|RMU Enters National Rankings|
Moon Township, Pa. - After clinching the Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season title this past weekend, the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team entered the national rankings for the second time in program history this week.
RMU received 40 votes and was ranked No. 20 nationally in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and was within seven points of a pair of BIG EAST schools, Villanova and Syracuse. The Colonials have now been mentioned in the national polls in 10 of the 11 weeks in which they have been released this season, including each of the past eight.
Entering last week's meeting with Bryant with both teams undefeated in league play, the Colonials rallied from a three-goal deficit to take down the nationally-ranked Bulldogs, 13-12. RMU used a 4-0 run to take the lead in the third quarter and then would break an 11-11 tie midway through the final frame before holding on for victory. With its performance, RMU tallied double-digit assists for the sixth-consecutive contest, achieving that feat for the first time in program history.
Robert Morris is now 11-3 overall, and is tied for sixth nationally in winning percentage, with each of its three setbacks having come to teams that are currently nationally ranked. RMU did take down Ohio State, who is ranked No. 17 in this week's Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, earlier this season as it rallied from a 3-0 early deficit for a 9-7 win. The Colonials have also had to travel abundantly as their nine games away from home are the most since their inaugural season.
With its offense providing a solid effort last Saturday, Robert Morris remained in a familiar position in the national statistical rankings. The Colonials continued to lead the nation in scoring offense, averaging 14.29 goals per game, and maintained their top spot in assists per game (9.86). RMU also moved up to second nationally in ground balls per game (36.64) and sat third in shooting percentage (35.0). Senior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) and junior Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta / Central Memorial) are tied for the team lead in points with 58, which is tied for sixth nationally. Matisz is tied for second in single-season assists while Hayes is third in single-season goals at RMU, and the duo was the only pair of teammates across the country in which both ranked among the top 15 nationally in both points per game and goals per game entering the week.
After posting victories in each of its regular-season conference games, Robert Morris earned the top seed and the right to host the NEC Tournament. The Colonials will welcome second-seeded Bryant, third-seeded Quinnipiac and fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary's to Joe Walton Stadium this weekend for the league's semifinals and championship.
RMU will meet the Mountaineers this Friday, May 4. The opening faceoff is set for 5:30 p.m.