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PITTSBURGH – Pitt men’s soccer posted its second shutout of the season, registering a 1-0 win over Delaware on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Pitt/Nike Invitational at Ambrose Urbanic Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
The Panthers (3-0-2) captured the tournament crown and in doing so, remained unbeaten on the season.
Goalkeeper Lee Johnston – who was named tournament MVP - collected nine saves, seven of those in the second half.
“Lee played big and the backline was solid and we had some good chances (offensively) in the second half,” Pitt head coach Joe Luxbacher said. “If you get that second goal, it settles things down. We didn’t and they were dangerous to the end.”
Junior Nico Wrobel tallied the game-winner in the 27th minute, his third goal and second game-decider in two matches. He was also named to the all-tournament team along with defenders Alex Fischetti and Julian Dickenson.
“We played much better today and Delaware is a good team and it was a battle from the opening whistle,” Luxbacher added “Our guys played well and when we made subs, they really came in and made some plays. It was a very good win.”
The eventual game-winner originated on a fast-break opportunity. Midfielder Ryan Myers darted downfield with an extra step on his defender. Delaware goalkeeper Jay Lupas came out of the box to play him and instead took Myers down about 16 yards out. The referee stopped play and awarded Pitt a penalty shot chance.
Wrobel, who connected on two penalty kick opportunities in Friday’s win, saw his shot blocked by Lupas. However, the ball bounced straight back to the forward who was able to push the ball over the line and into the back of the net.
Delaware (1-4) had 22 shots in the game, 11 apiece in each stanza. Over a six-minute period in the second half, Johnston recorded five of his nine stops. In addition, midfielder Matt Walbert cleared two close calls while Fischetti pushed out another Delaware run.
“Our backline really stepped up and pushed us forward when they needed to and they are our eyes on the field and kept us (today) where we needed to be,” Walbert noted after the contest. “Delaware used the flanks very well and moved the ball great. We shut it down.”
Duquesne grabbed a 2-1 win over IPFW in the earlier contest of the Pitt/Nike Invitational.
The Panthers are idle until Friday, Sept. 14 when they host Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The contest is also Pitt Pride night, a chance for on-campus groups and all fans to come out and cheer for the squad and show their support.
Pitt/Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP- Lee Johnston, Pitt, GK
Pitt - Nico Wrobel, F
Pitt - Lee Johnston, GK
Pitt - Alex Fischetti, D
Pitt - Julian Dickenson, D
Delaware - Vincent Mediate, M
Delaware - Prince Nartey, M
Delaware - John Dineen, D
Duquesne - John Patterson, F
Duquesne -Karter Sell, F
IPFW - Mitch Falkenstern, D
IPFW - Brent Helton, D
Pitt 1, Delaware 0
September 9, 2012, Pittsburgh; Pitt/Nike Invitational
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