Robert Morris scores late to upend Air Force on Senior Day


James Leary rips a shot against Air Force. Photo credit: Cameron Macariola

Nathan Breisinger

MOON TOWNSHIP– As many would say, the vibes were immaculate across the campus of Robert Morris as it was Super Saturday and senior day at Joe Walton Stadium as the team honored 11 seniors.

The Robert Morris Colonials (7-5, 3-1 ASUN) completed the exciting day with a key conference victory as they flashed resiliency in the fourth quarter. The Colonials eventually took their first lead of the game with 2:06 left to beat Air Force (7-6, 2-2 ASUN) by a final score of 11-10.

It was a significant bounce-back win after a tough defeat at the hands of Utah last Saturday.

“We knew we had it in us,” junior Torin Neal said. “We knew it was going to be a dog fight, we finally put everything together after the Utah loss and came out here and grinded all week and we put everything together.”

While the Colonials prevailed in the end, RMU struggled with controlling the ball through the majority of the game. Air Force applied pressure constantly, which forced RMU to turnover the ball 25 times.

“We knew the first half was not our best lacrosse with 16 turnovers,” head coach Craig McDonald said. “We realized that we were beating ourselves at that point.”

Once the Colonials settled down, they received an important boost from an unlikely source. Torin Neal, who came into the game with three goals on the year, supplied Robert Morris with back-to-back goals late in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

Neal’s second goal ignited Joe Walton Stadium as he scored from behind his back. Neal described his goal simply: “just hope it goes in. I caught it and was at a short angle and just hoped it goes in.”

Air Force and Robert Morris battled back-and-forth as the game ticked away in the fourth quarter. The Colonials finally received two pivotal goals from their leading goal-scorer Taggart Clark, who was held scoreless until 4:23 left to go in the game.

“With Corson [Kealey] and Taggart [Clark] down on attack, they get a lot of attention, so teams make it really hard for those guys to score goals,” McDonald said. “It’s a testament to those guys for not getting frustrated and not forcing it too much and when they had their opportunities they cashed in.”

2:06 remained on the clock as the Colonials finally took their first lead of the game with Clark’s second goal on the day. RMU’s confidence grew throughout the game as it led to the game-winning goal, which erupted Joe Walton Stadium.

“All the boys were fired up,” Neal said. “We knew we were going to have a good possession. Coach told us we were going to score and sure enough we did.”

With the win, the Colonials jump to 3-1 in conference play. RMU will conclude its regular season at Cleveland State next Saturday.