Aug. 29, 2014
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pitt men’s soccer team rings in the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30 against Presbyterian at 7 p.m. at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The match is the season opener for both teams. Admission is free for all fans.
PITT IN SEASON OPENERS
All-time, Pitt is 32-22-7 in its season openers. Under head coach Joe Luxbacher, the Panthers are 18-8-4 in openers. That total includes a 2-1-2 mark in the last five seasons, including last year’s 2-2 tie with Oakland.
HOME OPENERS WITH LUXBACHER
Luxbacher’s bunch has put forth a similar result in home openers as well, compiling a 17-7-6 record since the long-time coach took over in 1984. However, Pitt will be looking for its first home-opening win in at the recently opened Ambrose Urbanic Field, where the Panthers have gone 0-1-2 since the stadiums inception in 2011.
BRINGING BACK EXPERIENCE
Pitt returns 18 players from the 2013 squad, including seven players that started at least half of the contests. Four more earned a start in at least six games as well. Overall, the Panthers bring back 70-percent of its starts from a year ago, along with 61.5-percent of the goal scoring and 72.7-percent of the assists.
Also coming back is three of Pitt’s top four scorers. Sophomore Kevin Murray and redshirt junior Ryan Myers tied for the team lead with six points while Murray had three goals, most on the club. Senior Michael Tuohy finished with four points on a goal and two assists.
NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH
Three rookies joining the team this year all hail from the Toronto metro area – Darcy Bloemen, Kevin Angulo and Raj Kahlon. Until this year, Luxbacher had only coached a total of two Canadian imports. The trio had a successful preseason with Angulo recording a multi-goal game, and Kahlon and Bloemen contributing a goal and assist, respectively.
READ MORE ABOUT THEIR JOURNEY TO PITT
Last year, Presbyterian finished 3-15 overall and 1-9 in the Big South. The Blue Hose return its top two scorers from 2013 in seniors Josh Carter and Ignacio Monchetti. Both players tallied 14 points on six goals and two assists, apiece.
The pair, along with senior Brett Godwin, were all recently named to the College Sports Madness 2014 Big South Preseason All-Conference team. Goodwin and Carter were first team recipients while Monchetti landed on the second team.
This will be the first meeting between the pair. The last time Pitt opened the season with an unknown opponent was just last year when the Panthers hosted Oakland.
Pitt begins a three game road swing starting in Virginia next weekend. First, the Panthers travel to William & Mary on Friday, Sept. 5 and two days later plays at Longwood.