PREVIEW: Men’s lacrosse returns after 330-day absence

Men%27s+lacrosse+is+set+to+scrimmage+with+Seton+Hill+on+Monday--+their+first+game+in+almost+a+calendar+year.+Photo+Credit%3A+Megan+Frey

Men’s lacrosse is set to scrimmage with Seton Hill on Monday– their first game in almost a calendar year. Photo Credit: Megan Frey

By Samuel Goldberg, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– The Robert Morris men’s lacrosse team is set to have their first action of the season as they will play a scrimmage game against local college Seton Hill at Joe Walton Stadium, something they have done quite often in recent years to kick off their season. The Colonials will get back into the swing of things after a long break in between playing their last game, which was 330 days ago, as they beat Marquette 11-10. The Colonials have been practicing safely and making sure they are in game-ready shape during the pandemic.

Recapping the Colonials

A lot has happened since the Colonials last took the field in March 2020. RMU returns some of their most important pieces in 2021 including Corson Kealey, Austin Popovich, Ryan Smith, and also the return of Jimmy Perkins, who grad-transferred back to Robert Morris from Utah for his seventh year of eligibility. The Colonials also brought in some new faces as well to help bolster their already well-known program. The Colonials will look to get their campaign started against Seton Hill and get their season rolling.

Scouting the Griffins

Seton Hill has also not played in 330 days as well. They were off to a strong campaign in 2020 as they started 6-0, winning by more than three goals in all of their matches. For Seton Hill, they have a really strong attack that is youthful and willing to play. They have an eye-popping 15 freshmen on their roster this season. However, they did lose 8 players last year but did a nice job filling the gaps with more youth.

Players to Watch:

Ryan Smith (RMU) – Ryan Smith, who was drafted in the first round of the NLL Draft this summer by the Rochester Knighthawks, was a force last year for the Colonials. The grad-student attackman had incredible numbers before the pandemic hit. He had a whopping 17 goals in just six games. If the Griffins cannot slow him down, Smith is going to be a force again in this game and will completely dominate Seton Hill.

Austin Popovich (RMU) – The deadly duo of Popovich and Smith is like none other. Popovich had a team-leading 18 goals in just six games. A grad-student playing midfield, Popovich has incredible skills and can do multiple things right on the field. He is definitely a player to watch for against Seton Hill.

Robert Hofseth (SH) – Hofseth has a natural ability to score. He put up 12 goals last season and he was on a hot hand as he was setting up his teammates quite nicely as he also had 2 assists as well but his ability to get the ball to his teammates and score is something the Colonials should watch for.

Logan Maloni (SH) – For all the ability Hofseth has to score, Maloni is even better at it. Last season, he scored six points or more in four of six Griffins games and was on pace for the best season of his career, scoring 31 points in just six games after recording 65 in 19 in 2018 and 53 in 17 in 2019. If the Colonials clamp down Maloni, it should be smooth sailing for the victory.

Prediction

I feel that RMU should be able to handle Seton Hill pretty easily, but you never know what can happen on any given day. However, I definitely feel that the Colonials have the size, speed, and strength to rout the Griffins with a 17-8 victory. I think this Colonials team is so good and their team is going to do great things this season.