Comeback falls short as women’s soccer topped by Purdue Fort Wayne


Grayden Jackson

Sheridan Reid attacks against Purdue Fort Wayne.

Owen Krepps

MOON TOWNSHIP– After making an astonishing comeback to tie things at two, RMU women’s soccer (4-6-1, 0-2-1 Horizon) fell to the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (3-3-4, 2-1 Horizon) by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Morgan Reitano scored the game-winning goal at 93:48.

RMU was searching for their first Horizon League victory this season against a Purdue Fort Wayne team in which they beat last season for their first-ever win in the Horizon League as a whole. Despite the loss, RMU captured their second Horizon League point on the season by forcing overtime. They now sit in 10th place in the Horizon League standings.

Weather played a major factor in the game as temperatures had dropped from the mid-80s to the mid-50s since the team had played last at the North Athletic Complex. Wind speeds reached up to 25 mph as well and remained consistent throughout the match all in the same direction giving whatever team was behind it the advantage.

Four of the five goals scored, including the game-winner, had the wind to the benefit of the scoring team. Head coach Chris Shaw remarked on the state of the weather in the loss.

“We had tough conditions today because of the weather and I think that the wind was impactful in both halves.”

This wind proved to be beneficial to Purdue Fort Wayne who struck first in the contest at 15:53 with Bella Reitano getting her second goal of the season. This goal came after a miscommunication in front of RMU netminder Courtney Worstell which resulted in a corner kick for PFW. Kelsey Gallagher took the kick and Bella Reitano buried it off a header.

Almost the same play would happen later in the contest as more miscommunication in front of the RMU net led to another corner kick. This time, the ball ricocheted off of several bodies after the corner kick from Gallagher and sure enough, Bella Reitano buried her second goal, giving Purdue Fort Wayne the 2-0 lead.

The chances were there for Robert Morris to try and get back in the game but the offensive bounces they needed did not come until late in the match. RMU hit three crossbars in the match and finished with eleven shots. Goalkeeper Worstell even got a shot registered on net after a mid-field free-kick.

The goals finally started to come in the last eight minutes of the contest with a lucky bounce in the favor of RMU that found the back of the net. The first goal was credited to Haleigh Finale, who leads RMU with four goals and fourteen points on the young season. Just minutes later and with time running out, RMU capitalized on a corner kick with Angela Van Damia scoring her first NCAA soccer goal at 87:10.

“The learning part of this is showing the ability to come back from a two-nothing deficit… we will take the positives from it and address the issues and the things we can improve on heading into Sunday,” Shaw said.

However, just a little over three minutes into the overtime frame yet another miscommunication error in front of the Colonials net resulted in a goal. This time it was Morgan Reitano, sister to the previous goalscorer Bella, scoring the goal that gave PFW the 3-2 overtime win. Shaw praised the valiant effort of the team.

“I thought the players did well to come from two-nil down and show a lot of fight and heart but we are pretty disappointed to give away a goal like that in OT to lose it. I felt like we should have taken that into the overtime and found a way to at least get out of that first overtime period and get the wind back on our side.”

Women’s soccer will be back in action this Sunday as they take on Detroit Mercy on the road at 1:00 pm.