LEXINGTON, Va. -- In the final game of the 2014 Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament, the Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team had chances early in each half, but the Colonials of Robert Morris University struck twice in each stanza to top VMI 4-0 in non-conference action at Patchin Field on Sunday.
Robert Morris’ Neco Brett finished with five points on two goals and one assist while Devon Williams had three points with one goal and one assist. Bruce Cullen added two helpers to his scoring line while Corey McCurdy accounted for the Colonials’ fifth assist. Jared Latchford also tallied a goal for Robert Morris.
In the first-ever meeting between the programs, VMI’s Alex Guerra made five saves but took the loss. Added to his save total was a penalty kick attempted by Brett, followed by a rebound shot from Latchford. Colonial keeper Brenden Alfery took the win in 74 minutes of work, making six saves before he was spelled by Winter Fondi for the final 16 minutes.
VMI (1-4-0) wasn’t without its chances as nine of the Keydets’ 14 shots were on goal, including a pair from Travis Borkey off the bench. Borkey challenged Alfery in the first 30 seconds of the second half after slipping past his defender and sizing up the Robert Morris keeper.
The Colonials (2-2-1) out-shot VMI 19-14 in the contest, including 12 attempts in the second half. Brett was the leading shooter with five attempts, four of which were on goal. Cullen also took five chances but just one was on goal as Latchford put both of his shots on frame.
VMI earned seven corner kicks during the game, with four coming in the second half. Robert Morris had four, taking a pair in each half. The Keydets committed 12 fouls in the game while three players were booked with yellow cards. Robert Morris was whistled eight times.
Robert Morris, which fell to Liberty University 2-1 in overtime in the first game of the Tournament on Friday, got on the board early as Williams found the back of the cage in the 10th minute. He and Brett worked a give-and-go at the top of the box to connect for the first goal of the game.
Half an hour later, Cullen and Latchford connected with the former ripping a shot that was initially stopped by Guerra, but the ensuing rebound was collected by Latchford and pushed over the line to put the Colonials up 2-0 at the break.
Twelve minutes into the second stanza, Brett scored the first of his two goals as Williams connected a pass to Cullen, who found Brett waiting at the top of the box to put Robert Morris up 3-0. Williams and Cullen were credited with assists on the play.
The final play of the afternoon came in the 71st minute as Brett received a long pass up the middle from McCurdy. Brett slipped around his defender before depositing a shot in the back of the net.
Early in the afternoon, Liberty topped USC Upstate 3-1 to see the Flames go 2-0-0 during the 2014 Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament. Liberty remained unbeaten this season thanks to goals from Khalil Karl and Ernest Siaw, with what proved to be the game-winning goal, Liberty’s second, coming on an own goal by the Spartans. USC Upstate got a tally from Joe Brinckwirth in the 30th minute to cut the Flames’ lead in half, but Siaw scored an insurance goal just five minutes into the second half.
VMI is idle for nearly a week as the Keydets await Howard University next Saturday. Action on Sept. 21 is set for 2 p.m. at Patchin Field to round out a three-game homestand for the Keydets, the team’s longest such stretch since the middle of the 2012 season.