With all Division I men’s and women’s soccer teams playing this weekend, it’s easy to see that the Robert Morris men’s team’s Northeast Conference opening game would get lost in the shuffle.
The Bobby Mo men — after an up and down non-conference schedule, finally played its first NEC game on Friday — at Fairleigh Dickenson in New Jersey.
A strong defensive performance and an equalizing second half goal by Keane McIvor gave the Colonials a point in the NEC standings as the teams drew at 1-1 in the league opener for both teams.
Robert Morris (3-5-2, 0-0-1 NEC) fell behind Fairleigh Dickinson (2-7-1, 0-0-1 NEC) 11 minutes in and withstood a late push after McIvor found the back of the net in the 57th minute. The Knights attempted 28 shots to the Colonials’ 11, and managed to put nine of those strikes on net in comparison to the visitors’ three.
FDU stormed out of the gates with a purpose, firing a pair of off-target shots in the first 10 minutes. The hosts earned a corner kick in the 11th minute and made the most of it, as Daniel Lasarte’s cross was headed in by Casey Abelein to give the Knights an early advantage.
Winter Fondi (Quaker Valley) made his first save in the 27th minute, stopping a header from Jamie Leddy after another buildup of pressure. The remainder of the first half seemed to even out from there, with RMU making a late push before the horn when Curran Edland‘s header flew wide of the netting.
FDU again started strong in the second half, forcing a block and a Fondi stop within the first 10 minutes. Momentum started to shift after the save, however, as Zac Sherman ripped a shot wide and the Colonials earned a corner kick soon after. They would take advantage as Bayley Winkel found McIvor at the top of the box, leaving the junior enough time to settle and smash a strike towards the lower right of the net.
The hosts regrouped and began to take charge again, but Fondi and the RMU backline was prepared for the attack. The junior goalkeeper made a pair of saves in a two-minute span, while the defenders managed to clear away four FDU corner kicks in five minutes.
The Colonials had a shot at the go-ahead goal in the 82nd minute, but Lucas Puntillo‘s strike was stopped by Knights goalkeeper Sebastian Ferreira.
The first overtime began slow as neither team could manage an attempt in the first 4:52. McIvor broke that deadlock in the 95th minute, but Ferreira stepped to the plate and made the save.
The second extra frame didn’t provide a shot on net, but FDU threatened with a couple of attempts wide of the goal and a third blocked in front.
Fondi made eight saves to ensure RMU would leave with a point. McIvor and Puntillo each generated three shots.
Robert Morris returns to the North Athletic Complex for its home league opener on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3:00 p.m. against LIU Brooklyn.