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Niagara women's soccer opens home slate versus Cleveland State, Robert Morris

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Niagara Purple Eagles open their home schedule with a pair of games this week. Niagara host Cleveland State on Thursday and Robert Morris on Sunday at Niagara Field.
 
Scene Setter

  • Niagara returns to the pitch after dropping a 4-1 decision to two-time defending Patriot League champion Bucknell to start the 2018 season.
  • The Purple Eagles look to open their home schedule with a victory for the second straight season.
  • Niagara has finished its home schedule with a winning record seven times in the last eight seasons.
 
Kickoff Tidbits

  • Freshman Ashley Lofranco scored Niagara's first goal of the season in the 88th minute at Bucknell. She scored on her first career shot.
  • In last season's meeting with Robert Morris, Bayley Sullivan and Hailey Bicknell scored goals to rally the Purple Eagles past Robert Morris, 2-1. The win extended NU's unbeaten streak to three matches.
 
Across The Pitch
Cleveland State Vikings (2-0-0)

  • Cleveland State rallied to beat Howard, 2-1, in overtime in the season opener and topped Chicago State, 3-1, in its next game.
  • The Vikings are 2-0-0 for just the third time in program history and first since 2013.
  • Sophomore keeper Stevie Holbrook was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
  • Five Vikings have scored one goal through the first two games. Dani Sowinski (3 assists) and McKenna Vento (1 goal, 1 assist) share team-high honors with three points.
 
Against The Vikings (Niagara leads 3-2-1)

  • The Purple Eagles lead the all-time series, but have dropped the last two meetings.
  • NU was shutout by CSU in 2016 and 2017.
 
Across The Pitch
Robert Morris Colonials (1-1-0)

  • Robert Morris opened the season with a last-gasp 1-0 victory at UMBC for the Colonials first season opening win since 2014.
  • The Colonials lost in overtime to Ohio, 1-0, in their next game.
  • Sophomore keeper Sydney Bruckner was named Northeast Conference (NEC) Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
  • Robert Morris will play at Canisius on Friday before facing the Purple Eagles on Sunday.
 
Against The Colonials (Niagara leads 16-4-1)

  • The Purple Eagles have dominated the series with the Colonials which started in 1993.
  • Niagara has won the last four meetings, outscoring Robert Morris 5-1 including three shutouts.
  • The Purple Eagles are 8-0-1 at home versus the Colonials.