PITTSBURGH - After unofficially kicking off the 2014 season with an exhibition match on Sunday, the Pitt men's soccer team will resume its preseason scrimmages when it hosts California (Pa.) at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. Admission is free for all fans.
This will be the seventh consecutive season the Panthers and Cal U, a Division II institution located an hour south of Pittsburgh, square off in an exhibition match. Since 2008, Pitt hasn't lost to the Vulcans, going 5-0-1, including a 3-0 win on California's home turf last year to open the exhibition slate. In those six meetings, the Panthers have outscored the Vulcans 19-4 and posted three shutouts.
Two years ago, Pitt received contributions from a number of current players to help salvage a 2-2 tie. Senior Michael Tuohy registered a goal and assist while juniors Kevin Fielden and Ryan Myers, a redshirt, pitched in with a goal and assist, respectively. As a freshman in 2011, Chu Chu Onyeukwu tallied two goals in a 4-1 triumph.
Cal U, which went 7-10-1 last year, is just three years removed from qualifying for the NCAA Tournament with a Second Round appearance. Leading the Vulcans into 2014 is Jeffrey Kyei, who garnered a plethora of post-season accolades. Finishing the campaign with nine goals and six assists for 24 points, Kyei earned Third-Team All-American status.
Pitt returns 18 players from its 2013 squad, which produced 61.5-percent of the goal scoring and 72.7-percent of the assists. Seven of those players started at least half of the contests and another four made at least six starts. Top point scorers Myers (2 g, 2 a) and sophomore Kevin Murray (3 g, 0 a) will look to continue leading the team offensively while sophomore Dan Lynd enters his second season as the starting goalkeeper.
The Panthers will conclude their exhibition slate on Sunday, Aug. 24 at home against cross-town rival Duquesne. Sunday's affair will cap a triple-header at Ambrose Urbanic Field with the Pitt women set to host the Steel City Classic. Both schools' women's programs will face off against each other in the second game of the day. For the entire weekend, Pitt is partnering with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank with a goal of collecting 700 pounds of canned goods.
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