April 17, 2011

Robert Morris Fifth Straight Win Clinches Northeast Conference Playoff Spot

from press release

MOONTOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The Robert Morris University women's lacrosse team earned its first postseason appearance Sunday with a, 11-8, win against Monmouth at Joe Walton Stadium.  
The Colonials (7-8, 6-2) picked up their fifth consecutive victory Sunday knocking off the Hawks (10-5, 5-2), who entered the day tied for first place in the Northeast Conference standings. The win secures Robert Morris first trip to the Northeast Conference Tournament. Sophomore Rachel Engel (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Upper St. Clair) led the Colonial offensively with three goals and two assists.

Robert Morris found itself in an early hole thanks to three Monmouth goals in the first 6:40 of the game. The Colonials netted their first goal of the game at the 21:19 mark on a shot from Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H. / Manchester Central) off of an assist from Ashley Trombetta (Sykesville, Md. / Century). Trombetta along with fellow seniors Karly O'Brien (Rockville, Md. / Our Lady of Good Counsel), Elizabeth Sunseri (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Mt. Lebanon) and Mallory Schulze (Bel Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright) were honored before game as part of the team's senior day and became the Colonial all-time winningest class with the victory against the Hawks.

Engel tallied the next three RMU goals with one coming off coming on a free position shot while the other two were assisted. Lauren Roberts (Baldwinsville, N.Y. / C.W. Baker) added a free position goal at the 5:19 mark of the first half to give Robert Morris a 5-3 advantage at the intermission.

Monmouth came out strong in the second half with three unanswered goals to open second stanza including two from Sam Lillo to give the Hawks at 6-5 advantage with 23:28 remaining in the half. Roberts tied the game off of an assist from Engel at the 22:42 mark and MacKenzie Lawler (Okemos, Mich. / Okemos) gave RMU its second lead of the game off assist from Colleen O'Donnell (Portland, Ore. / St. Mary's Academy) 40 seconds later.

Rachel Feirstein tied the game for the Hawks at seven with 14:11 left in regulation but Robert Morris responded with four of the game's final five goals with three coming off of free position shots.

Sunseri scored on the free position at the 12:08 mark to give Robert Morris a lead they would not relinquish. Trombetta made it a 9-7 advantage at the 7:23 mark off an assist from Engel. Feirstein tried to rally her team with a free-position goal with 5:33 remaining in regulation but it would not be enough.

Trombetta and O'Donnell added two more free position goals to put the game out of reach for the Hawks and send RMU to its first postseason. Schulze spearheaded the Colonials defensive effort causing a season high three turnovers and helped RMU hold Monmouth to its second lowest goal total in NEC play this season.

Robert Morris returns to action at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday as they close the regular season with a road trip to instate conference rival Saint Francis (Pa.).

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