PHILADELPHIA – The Pitt men’s soccer team (1-1-1) earned its first victory of the 2016 season after a dominating 4-1 performance over Saint Joseph’s (0-3-0) Sunday night at Sweeney Field.
Three different Panthers netted goals including freshman Luca Mellor (2), junior Raj Kahlon and senior Matt Venanzi.
“It was progress and an overall better collective effort,” head coach Jay Vidovich said. “We were more committed to defending tonight. Our transitions and movement off of each other paid off with several quality attacking movements.”
Pitt opened the match with high energy, looking to score right off the bat. Three minutes into the game, two shots taken by sophomore Alec Anselmo and junior Roosevelt Angulo, and it was Kahlon that would bury the rebound off Angulo’s shot.
In the sixth minute, Mellor found himself inside the penalty area and sent the ball past SJU’s goalkeeper Greg O’Connell, giving the Panthers a very early 2-0 advantage.
Mellor struck again in the 42nd minute as he blasted the ball from 20 yards out past the SJU keeper, bringing the score to 3-0 in favor of the Panthers.
Saint Joseph’s opened the second half by attempting a header and earning back-to-back corners, but were unable to convert. The Hawks continued to maintain possession throughout the half until freshman Josh Coan attempted a shot in the 69th minute that was saved and then sent in by Venanzi off the rebound for a 4-0 lead.
Redshirt freshman Mikal Outcalt made his second and final save of the night in the 85th minute. Freshman Jacob Rooth entered the game soon after and made his first Pitt career save in the 86th minute.
SJU scored is first and only goal of the game in the 90th minute.
Tonight’s victory also marks the first for Vidovich, improving his career record to 273-122-51.
The Panthers return to Pittsburgh Friday, Sept. 9 as they host Louisville in the ACC opener at 7 p.m.