Pittsburgh, Pa. - After it pulled a stunning upset of defending national champion Wisconsin last November on the road, the Robert Morris University women's hockey team hosted the unanimous No. 1 Badgers Friday afternoon and ended up on the short end of a 7-1 decision at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Despite the defeat, there was a bright spot for the Colonials as freshman defenseman Kylie St. Louis (Windsor, Ontario / Southwest Wildcats) scored her first career goal with a slap shot from the blue line at the 1:14 mark of the third period. Sophomore Dayna Newsom (Oakville, Ontario / Oakville Ice) and senior assistant captain Sara O'Malley (Guelph, Ontario / Hamilton Hawks) provided the helpers on St. Louis' tally.
It was the seventh time in the last eight games that Newsom registered at least one point, and she has collected 10 points overall in that stretch. O'Malley now has at least a point in six of her last eight games.
Brooke Ammerman collected three goals in the opening 16:47 to help Wisconsin take a four-goal advantage into the first intermission. After its tough start, Robert Morris was able to compete more closely with the three-time national champions over the final 40 minutes as it allowed only a single tally in the second stanza before equalizing the Badgers' shot total in the third period (14-14).
Robert Morris did put forth some impressive team performances against the nation's best. RMU fired 27 shots at the Badger goal, more than 10 better than Wisconsin allowed its opposition on average coming into the game. It marked the most shots an opponent has taken against the Badgers this season, topping the totals they allowed in all six games they played against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.
Senior captain Whitney Pappas (Evergreen, Colo. / Belle Tire), junior assistant captain Kathryn Stack (Edmonton, Alberta / Edmonton Thunder) and freshman Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) all led the Colonial effort with four shots apiece.
RMU also did better than previous Badger opponents in the faceoff circle. Wisconsin, the national leader in winning percentage, came into the game winning 56.8% of its draws, but it would fail to claim even half of the faceoffs against the Colonials as Robert Morris took 34 of the 65 between the two teams. Senior forward Maria Stoa (Bloomington, Minn. / Eden Prairie) had a particularly strong performance at the dot as she won 11 of the 15 draws she took for RMU.
Robert Morris will have a second opportunity to take down top-ranked Wisconsin when the teams take the ice in a rematch Saturday afternoon. The first puck drop is set for 3:05 p.m.