Pittsburgh – The Robert Morris University men’s lacrosse team clinched the program’s first-ever postseason berth in dominating fashion as the Colonials scored a single-game school-record 27 goals en route to a 27-11 thrashing of Sacred Heart in each team’s regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium in Northeast Conference action.
With the win, RMU will be the third seed for the upcoming NEC Tournament, the inaugural postseason for the league, and will faceoff with second-seeded Quinnipiac Friday, May 6 at tournament host Mount St. Mary’s.
Redshirt senior captain Patrick Smith (Westminster, Md. / Westminster) tied a school record by pouring in eight points on the strength of a career-high six goals and two assists. He became just the third player in Colonial history to have scored six or more goals in a single game and also the third player to have hit the eight-point mark for a contest. He also moved into fifth place in goals scored in RMU single-season program history as a result of Saturday’s play.
Entering this past week, no Division I team had scored more than 24 goals in a single game this season, but RMU topped that figure by three Saturday.
Senior Corbyn Tao-Brambleby (Coquitlam, British Columbia / Western Reserve Academy) tied his career high with five goals and added two assists to tally seven points on the afternoon.
Playing with its season potentially hanging in the balance, Robert Morris came storming out of the gates by scoring each of the game’s six goals, all in fewer than 10 minutes. The run was highlighted by Tao-Brambleby having completed a natural hat trick just 1:40 into the contest, including scoring the final one of the three while the Colonials were a man down.
Sacred Heart tried to get back into it and was able to hold its own over the remainder of the first quarter but could not cut the deficit as each team scored three times to hand the Colonials a 9-3 lead after 15 minutes of play.
Smith started the second stanza for RMU in a very similar vein to the first as he collected three consecutive scores in just 2:26 to jumpstart a 7-0 Colonial run that gave Robert Morris a 13-goal lead with a few minutes still remaining before the half. The Pioneers would get no closer than 12 goals the rest of the way as Robert Morris continued to open their edge with a five-goal third quarter.
Senior captain Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia / Western Reserve Academy), the national leader in goals per game entering the week, once again posted a big game as he recorded four goals and an assist to notch at least a hat trick for the sixth-consecutive game. He closed the regular season just one point shy of his RMU school record of 60 that he set last season.
Juniors Kevin Brownell (Burlington, Ontario / Central) and Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) both collected two goals and two assists to finish the day as part of a five-man group that all tallied at least four points.
Robert Morris outshot Sacred Heart 61-38 on the afternoon, marking the highest number for the Colonials in a home game. RMU was also a perfect 20-for-20 in clear attempts, marking its first perfect performance with at least 20 attempts since March 4, 2008.
With its regular season complete, RMU will return to the field for the conference semifinals at 4:00 p.m. this coming Friday.