Robert Morris slays Dragons, improves to .500 with ASUN play on horizon


Colton Lidstone rushes downfield against Drexel. Photo credit: Cameron Macariola

Michael Deemer

MOON TOWNSHIP– Fresh off a victory against Marquette, Robert Morris (4-4) looked to continue the winning ways to conclude their non-conference schedule against Drexel (4-4).

RMU hasn’t beaten the Dragons since 2009, losing two games in the past two years. Junior attackman Ben Starkey knew the stakes going into Saturday afternoon.

“This is a revenge game for us,” he said after the team’s victory over Marquette. “The past two years [playing Drexel] haven’t gone our way, so we’re going to come out hard.”

Sophomore Eric Swaggerty did not want to wait to get on the scoreboard, getting the Colonials to an early 1-0 lead 1:13 in.

However, in the next four minutes, the Dragons scored three quick goals to make it 3-1.

Corson Kealey got on the board for the Colonials to make it 3-2 soon after.

Max Semple of Drexel scored his 18th goal of the season and his third of the game to double the Dragons’ lead.

Eric Swaggerty scored a beautiful goal late in the first quarter to cut the deficit to one.

Two quick goals from the Colonials with five minutes left put them in the lead as Drexel’s Sean Donnelly knotted things up once again.

Corson Kealey recorded his hat trick goal followed by a Dan Taddeo goal off his head, giving the Colonials a two-goal lead heading into halftime.

“I think we played really well in the second quarter,” head coach Craig McDonald said. “I think it gave us some momentum going into the half. From there, we knew it was going to be a 60-minute game.”

RMU did not skip a beat after the break. Jake Boudreau and Corson Kealey both scored to make it their largest lead of the game with four.

The Dragons would not go down without a fight. With nine minutes remaining in the third, Max Semple scored his fourth goal of the game.

Three minutes later, Drexel’s Aidan Coll and Max Semple were the two goalscorers in one minute to cut the deficit to one.

Taggart Clark put up an insurance goal before a quick answer from Zach Augustine on the man-up.

Looking to answer and to gain some momentum going into the fourth, Taggart Clark scored another goal with three ticks on the clock.

Corson Kealey kept his hot hand hot, scoring a beautiful behind-the-back, over-the-shoulder goal a minute into the fourth quarter.

It started to be back-and-forth following Kealey’s tally. Casey Waller of Drexel scored two minutes after Kealey’s goal, followed by Eric Swaggerty of Robert Morris, who didn’t have a goal this season entering today, scored 50 seconds later for the hat trick.

“I give a lot of credit to the guys around me,” Swaggerty said postgame. “They made it really easy for me. A lot of goals I had today were just catch-and-shoot goals, so playing with Corson [Kealey], [Boudreau] make it really easy for me and I just do what I got to do.”

Drexel then scored two goals in 22 seconds to cut the deficit to one.

After three minutes of no scoring, Drexel’s Jack Mulcahy tied the game with 6:40 remaining.

Five minutes later, a Dan Taddeo flip to Corson Kealey at midfield had him in wide-open space, scoring with 1:49 left.

All-day long, a back and forth affair showed Coach McDonald a lot of the team’s identity.

“We got down. We fought back. Lots of highs and lows, being able to come out on top,” McDonald said. “It showed a lot of character from our guys and our team. It was a hard-fought win. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Tough weather, but perfect weather for ‘Bobbyball’. It was a nice day at the Joe, Colonials on top.”

This is the final game of the non-conference slate and will play Atlantic Sun opponents for the rest of the season.

McDonald says the year has been a process.

“You learn from the good; you learn from the bad,” McDonald said. “You get into conference play. Everybody knows everybody. Every game is going to be a dogfight. You just have to prepare the right way.”

The Colonials look to extend the winning streak to three, opening ASUN play on the road at Detroit Mercy on Apr. 2 at 11 a.m.