from Pitt, Duquesne, Robert Morris and Point Park University athletic department reports
It’s not often that all three men’s Division I teams win on the same weekend, but that was the case this past weekend.
Also, not to be forgotten, Point Park’s men’s soccer team had a big win on Saturday in Cincinnati as well.
PITT MEN BUILDING MOMENTUM
And what a week it was for Pitt’s men’s soccer program, after beating West Virginia by a whopping 7-0 margin on Tuesday, the Panthers carried that momentum toward its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference win in soccer on Friday night, beating Syracuse, 2-1.
The Panthers are now 5-5 overall, and 1-3 in what is hands down the toughest soccer conference in America.
They’re even getting some respect from the power rankings and the computers — as the first official RPI (ratings percentage index) numbers came out on Monday — and they’re ranked 39th. Not bad for a program that hasn’t won a conference game in nearly seven years.
In addition, Pitt’s senior defender Bryce Cregan, who came on board last year transferring from Akron., was named ACC Defender of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon. Led by Cregan and his center back mate Tariq Hill, a transfer from Clemson, Pitt held WVU to just three shots, then held off a furious second half effort from Syracuse’s dangerous attack.
The ACC weekly honor is the first in program history since joining the conference in 2013.
The Panthers travel to take on another ranked team, Columbia University (# 23), on Tuesday night in New York City before returning home Friday evening to take on another challenging ACC opponent, Duke at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
DUQUESNE BEGINS A-10 WITH A WIN
Jason Twum had a goal (27′) and a key assist and goalkeeper Robbie McKelvey stopped seven shots to lead Duquesne (3-6-1, 1-0) to a 3-1 Atlantic 10-opening win over La Salle (4-5-1, 0-1) at Rooney Field.
Zion Beaton (70′) and Jallah Acqui (83′) also scored for the Dukes who picked a good time to snap a three-match winless streak, as conference play begins.
ROBERT MORRIS BREAKS THROUGH FOR WIN VS HOWARD
It’s been a challenging season thus far for the Robert Morris men’s soccer team, losing some close games along the way.
On Sunday, the Colonials (1-7-2) finally broke through for a win, beating Howard 2-1, in a match where they scored two goals in the final nine minutes.
After Winter Fondi stepped up to make a save on Lloyd Pierre in the 79th minute, RMU pushed the ball up the right flank and earned itself a corner kick. McIvor sent a high cross into the box, connecting with the head of Zac Sherman who was falling towards the far left post. The junior aimed his redirection across the goal line to catch the goalkeeper off-balance, succeeding with this attempt for his second goal of the season.
Six minutes later, RMU had itself a winner thanks to the senior trio of Keane McIvor, Corey McCurdy, and Bailey Winkel.
McIvor connected on another cross from the right flank, allowing McCurdy to play it into the box with one touch. Winkel raced in and laid out fully extended, placing the diving header past Bison goalkeeper Andrew Tamburro for his team leading seventh goal of the year.
And with some promise after a difficult start to the season, the Colonials open up Northeast Conference (NEC) play on Friday, Oct. 6 at 2:00 p.m. when it travels to Central Connecticut.
POINT PARK MEN WITH BIG WIN IN CINCINNATI
Point Park University men’s soccer exploded for six goals in the second half to turn a 2-1 lead into an 8-1 win on Saturdayat Cincinnati Christian. The River States Conference victory improved the Pioneers to 6-3 overall, 1-1 RSC.
Point Park had 44 shots in the game with 27 coming the second half. The final 45 minutes were all Point Park with just one shot for CCU (5-2, 1-1 RSC) during that time.
Roberto Whitley tallied three goals and an assist for the Pioneers. His first goal put the Pioneers ahead, 2-0, midway through the first half. Although CCU got within 2-1 on Tristan Campell’s goal in the 36th minute, the flood gates opened for Point Park the second half.
Point Park stretched the lead to 5-1 within the first seven minutes of the second half with Marc Bentley (47′) and Wessel Rietveld (50′, 52′) providing those goals. Whitley added two more goals at 54′ and 57′ for a 7-1 lead.
Nawfel Bichiba scored at 78′ to add on.
Point Park had a total of 31 shots on goal as it was a busy day for CCU goalkeeper Bryan McDowell. Point Park’s Juan Somoza played all 90 minutes and gave up just the one goal while facing nine shots on goal.
The win was a bounce-back from Thursday’s RSC road loss at Asbury, 2-1. The Pioneers scored in the first half of that game but couldn’t hang on in their conference opener. Unable to stretch things out versus Asbury, the Pioneers left no doubt at CCU and put the game away.
The Pioneers return to action next weekend for two RSC home games. Point Park hosts Midway (Ky.) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and host Brescia (Ky.) on Sunday at 11 a.m.