PREVIEW: Colonials look to defend home field against Fresno State

Women%27s+lacrosse+hosts+Fresno+State+hoping+to+continue+their+momentum+from+the+Liberty+victory.+Photo+Credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

Women’s lacrosse hosts Fresno State hoping to continue their momentum from the Liberty victory. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

By Samuel Goldberg, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– The Robert Morris women’s lacrosse team (1-0) will look to defend home turf as they will take on the Fresno State Bulldogs (1-1). RMU is off to a solid start this season after they got a close win against Liberty by a score of 9-8. This is considered a huge win for the program as it gives the Colonials a solid momentum booster right out of the gate to begin the season.

Beating a team like Liberty is no easy task, and the Colonials got it done. Now they look to get their second win in the bag by taking on Fresno State who is no easy task as well. Fresno State lost their opening match up to UC-Davis and then beat Kent State. Like the Colonials’ last match against Liberty, this matchup should not disappoint.

Recapping the Colonials

The Colonials picked up their first signature win of the season in their non-conference matchups. They were able to stop the high-powered offense of Liberty and shut down their top scorers and play phenomenal defense against the Flames.

The Colonials were down at the end of the first half by a score of 5-4 but managed to hold Liberty to just three goals in the second half and score five of their own to win the game 9-8.

Two Colonials lead the way with two goals apiece, including Mackenzie Gandy tying the all-time points record of 179, and Katelyn Miller had an impressive 16 saves in the game to keep the colonials in this one. I look for this Colonials team to come out strong against Fresno State.

Scouting the Bulldogs

The Bulldogs are off to a 1-1 start as they lost to UC-Davis and beat Kent State. The Bulldogs have a high-octane offense, racking up 32 goals in two games so far.

The Bulldogs are led by their attacker Sydney Skalstad, who had 5 goals in their match against the Golden Flashes. The Colonials really need to watch out for Skalstad because she can pretty much score from anywhere on the field. They also have talented attackers in Hannah Kratz and Sloane Skalstad. This team is dangerous from all places on the field. The Colonials will have to keep their head on a swivel to stop these players.

Players to Watch

Mackenzie and Melanie Gandy (RMU) – I couldn’t pick one Gandy twin and not leave out the other. The Gandy twins are the cornerstone of this women’s lacrosse team, whether you see them in the scorebook or they are out there doing the little things, you can also expect them to lead the way for the Colonials. They both have tremendous talent and really impact the game from everywhere on the field. I would be shocked if both of them are not on the scoreboard for the Colonials. Mackenzie sits one point away from breaking the record set by Ashley Levering in 2009.

Katelyn Miller (RMU) – Miller, the goaltender, is a stonewall in net. She single-handedly stopped the Liberty Flames from scoring in the second half and allowed the Colonials to win that matchup. She has great reflexes along with great stick placement, she is tough to crack for any team that faces her. It’ll be tough for the Bulldogs to score on Miller.

Sydney Skalstad (FSU) – Skalstad is the best attacker on the Bulldogs’ team. She is dangerous from all sides of the field and can attack from anywhere. If she is not in the scorebook she will certainly have assists because almost every single goal that is set up or scored is mainly by her. The Colonials really have to keep an eye out for Skalstad or they will get burned a lot in their match-up.

Hannah Kratz (FSU) – Kratz is Skalstad’s partner-in-crime. This dynamic duo is hard to stop. Kratz loves to do the dirty work for her team whether it’s taking a hit to set up a play or just downright score in any way possible, she is an impact player and she needs to be watched at all times. Kratz has great passing abilities and cannon of a shot as well. The Colonials have to keep tabs on Kratz if they want to win.

Prediction

This will be a tough matchup for the Colonials but they are going to ride the wave of momentum from the Liberty match and play the way the women’s lacrosse team likes to play. Slow-paced, finding good shots and hard defense.

If they can keep the pace of the game in their favor and not get caught up in the moment, I feel the Colonials will defend home-field and beat the Bulldogs by the final score of 13-11. It will be close, but the Colonials will get it done.