The showcase game of the weekend in our area, Robert Morris and Duquesne men’s teams will face each other at Rooney Field, while Pitt men and women look for their first results in ACC play with road games as the men are in Durham, NC to take on Duke on Friday, while the women face 24th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Here are some previews of the weekend action:
DUQUENSE vs ROBERT MORRIS (MEN)
Friday, Sept. 24
7 p.m. Kickoff
Both teams carry three-game winning streaks into this clash between Pittsburgh foes.
The Colonials own an overall record of 3-3 after victories over St. Bonaventure (1-0), Pittsburgh (2-0), and Lehigh (2-1), while the 4-2 Dukes also have won three straight with back-to-back 1-0 overtime decisions over Cleveland State and Canisius, along with a 2-1 victory against Wofford.
Duquesne holds the series edge, is 13-6-2 against Robert Morris in the series history.
The two teams have traded wins and losses over their last six meetings, with the Colonials getting the upper hand last season courtesy of a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory. In that match, the Dukes struck first with a tally in the 25th minute before Lucas Puntillo buried the equalizer in the 82nd. Puntillo then earned the primary assist on the winner as he set up Rafael Bruzual in the 108th minute of the contest.
Game Notes from both RMU & DUQ Athletic Departments
> Although Robert Morris has been outshot during its three-match winning streak, 44-37, the Colonials have put more attempts on target (22-19) than their opponents
> After giving up four goals in a loss to Hartwick on Sept. 4, junior goalkeeper Winter Fondi has allowed just one tally over the last three contests and has made 17 saves during that stretch
> Junior forward Rafael Bruzual paces RMU with three goals on the season
> The Colonials lost three home games to open the 2015 slate
> RMU was tied for fifth in the NEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll with Bryant
> The Colonials went 10-8-1 last season
> A 4-2-1 NEC mark led RMU to its first postseason berth since 2016
> Thirteen letterwinners return to the squad including five of the six top scorers
> Bennett Jull, Keane McIvor, Lucas Puntillo, and Zac Sherman all earned postseason recognition from the league last year
> Jull, McIvor, and Puntillo were All-NEC Second Team selections
> Sherman and Puntillo were named to the NEC All-Rookie Team
> Puntillo is the leading returning scorer with five goals and six assists as a freshman
• This is the 22nd season for the Duquesne men’s soccer program.
• All six of Duquesne’s games have been decided by one goal.
• DU has limited five of its six opponents to one or fewer goals.
• All four Duquesne wins have come in dramatic fashion, including three on Rooney Field:
* Aug. 26 vs. Saint Francis U – Olav Hovstad scored in the 100th minute to give the Dukes a 2-1 come-from-behind OT win
* Sept. 9 vs. Wofford – DU scored twice in the final 5:04 – with Fredrik Borenstein netting the game-winner in 89th minute – of a 2-1 win
* Sept. 11 vs. Canisius – Austin Stout scored with five seconds left in the first overtime to give Duquesne a 1-0 win
* Sept. 20 at Cleveland State – Freshman Jallah Acqui scored in the 93rd minute in a 1-0 win
• The Dukes followed the SFU game with a 1-0 loss at then-No. 17 Kentucky on August 30. DU nearly came back from a 3-0 halftime deficit in a 3-2 defeat at Wright State on Labor Day. The Dukes got goals from Zach Hall in the 61st minute and Borenstein in the 73rd, but could not find the back of the net again before time expired. DU has won three in a row since the near comeback at WSU.
• Duquesne’s first three opponents: Saint Francis U (2nd in Northeast), then-No. 17 Kentucky (1st in Conference USA) and Wright State (T1st in Horizon) were all picked first or second in their conference’s preseason poll.
• Robert Morris is the second Northeast Conference member on the Dukes’ non-conference schedule (Saint Francis U was the other).
• Robert Morris has overcome an 0-3 start with back-to-back shutout wins at St. Bonaventure (1-0) and vs. Pitt (2-0). Junior Winter Fondi has been goal for both wins. Fondi enters the DU game with 19 overall saves and a .826 save pct.
• Robert Morris is 1-0 on the road, with the win coming at Atlantic 10 member St. Bonaventure on Sept. 11.
• The Dukes are outscoring opponents 8-2 in the second half and overtime.
• Balance has been the early-season theme for the Dukes who have eight players with two or more points, and none with more than four. DU’s eight goals have come from six players: Fredrik Borenstein (2), Chris Alescio, Olav Hovstad, Zach Hall, Austin Stout and Jallah Acqui (plus one own goal).
• Freshman Ryan Landry is tied with Bryan Fegley for the team lead with two assists, including a feed on Olav Hovstad’s game-winner in the win over Saint Francis U.
• Junior midfielder Fredrik Borenstein, DU’s top returning point-getter with seven last season, leads the team with two goals and four points. The Norway native also leads the team in career goals with eight. Senior Chris Alescio ranks second on the team with six career goals, including one this season.
• DU goalkeeper Evan Kozlowski, who put together an MVP performance at the Sept. 9 & 11 Duquesne Invitational, has posted back-to-back shutouts. The redshirt senior has posted seven saves in the wins over Canisius (1-0) and at Cleveland State (1-0 in OT).
Friday’s contest will be carried live on the ACC Network Extra and will be streamed live on WatchESPN/WatchESPN App.
– Duke leads the series 4-0.
– In their last meeting a year ago, the Panthers fell 1-0 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
– Head coach Jay Vidovich is 6-11-4 all-time against the Blue Devils.
LAST TIME OUT
– Pitt fell 2-1 in overtime to Loyola (Md.) Tuesday, Sept. 20.
– Sophomore Alec Anselmo netted the lone goal for the Panthers, the first of his career.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS
– Duke enters Friday’s match fresh off a 2-1 victory over Georgia Southern.
– Fifth-year senior Ryan Thompson scored with under two minutes left in the second half, lifting the Blue Devils to victory.
– Duke is led by junior midfielder Brian White with six points (two goals, two assists) and freshman midfielder Suniel Veerakone with five points (two goals, one assist).
– In goal, graduate student Robert Moewes has appeared in all six games and has made 27 saves (.818) with one shutout.
– The Blue Devils are ranked 23rd in the nation this week by Soccer America.
NEWS & INFO
– Redshirt freshman Mikal Outcalt has made an ACC best 34 saves (.791) this season.
– Freshman Luca Mellor (two goals) and junior Roosevelt Angulo (one goal, two assists) pace the Panthers with four points, respectively.
– Pitt’s 18-game regular season schedule is highlighted by four matchups against teams ranked in the top 20 of the NSCAA Preseason Poll in North Carolina, Notre Dame, Boston College and Virginia.
– The Panthers enter their fourth season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
VIDOVICH ENTERS FIRST YEAR
– Head coach Jay Vidovich (273-126-51, 76-54-22 ACC) is in his first year at the helm of the Pitt men’s soccer program.
– Vidovich, a two-time NSCAA Coach of the Year honoree, came to Pitt after spending 21 seasons at Wake Forest, which was highlighted by capturing the 2007 NCAA championship.
– Under his regime, Wake Forest won five Atlantic Coast Conference titles, compiling a 76-52-22 mark in one of the nation’s most challenging leagues.
– The Panthers will remain on the road through the weekend and will meet Longwood Monday, Sept. 26, in Farmville, Va., for a 6 p.m. kick.
– Pitt returns to Pittsburgh Friday, Sept. 30, to host ACC foe Notre Dame at 7 p.m.
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh women’s soccer team will travel to South Bend, Ind. to take on the No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Sunday, Sept. 25 in the final game of a two-game conference road swing for the Panthers.
Kick off at Alumni Stadium is set for 1 p.m. as the Panthers are in pursuit of their first conference victory of the season.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Live stats will be available here
The game can also be seen live on the ACC Network Extra via WatchESPN or the WatchESPN app
The Panthers (1-8-1) take part in the second of a two-game road ACC swing, traveling to No. 24 Notre Dame (6-1-3) on Sunday afternoon
The Panthers enter the game after a 3-0 loss at the hands of Boston College in Newton, Mass., on Thursday night
Slotted in the latest NSCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Poll at No. 24, Notre Dame is one of seven ACC teams to appear in the poll
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame (6-1-3, 0-0-1 ACC) hasn’t lost in its past six games, earning three ties and one victory over its last four
The Fighting Irish are fresh off of a 1-0 shutout win over North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday night
The win boasts their record to 1-0-1 in ACC play as they opened league play with a 1-1 double-overtime tie at Syracuse
Freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf leads the Irish with four goals
Senior goalkeeper Kaela Little sits second in the conference in saves (45) and save percentage (0.900)
SERIES WITH NOTRE DAME
This will be the 14th all-time meeting between the two squads in a series dating back to the 1997 season
Notre Dame has swept the all-time series and holds an 12-0-1 advantage over the Panthers
The two schools most recently played in 2014, with Notre Dame leaving Pittsburgh with a 2-0 victory