Robert Morris women’s lacrosse remains perfect in MAC play after controlling Zips

Jenna+Irwin+is+accosted+by+Akrons+Antonia+Trickett+in+RMUs+win+over+the+Zips.+Photo+credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

Jenna Irwin is accosted by Akron’s Antonia Trickett in RMU’s win over the Zips. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

By Cameron Macariola, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris women’s lacrosse hosted Akron (2-13, 1-7 MAC) on what was once again a rainy day at Joe Walton Stadium.

The Colonials (8-6, 8-0) came in off of a win against Kent State, a day where they celebrated their 2021 MAC Championship.

They looked to keep the train rolling against Akron. With the help of their leading scorers, the Colonials defeated the Zips by a score of 12-4.

From the opening draw, the Colonials controlled the pace of play. In the first five minutes, the Colonials’ top three leaders in points, Jenna Irwin, Colleen Tifft and Julia Koterwas each made their presence known.

The rest of the first quarter was quite physical as both teams racked up the fouls which led to Akron scoring two free position goals, while RMU’s Lilli Hadden added a free position goal of her own.

Coach Katrina Silva spoke about how physical the game was.

“We knew [Akron] were a physical team. [Akron] plays a pretty tight zone, so there’s going to be a lot of hits when you drive the cage,” Silva said. “The girls did a good job of taking the drives they needed to and taking the hits. You’d like to see more calls go our way but that’s the game.”

In the second quarter, the physicality continued as Akron added 12 more fouls and RMU racked up seven more. The Colonials poured on the pressure, outshooting the Zips 11-4. Of the 11 shots, three found their way in, coming from the sticks of Gianna Anthony, Obee and Irwin, sending the game into halftime with a score of 7-2.

In the second quarter, Jordan Anderson went down with a lower-body injury. Silva spoke about their loss and who filled in the spots.

“Any kid in our rotation is pretty big. We do a good job of getting people into games, so they get their minutes they get time, so if you do lose somebody there’s someone else ready to step up,” Silva said. “Haylee Handrahan did a nice job coming in today and making some good runs, and Jordan’s a big piece on draws, but we had others who stepped up too.”

The second half was once again in the control of the Colonials as they would hit double digits in shots, but only four of those shots were on net. Of the four shots on net, three of those went in. The goals came from Lilli Hadden, Kelsey Nelson and Bailey Christianson.

The Colonials’ defense was solid on the day, holding the Zips to an 18-28 mark on clear attempts, and allowing only 16 shots. Silva spoke about the defensive success after the game.

“We finally did a really nice job in the ride. We had a lot of positive turnovers,” Silva said. “I would have like to see a few more turn into goals. Defense to offense was way better today.”

For the final 15 minutes, the game was all set in stone as the Colonials added two goals from Koterwas and Christianson, and gave up a goal with 14 seconds remaining, defeating the Zips 12-4.

Up next for the Colonials is Central Michigan. The last meeting between these two was a great competitive game where Robert Morris pulled out the 17-16 win. This game will have some large implications for the MAC Tournament.

Coach Silva spoke about the importance of the next game.

“I think it’s going to be another high-scoring game. I think it’s two really good teams in the MAC battling. There’s a lot on the line. It’s for home-field advantage in the playoffs so it’s really important,” she said. “I know the girls are ready. We just have some fine-tuning to do this week and it’ll be different because Akron plays zone and Central plays man. There will be a lot more looks.”