Robert Morris Defeats Canisius in NCAA Tournament Play-In Game


Photo Credit: RMU Lacrosse

NCAA Tournament Play-in Game

Canisius 6 vs Robert Morris 12

This is one of those games in which players stepped up to help assist their team in getting a huge victory. Before the game we found out that Robert Morris goalie Alex Heger would be out due to a foot injury and backup Chris Reynolds would take his place. This news brought question marks to everyone except Reynolds himself who stepped up in a big way.

The NCAA tournament got kicked off with the Play-in game on Wednesday afternoon as Canisius took on Robert Morris. Now, this was a pretty sloppy to start. It was so sloppy that I am pretty sure everyone lost count at how many turnovers there were in the first half. Canisius did start off the scoring, but then Robert Morris went on a 7 goal run to give them a 7-1 lead going into halftime.

Robert Morris was just clicking so well on offense in that first half, and Canisius didn't have the defense to stop them at all. The opposite could be said at the other end of the field as Robert Morris was playing great defense and causing that Canisius offense to make mistakes all over the place. Part of that was because Robert Morris found out how to stop the Griffs star attackman, and leader, Connor Kearnan. 

The second half looked much better for each team as there was not as much sloppy play. The Colonels were a looked a little down at the beginnig but picked it up in a big way near the end. Canisius looked much better in the third quarter as they were able to put together a little bit of a comeback, but would eventually be stopped. Robert Morris would end the third with three straight goals to give them an 11-3 lead heading into the final fifteen minutes of play.

The fourth quarter would open up with a goal from Canisius that cut the Robert Morris lead to 11-4. Robert Morris would get going again and push it out to a 12-5 lead until Canisius would cut that lead to 12-5. Canisius would get one more goal before Robert Morris would hold out to win 12-6. 

One thing that seemed to be a theme in this game was the overpowerment of the Robert Morris defense. They really shut down that Griffins offense and that was a big piece in their win. Also, Canisius wasn't able to get much going on defense either.

The Colonels will move on to play #1 seed Maryland on Saturday, in what should be a pretty good game. 

Both teams had guys that really stepped up their play today to help their team. Robert Morris saw Jimmy Perkins and Justin Mayfield contribute a lot as Perkins had 2 goals and 2assist, while Mayfield had 3 goals. Canisius got some big contributions from Steven Coss and Mathi Boissonneault as they each put up 2 goals. Connor Kearnan also dished out 3 assist for the Griffs.

No matter who you were rooting for it was a historic day for both teams. Robert Morris has been a program on the rise for a few years. This year they finally won the NEC and made it to the NCAA tournament. To add to that they get a win in their first game. Canisius ends a season that started with much uncertainty. The Griffs had a new head coach in Mark Miyashita and that is always hard because you don't know how they will pan out. I think you could say he has done a great job. Congrats to both teams on what they have accomplished this year, and good luck to the Colonels against Maryland.

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