TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Robert Morris women's hockey makes final push for NCAA Tournament

College Football Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Rebecca Vint skates during practice Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at Robert Morris University Island Sports Complex.

Moving up

The Robert Morris women's hockey team averaged 9.5 wins during the program's first six seasons. But since Paul Colontino took over as coach, the Colonials have had their three winningest seasons:

Season Record

2010-11 6-21-7

2011-12* 19-9-4

2012-13 15-15-3

2013-14** 22-7-3

* — Colontino's first season, College Hockey America champs** — Two regular-season games and postseason yet to play

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 8:48 p.m.
 

Of all the lessons the Robert Morris women's hockey team's coaching staff has delivered to its players, something first-year assistant Jinelle Siergiej said about the NCAA Tournament sticks out to junior Rebecca Vint.

“She says once you make one, you are going to want to go back,” said Vint, the team's leader in goals. “She'll tell us, ‘You've got to get there, then you'll realize how cool it is. Something you will never forget, and something that will give you chills down your spine.' ”

Those chills are closer than ever for Robert Morris. The Colonials (22-7-3) set a school record for wins four weeks ago and carry a No. 9 national ranking into their final two regular-season games Friday and Saturday against Penn State at Island Sports Center.

Now in its ninth season, Robert Morris never had been nationally ranked until Nov. 25 of this season. The Colonials haven't dropped out of the top 10 since, and they are holding the No. 8 spot in the PairWise rankings that attempt to mimic the NCAA selection committee criteria. Eight teams make the tournament.

“That,” senior defenseman Anneline Lauziere said, “would be incredible. We are right there. It's right there, and we want it so bad.”

Robert Morris still has plenty of work to do to achieve that goal, beginning with clinching a bye in the College Hockey America tournament by sweeping two 3 p.m. games against Penn State (4-25-3) this weekend. Then, the Colonials will have an opportunity to win the conference for the second time in three years with two wins March 7-8.

Although the CHA does not have an automatic bid, the Colonials' PairWise ranking combined with the No. 7 ranking by Mercyhurst potentially sets up, in effect, a winner-takes-a-bid CHA championship game.

“We are in a good spot, and we're enjoying it,” coach Paul Colontino said. “But truthfully, the interesting part is even though we're doing well in certain areas, the scale changes. ... That's great we're in the top 10, but now ... it's our nature as a program to keep going one step further and keep pushing for the next level.”

When the current seniors were freshmen in 2010-11, the team went 6-21-7, and an NCAA Tournament berth was a distant dream. Now, it's seemingly there for the taking.

“The tournament would mean everything, obviously, and we are working toward it,” Robert Morris captain Kristen Richards said. “But it's not just making it. It's winning it. That's what we want to do, and that's (Colontino) coming out in us and how we approach every game and the expectations we have.”

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Student ‘geek squad’ to help train Steel Valley classmates on iPads
  2. Road, entrance may ease traffic, Dayton Fair officials say
  3. Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
  4. One Direction brings the thrills to Heinz Field audience
  5. 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
  6. Law enforcement often feels overwhelmed by Mon Valley’s heroin epidemic
  7. Steelers notebook: WR Bryant sidelined after minor procedure on right elbow
  8. Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
  9. Inside the Steelers: Roethlisberger strong in goal-line drills
  10. Pa. breeding ground for corruption, experts say
  11. Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary