Preview: Men’s lacrosse travels to Drexel

Photo by Megan Frey

By Austin Bechtold, Contributor

PHILADELPHIA, PA– After dropping their first game of the season in only the second official contest of the year, men’s lacrosse (1-1) is back in action on Tuesday. Robert Morris University lost Sunday afternoon to Jacksonville (2-1) in Sparks, Maryland, at the U.S. Lacrosse Headquarters. The Colonials will travel across the state to face the Drexel University Dragons (0-2) at 4 p.m. in hopes of getting back over .500 and start the season out strong.

Recapping Robert Morris

RMU had their hands full over the weekend with Jacksonville, not finding much success on the road. JU jumped out to a 7-1 lead after one, and they never looked back. Robert Morris was victim to a bad start on their own end and will need to play better against Drexel to bounce back from this loss. Ryan Smith and Austin Popovich each scored two goals apiece in the Colonials’ loss.

The defending back-to-back NEC champions will continue their non-conference schedule until after spring break when conference play begins. If the Colonials can hold their own along the way before reaching games in the NEC, they will ride momentum into the most important games of the season.

Robert Morris’ match-up against the struggling Dragons should help the team to continue to improve and find chemistry.

Scouting Drexel

Drexel has not won a game this season and has played both games on the road. The first home contest for the Dragons might allow them to have the advantage they need to find their first victory of the year.

Both games for Drexel have been one-goal losses, proving the team’s toughness and grit. In 2019, the Dragons were an average team, finishing the regular season 7-8, but again ended matchups with losses of three goals or less.

It would not be surprising to see a major step forward this season despite the two early-season losses, with the team learning from their mistakes and gradually improving to be a worthy contender against almost everyone they face.

Players to Watch

Ryan Smith (Robert Morris)

Smith, a senior attackman, leads the Colonials in goals in 2020. He was named to the All-NEC Second Team his sophomore and junior seasons and will now carry a strong senior leadership quality into the Colonials match-ups this season.

Corson Kealey (Robert Morris)

The junior attackman scored 52 goals in 2019 and recorded 10 assists, the same amount as his freshman season. Kealey dominated last season, and his goal total is impressive, to say the least. He will be an important piece for RMU in the team’s third game.

Matthew Varian (Drexel)

Varian has been a consistent threat for Drexel since he has stepped on campus as a freshman. He enters his senior year with 75 goals and 65 assists, no. 11 on the team’s all-time assists leaderboard and no. 17 in all-time points. Look for him to be lethal in the next game.

Reid Bowering (Drexel)

Bowering starts the season no. 7 in team history in goals. That number was boosted by his unbelievable offensive attack, resulting in 47 goals in 2019. Bowering will be looked at as another strong senior contributor to lead the way for the Dragons’ attack.

Prediction

In a game that will come down to the final few minutes of regulation, the Drexel Dragons will find a way to record their first victory of the season. The road contest will be tough for Robert Morris, especially against a team that could easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2. The Colonials will drop this close game but bounce back for the rest of the season and beyond to be prepared for all NEC competition ahead of them.