Robert Morris duo paces lacrosse team
College Football Videos
Kiel Matisz will take three weeks to study for an exam. Jake Hayes doesn't mind waiting until the night before.
Matisz doesn't worry much about what he wears. Hayes cringes each time he sees his friend pull a pair of crew socks up to his calves.
Matisz is a righty and, at 6-foot-5, uses a power game. The 5-5 Hayes tends to rely more on speed to get off his left-handed shot.
As different as the Robert Morris lacrosse team's odd couple may be, they're united in scoring a boatload of goals, enough to carry the Colonials to their best season.
“Kiel and I see each other really well,” Hayes said. “I think the chemistry is really high between us. It's just been working out really well this year.”
Matisz and Hayes are the only set of teammates among Division I teams to rank among the top 15 in points and goals per game: Matisz at 4.3 and 2.6 (ranked fifth and 15th), Hayes at 2.9 and 4.0 (15th and fifth).
They are also more than likely the only scoring tandem in the country to be separated by 12 inches of height.
“For me, finding him on the field is pretty easy,” joked Hayes, whose Colonials will play No. 20 Bryant today with the regular season Northeast Conference title and postseason tournament hosting rights on the line.
They play on the same side, with Hayes typically to the right of Matisz, who uses his gigantic frame to maintain possession before feeding Hayes, a player whose speed gives opposing defenses fits tracking him.
That formula has helped Robert Morris (10-3, 4-0 NEC) average a Division I-best 14.38 goal, which, if it holds, would be the third consecutive year RMU led the country in offense.
Part of that success, Matisz and Hayes explain, is the Colonials' running of sets rather than plays, giving players the freedom to improvise and make split-second decisions.
“I hear a lot of my buddies — who go to other Division I universities — talk,” said Matisz, an economics and marketing double major and a national finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. “They don't have nearly as much freedom on offense.”
They also don't have players like Matisz and Hayes.
One busy day
Last Saturday won't soon be forgotten around Grove City. Not only did the men's tennis team win its 22nd consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title — getting wins from PAC Player of the Year Peter Riley at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles — but the women's water polo team captured its third consecutive Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III title with a 10-3 victory over Washington & Jefferson. Chelsea Johnson, the CWPA Player of the Year, scored five goals in the championship game to give her 293 during an impressive four-year career.
A big win
Needing to beat the No. 9 team in the country to make the playoffs for the first time in program history, the Indiana University (Pa.) women's lacrosse team did just that, knocking off Lock Haven, 14-13, on Thursday to claim the No. 5 seed in next week's Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament. Colleen Berlin had four goals, and Stephanie Bianco and Becca Vogt added three apiece for the Crimson Hawks (11-5), who will meet the loser's of today's game between Mercyhurst and No. 14 Gannon in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
Around the district
Junior Steven Hill threw the first no-hitter for Penn State since 1995 last Saturday, striking out three and allowing one walk during a 2-0 win over Iowa. ... The IUP women's basketball team will open the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Division I heavyweight Connecticut. ... Derek Smith, a junior infielder for the Pitt-Bradford baseball team, leads NCAA Division III in hitting at .538.
Jason Mackey is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Finding perfect pairing for Ehrhoff key for Penguins
- Ex-Brewers star Hart hopes to prove to Pirates he still can play
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- Gorman: A victory for small-town teams
- Butler County teen dies in ATV accident
- Pirates notebook: Tabata rediscovering his power
- 1 dead in Moon apartment fire
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title