PREVIEW: Men’s soccer kicks off 2021 season against Oakland

Men%27s+soccer+begins+their+campaign+against+Oakland.+Photo+Credit%3A+David+Auth

Men’s soccer begins their campaign against Oakland. Photo Credit: David Auth

By Alexis Davis, Contributor

ROCHESTER, Mich.– The Robert Morris men’s soccer team is set to kick off their season Thursday, February 4 as they travel to Rochester, Michigan to take on Oakland University. The two teams have not faced off since August 30, 2019, when the Colonials suffered a 5-1 loss.

Recapping Robert Morris

Thursday will be Robert Morris’ first game in the Horizon League after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. The Colonials finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 4-11-2 and a record of 3-5-1 in conference play.

The team has had a lot of changes since their last season, including the retirement of head coach Bill Denniston. The team announced on Twitter in November that Jason O’Keefe was named head coach. The team also announced two new additions to the team, forward Nino Civitate and midfielder Bryan Akongo.

Scouting Oakland

Oakland finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 7-9-3 and 4-2-2 in conference play. In the Horizon League preseason poll, Oakland was picked to finish in a first-place tie along with UIC. The team announced several new additions to the team including forwards Robbie Cleary, Kai Garvey, and Zachary Townsend, goalies Michael Sly Jr., and Alessio Carbone, and midfielder Anthony Aromatario.

Players to Watch

Riccardo Rota (RMU) – Rota finished the 2019 season as RMU’s leading scorer, recording four goals and eight total points. The midfielder from Bergamo, Italy needs to have a good game and strong season for the Colonials to make their mark on the conference this year.

Michael Petitti (RMU) – In his freshman season, Petitti recorded two goals, two assists, and a total of six points. He was the only member of the team with multiple goals and assists.

Noah Jensen (OAK) – Last season, Jensen ranked second on the team with 13 points and second on the team in assists with five. The midfielder was named to the All-Horizon League Second Team in 2019.

Dylan Borczak (OAK) – A senior from Detroit, Borczak was named to the All-Horizon League First Team in 2019. He also led the team in points (16) and assists (8) which tied for ninth and second respectively in the Horizon League.

Prediction

I think that Oakland will defeat Robert Morris 4-2. Although the Colonials have strong defensive capabilities, the Grizzlies have a lot of strong offensive players who will be hard to shut out.