webb hit back hard.

Pitcher Andrea Lyon shook off that early grand slam and went on to pick up three hits, two of which were home runs, and five RBIs.

Antonia Schaefer was one of the few bright spots for RMU in their second game against Colgate, picking up the first of the Colonials’ three hits in the match. Bailey Miskin struck out twelve in a complete game for the Raiders.

The bad luck continued Sunday with a 3-2 loss against Gardner-Webb that went into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Andrea Lyon, playing in the designated hitter position this time, was walked with the bases loaded, putting the “walk” in walk-off. Madison Riggle led RMU with three hits, while Alaina York and Erika Bell scored both runs for the Colonials.

Women’s ice hockey (16-10-4, 10-4-2 CHA) played a pair of games in Erie against Mercyhurst (16-9-5, 10-3-3 CHA). Although the Colonials lost 5-3 in their first game, captain Jaycee Gebhard had a 3-point afternoon, picking up a goal and two assists.

Michaela Boyle and Lexi Templeman also scored for RMU, with both goals coming on the powerplay, and Emily Curlett had a pair of assists. Emma Nuutinen led the way for Mercyhurst with two goals.

A valiant effort by the Colonials in the next game saw them fight back from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 to earn a 5-5 tie.

Natalie Marcuzzi had a career day with four points, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists. Jaycee Gebhard also had a pair of helpers, while Lexi Templeman, Anjelica Diffendal and Michaela Boyle recorded goals.

Emily Pinto and Summer-Rae Dobson both tallied three points for the Lakers that afternoon, with a goal and two assists for Pinto, and two goals and an assist for Dobson.

The men’s hockey team (10-16-4, 10-10-4-1 AHA) also played this weekend, taking on the Holy Cross Crusaders (10-15-5, 9-12-3 AHA) in back-to-back evenings and earning a split.

They had an impressive comeback attempt of their own in the first game, but they could not complete their crusade, losing 5-3 after being down 4-0 in the second period. Justin Addamo and Jacob Coleman each had a goal and an assist, while Reid Cooper made 21 saves in relief of starter Justin Kapelmaster.

The tide would swing in RMU’s favor in the next game, however, as they notched a 4-2 win, the first win of Cooper’s career. He stopped 29 of 31 shots to pick up the victory for the Colonials. Daniel Mantenuto and Luke Lynch each had a goal and an assist, and Nick Prkusic recorded two assists to round out the six combined points by the three captains.

Women’s lacrosse (1-1) faced off against Kent State University on Saturday in their home opener, notching a blowout 18-7 victory. It was a game full of firsts as freshmen Alex Eckert, Jordan Anderson and Ashley Hannon all scored their first-ever collegiate goals.

It was also a complete team effort, with 12 different Colonials recording at least one goal against the Golden Flashes, and 13 recording at least a point. Mackenzie Gandy led the way for RMU with four goals and seven points. Goalkeeper Katelyn Miller tied the school’s all-time wins record for a goalie with her 33rd career victory.

Men’s lacrosse (1-0) was also in action on Saturday, and like the women’s team, they had a blowout win. The Colonials were in Victor, New York, where they took on Canisius (0-2).

The final score in their season opener was 22-10, thanks in large part to Ryan Smith’s record-setting day. He made sure Golden Griffins fans would not leave their home stadium feeling happy, scoring eight goals and ten points.

The ten points are a single-game record for RMU, while the eight goals tied the record. In total, seven different Colonials scored, with Austin Popovich scoring five goals and two assists, and Taggart Clark scoring three to round out a hat trick of hat-tricks for the team.

There was a Saturday basketball doubleheader at the UPMC Events Center, with both the men’s team and women’s taking on Fairleigh Dickinson University. Men’s basketball (15-12, 11-3 NEC) lost a last-second and controversial heartbreaker by a score of 72-71. Forward AJ Bramah gave RMU a 71-70 lead with 8.4 seconds to go, but on the final possession for the Knights, Kaleb Bishop followed up a Jahlil Jenkins miss with a put-back shot that recaptured the FDU lead. Dante Treacy’s desperate attempt was off the mark following a Colonials timeout. Bramah led the team in scoring with 17 points, with Charles Bain and Yannis Mendy also reaching double digits by recording ten points each.

For the fans that stuck around following the disappointing loss, they were treated to a win on Senior Day for women’s basketball (18-6, 13-0 NEC) as the Colonials continued their NEC dominance, beating the Knights 53-35. Lone senior Nneka Ezeigbo made the most of this special day, leading her team with 26 points and seven rebounds. She was the only RMU player to reach double digits in points, as the Colonials’ next highest scorer was Esther Castedo, with eight.