GW Falls to Robert Morris in the Battle of Colonials
It seemed like it was going to be one of those days when everything went right for GW when Ranalli blasted the ball into the back of the net not five minutes into the game. The home Colonials seemed in control, but a goal in the 23rd minute revitalized the Robert Morris Colonials, whose attack could not be stopped until the last fifteen minutes of the game. RMU controlled possession and wouldn’t give GW a moment of rest.
Head Coach Craig Jones had to say of his team’s performance, “The issue that we have right now is teams are not beating us, we’re beating ourselves by giving away goals.” That was no exaggeration. The Colonials have been outscored 9-3 in their last four games, which Coach Jones attributed to mistakes on the defensive side of the ball. The defense seemed out of sync and was sluggish to get back in transition.
However sloppy they were, GW was able to prevent Robert Morris from taking the lead until the 74th minute, when the Colonials defense gave up the ball just twenty yards from the goal, and RMU senior Brett Neco scored for the second time, beating GW sophomore goalkeeper JP van der Merwe with a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal.
“Basically it was a tactical error on the first goal… and an error by myself, too, that gave up the other goal,” van der Merwe said of the team’s defending after the game. The team’s major concern seems to be improving their defense.
The hot afternoon sun certainly didn’t make the Colonials feel any better, and both sides were getting verbal and physical, with each team meriting a yellow card in the final ten minutes of play.
Despite their struggles throughout the game, GW was able to press hard in the last fifteen minutes of the game to try to equalize. They were able to create several chances, but could not put the ball into the back of the net.
“We’ll do our due diligence in terms of the scouting reports and put together… an eleven on the field… that can get us some results,” Coach Jones said of his team’s preparations for their A-10 Conference opener at Dayton on October 11. That is the next time the GW Colonials will take the pitch, looking to improve on their 3-6 record in nonconference play.