Colonials tally 28 shots on goal; dominate Delaware State 5-1


Haleigh Finale crosses into the box during the 5-1 win against Delaware State Photo credit: Alec Miller

Michael Deemer

MOON TOWNSHIP — Starting 2022 with their best start to a season in program history, the Colonials defeated Delaware State again in dominating fashion.

Head coach Chris Shaw discussed the team’s hot start after the game,

“It feels great. This group is one of the more talented groups since I’ve been here, and I have had the opportunity with a lot of home games to get off to a good start. I can’t complain at all.”

The Colonials put the pressure on early with crosses into the box, including one that was sent right to the foot of Sheridan Reid but was shot wide.

RMU continued buzzing as a box-to-box pass from Haleigh Finale set up Malia Kearns. Hornet goalkeeper Ashley Maribo initially saved her shot, but the rebound was a wide-open net, taking a 1-0 lead.

About 30 seconds after the goal was scored, Sheridan Reid was fouled in the box for a penalty kick. Maribo saved Renae Mohrbacher’s penalty, preventing the floodgates from opening, at least for the time being.

Reid was everywhere on the field and usually delivered many crosses playing in the finisher role.

The Colonials never took their foot off the gas as the ball was in Delaware State’s half throughout the first half.

In the 38th minute, another box-to-box cross by Kayla Veoso-Lima finds Chelsea Kingston to double the Colonial lead.

Just before the half, Gabriella Lecuona was in solo with a breakaway, but her shot grazed off the hand of the keeper and hit the top of the crossbar.

The Colonials had 13 shots in the first half. Shaw spoke about the countless opportunities the team had.

On the other side of the field, Delaware State’s Gabriella Cabrera fired one from outside the 18-yard box and rang off the inside part of the post to make it a 2-1 game in the 54th minute. That shot was one of the two shots on target for the Hornets.

But, just a couple of minutes later, the Colonials would get a goal of their own back. Freshman Taylor Day scored her first collegiate goal, making it 3-1.

In the 64th minute, Haleigh Finale scored 4-1 as the shots on goal eclipsed 20 for the Colonials.

In the 81st minute, Paloma Swankler shot off the woodwork. After Delaware State couldn’t clear, Gabriella Lecuona shot from her left foot to make it 5-1.

The Colonials scored five goals for the second consecutive game. Coach Shaw never wanted to take the foot off the gas pedal.

“We want to attack. We want to score goals. But also, we want players off the bench to be hungry as well. When those players have a chance, we want those players to impress the coaching staff. If they do that, we should keep scoring.”

The Colonials had 28 shots on goal in the game, but Coach Shaw took that with a grain of salt.

“It’s a little bittersweet. It’s great to get to that many shots, but I felt that, especially in the first half and the beginning of the second half, our shot-to-goal ratio was low. You have to create opportunities to score goals, and when you create those opportunities, you have to put those goals away. We know that going to conference play, we’re not getting around 30 shots. So, we have to be a little more clinical in front of the goal.”

The Colonials have one more game before Horizon League play begins against UMBC. Coach Shaw previewed the upcoming matchup with the Retrievers.

“UMBC is a good team. They beat us last year at their place 3-1. I think that’ll be our toughest competition out of the last few games we’ve played. It’ll be more of a barometer for conference play. Obviously, we want to take care of the ball, be more clinical in front of goal.”

Kickoff against the Retrievers will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the North Athletic Complex.