HARMAR TWP., PA — Robert Morris defeated Sacred Heart 1-0 in non-conference play on Saturday night in spite of a herculean effort by Pioneers netminder Frankie Sanchez. First-year forward Ellie Marcovsky netted the only at the 2:46 mark of the opening frame.
How herculean? The junior stopped 72-of-73 shots she faced on the evening, some not so easy which drew the praise of Colonials head coach Paul Colontino
“Maybe not shoot at her glove as much” Colontino said. “I thought she did a really nice job of literally putting herself between the puck and the net. There were rebounds there and one we have to be willing to be in there get those rebounds and two when we actually get them we have to have some poise- pull pucks, slide them in.”
FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING
The Colonials weren’t without their own due in net, as senior Molly Singewald stepped into the starting role for the first time in her collegiate career, stopping all 14 shots she faced for her first career shutout. While several of the shots were routine, there was a sequence in the second frame in which the netminder made a lunging save from the top of the crease to the opposite post, securing the one-goal advantage.
“I couldn’t see the original shot so I went down,” Singewald said. “I saw the pass was back-door and tried to as hard as I could to go post-to-post after I saw someone there. I knew I was going to get there, I wasn’t going to let them score tonight. It felt good to make a big save and it added to my confidence.”
Her coach agreed, and admired her poise.
“She just did a heck of a job stepping in.” Colontino said. “When you see the shots in the first period, you are like ‘okay we’re going to score’ and you feel confident and feel good. When it doesn’t, some players get a bit tense. She was stone cold, was rock solid with a couple saves that were kind of tricky. Not only does she pull out a win, but a huge shutout. A shutout!? When we needed a shutout. We’re real happy for her.”
So happy that forward Michaela Boyle leapt into her arms left her on the ice- and her teammates awaited the celebration.
“I was super excited and couldn’t wait to embrace my team, and as soon as we locked eyes I knew she was too. I didn’t expect her to jump so high but it made it more fun. It was nice to have that feeling again.”
After a four-year career of watching Elijah Milne-Price, Lauren Bailey, Arielle DeSmet and Raygan Kirk defend the same net, Singewald reveled in the opportunity to enjoy a full 60-minute game and did something all four of them couldn’t – record a shutout in their first start.
“It felt really good, A little nervous to get started, I was surprised that it took me a lot longer to play my first 60 minute game, but it meant a lot with how hard I worked to get there.”
Sunday’s game will be about the outgoing senior class. Singewald, defenders Emile Harley and Emily Curlett, forwards Anjelica Diffendal and captain Lexi Templeman are the class of 2021. While this year may be different without the parents being able to celebrate with the team, the on-ice and off-ice impact will resonate for years to come.
“They’ve been huge.” Colontino said. “They’re awesome people. People see the successes on the ice, the achievements, some of the goals and don’t see the achievements off the ice. They’re great role models, doing exceptionally well in school, just the complete package.”
Robert Morris and Sacred Heart close out their non-conference series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at the Island Sports Center. The Colonials close their regular season with a pair of home games against Syracuse February 26-27.