Chicago, IL – The IIT Scarlet Hawks suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Robert Morris University in terrible conditions on Saturday afternoon. The game experienced lengthy stoppages in play due to lightening with heavy rain falling for most of the encounter. The Scarlet Hawks however were unable to recapture their previous form which saw them go undefeated in the past 3 matches.
The home side got off to a tough start conceding a goal in the first 3 minutes of play. Robert Morris' Bobby Hurwitz found time and space in the penalty box and calmly tucked the ball past IIT goalkeeper EJ Yang to give the visitors the lead. Robert Morris continued to press and were unfortunate not to score again 15 minutes later when Patryk Ruta hit the cross bar from distance. This was the last action as play was suspended by the referees due to lightning.
An hour later, both teams returned to the field with 73 minutes still to play in the match. The RMU Eagles looked dangerous going forward and were very unfortunate not to score with 2 efforts hitting the woodwork before halftime. The Scarlet Hawks' best chance came with 5 minutes to go in the half when Nigerian native Timi Akindele nearly pounced on goalkeeper Juan Castrejon's muffed clearance.
After the interval the Hawks suffered another setback when RMU's John Pacher took advantage. The forward, who looked dangerous all game, found space in the box and neatly passed the ball into the corner of the net to double the visitor's advantage.
However in the 64th minute, IIT pegged one back through Timi Akindele. Akindele latched onto a through ball 25 yards out from goal before cutting inside an RMU defender and curling the ball into top corner of the net. It was Akindele's first collegiate career goal and a certain contender for goal of the season. More importantly however, it gave the hosts a lifeline and put them right back into the contest.
Unfortunately any hope of a revival were quickly extinguished 2 minutes later when RMU's Stefan Zindovic restored the visitor's two goal cushion with a right footed strike. The icing on the cake was added by Bobby Hurwitz whose chip shot up and over the IIT goalie made it 4-1 Eagles. Akindele nearly had a second consolation for the visitors late in the match but his shot went narrowly wide.
Another lightning strike 6 minutes from time stopped play again with both coaches agreeing to end the match. The 4-1 defeat sunk Illinois Tech back to .500 with a 3-3-3 record on the season. The Hawks face the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL on Tuesday evening looking to emulate last year's performance which saw them victorious.