Aug. 24, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Pitt men’s soccer drew a 1-1 tie against Niagara in its season opener on Friday afternoon at Rooney Field on the campus of Duquesne University.
The Panthers (0-0-1) collected 16 shots in the game, 11 of those coming in the second half. The tying tally came with just four seconds remaining in regulation. Junior co-captain John Cordier knocked it in off a beautiful corner kick from newcomer Michael Tuohy.
“We had chances, but couldn’t seem to buy one. You keep battling and battling and finally you squeak one in at the end,” said head coach Joe Luxbacher. “This team has good character. They never quit battling. When you are down to the last minute, a lot of guys would have packed it in and said this is not going to happen. If they had that attitude, it wouldn’t have happened. We deserved that goal as we had opportunities. Game wasn’t as clean as could be, but it was a team battle.”
One of Pitt’s best opportunities to score the first stanza came off the foot of sophomore Matt Walbert. He delivered a rocket from 30 yards out in the 37th minute which just sailed wide of the goal. Niagara would find the back of the net four minutes later, a goal that also began with a corner kick. Rene De Zorzi scored just inside the left post.
Pitt peppered the Niagara defense in the second half with six of its 11 shots on goal. In addition, the Panthers posted five of their seven total corners in the final period of regulation.
The equalizer came as the clock wound down. Tuohy delivered a short and curving entry from the far side of the field into the left corner of the box. Cordier was able to get a hold of the bullet, sending the game into overtime.
The teams combined for five shots in the two extra periods, only one on goal for each team.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lee Johnston had three saves for Pitt. The Panthers return to action on Sunday, August 26 against Howard. Game time in the Panthers’ second game of the Duquesne Invitational is set for 11:30 a.m.
For more on the contest, including post-game interviews go to https://www.facebook.com/PittMensSoccer.