Oakland obliterates men’s soccer, Colonials lose fifth straight

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Photo by Tyler Gallo

Preston Rushmore (left) and Jacob Haskins (right) strategize a free kick.

By Owen Krepps, Copy Editor / Podcast GM

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris men’s soccer (1-8 overall, 1-3 Horizon) dropped their fifth straight matchup Wednesday afternoon against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (3-4-1 overall, 2-1 Horizon) by a score of 4-0. Oakland controlled the majority of the game holding RMU to only one shot on goal.

Oakland midfielder Darek Panucci had a homecoming of sorts in this game, playing part in a win over his hometown team. The sophomore played high school soccer just down the road at Moon High School.

The Golden Grizzlies wasted no time scoring in this matchup with Mikey Ketteman scoring just six minutes in. This came after a great individual play from Dylan Borczak who rushed past three RMU defenders. Borczak’s shot was then put home by Ketteman in front of the net.

“Six minutes in is probably the fifth time we have given up a goal in under ten minutes and it just puts you in a bad spot,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said about the opening goal. “We just have to keep learning from it.”

Robert Morris’ offense only generated chances in brief spurts. In several of these cases, they shot themselves in the foot such as going offsides on a 4-on-3 rush in the first half and missing the net six times in total. O’Keefe was reflective on the mistakes forced in this game.

“We are getting through and executing on the attacking third we are just not finishing our chances and that is where the youth needs to show up. That is the hardest thing to do in the game.”

Despite what the score says, Oakland found the back of the net six times on the day. Reid Sproat found the twine but his goal was called off as OU was offsides. Also, with just ten seconds left Oakland kicked a corner kick and the ball found the back of the net again. This time, RMU was saved by the buzzer as the goal came after the half had ended.

Early in the second half, RMU was called for a yellow card in their defensive box which resulted in a penalty kick for Borczak who scored to make the game 2-0.

Immediately after, Colonials leading scorer Bryan Akongo rushed down the field to try and get things back for RMU but hit the crossbar.

Oakland continued their dominance, scoring two more goals coming from Charlie Braithwaite and Kieran Hayes to round out the game. Oakland head coach Eric Pogue then put in his bench after the fourth goal and coasted into the victory. O’Keefe commended the skill of the opponents.

“We have fast defenders and they have fast forwards. It is their movement that makes them so good,” O’Keefe said. “That makes it difficult to defend, and we have to learn from these critical moments.”

RMU men’s soccer will take on Wright State (3-4 overall, 2-1 Horizon) next in the Horizon League on Saturday, October 2 on the road at 3:00 pm.