PREVIEW: Men’s soccer looks to score first victory against Purdue Fort Wayne

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Men’s soccer hosts Purdue Fort Wayne. Photo Credit: David Auth

By Alexis Davis, Social Media Director

CANONSBURG, Pa.– Robert Morris men’s soccer (0-2-1, 0-2-1 Horizon) is looking to get their first win of the season as they face off against Purdue Fort Wayne (2-2-0, 2-2-0) on Saturday, March 6 at 2 p.m. at Southpointe Fieldhouse in Canonsburg. This will be the first meeting of the two teams in program history.

Recapping RMU

The Colonials are currently 10th out of 11 teams in the Horizon League men’s soccer standings. A tie game on February 22 against Green Bay helped push the Colonials up from last place in the standings.

The Colonials had a scoring chance early in the game when Michael Petitti was rewarded a penalty kick from about 35 yards out, but Green Bay keeper Jamison Yoder turned it aside. Despite a few close calls for both teams, the game was scoreless at halftime.

In the first ten minutes of the second frame, the Phoenix registered two shots on goal but were denied by sophomore keeper Mike Zolniercyzk. Lorenzo Guagneli and Jon Faynik both had scoring chances towards the end of regulation but could not cash in on any. Just seconds into the extra frame, Gustaf Moberg raced down the field for a scoring chance that was stopped by Yoder. Two scoring chances for Green Bay tested the Colonials, but they came out of the game with a point.

Scouting PFW

Purdue Fort Wayne last took the field on Sunday, February 28 when they earned a 2-0 victory over Green Bay. Mathias Mikalsen struck first for PFW after taking advantage of a Green Bay mistake in the 41st minute. Luke Benford gave the Mastodons a 2-0 lead just under 5 minutes into the second half. Purdue held the 2-0 lead for the rest of the game, despite playing down a man for the final 12 minutes of the match after a second yellow card for Luke Benford. Freshman Erik Josson earning his second consecutive shutout of the season, blocking four shots on goal.

Players to Watch

Mike Zolniercyzk (RMU) – The goalkeeper from Springdale, Pennsylvania was a huge part of the Colonials’ strong effort against Green Bay. In his first start of the season, he faced two shots on goal and shut Green Bay out.

Lorenzo Guagneli (RMU) – The senior midfielder registered three shots and one shot on goal last game. He had the biggest scoring chance of the game when he stepped into a strike from just inside the box, although his effort went high of the goal. It’ll be important for the Colonials to earn as many chances as possible against a defensively strong team like Purdue Fort Wayne.

Erik Josson (PFW) – The freshman goalkeeper from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, will not be an easy opponent for the Colonials. The Colonials will have to work hard to score on Josson, who has recorded two shutouts this season.

Mathias Mikalsen (PFW) – Mikalsen registered a goal and assist in PFW’s matchup against Green Bay. He also recorded two shots and one shot on goal. It will be important for the Colonials to shut out Mikalsen, a senior from Sandvika, Norway, who is a big part of Purdue’s offense.

Prediction

I think that it will be a hard-fought battle between these two teams, especially since both goalkeepers are looking to keep shut-out streaks. I think it’ll be a close game, but Robert Morris will ultimately suffer a 2-1 loss against Purdue Fort Wayne.