Sept. 5, 2014
PITTSBURGH - Pitt men's soccer puts its 1-0-0 record on the line this weekend when it travels to the state of Virginia for a pair of non-conference matches. On Friday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. the Panthers take on William & Mary, followed by a Sunday morning meeting at Longwood at 11 a.m.
RETURN OF HOME-AND-HOME
Last year, Pitt hosted both William & Mary and Longwood, marking the first-ever meeting between the schools. In the third game of 2013, the Panthers tied Longwood 0-0 despite holding a major advantage in shots and corner kicks and junior goalkeeper Dan Lynd recording his first shutout. Pitt played William & Mary close in October of 2013, but ultimately fell 2-0.
SCHEDULING BIG SOUTH
Pitt's game against Longwood will be the Panther's second of three matches against Big South Opponents this season. In addition to the Lancers, Pitt already played and beat Presbyterian and will host High Point on Oct. 14. Currently Pitt is 1-1-1 all-time against Big South Foes, with all results coming since last year.
SCORING AND SCORELESS STREAKS
Including exhibition matches, Pitt has outscored its opponents 8-0 in the last three games and hasn't allowed a goal since the 60th minute in the preseason opener at St. Francis, for an opponent scoreless streak of 300:24. During that span, the Panthers have had a number of contributors. There have been seven different goal scorers, with freshman Kevin Angulo netting two in the exhibition match against Duquesne. The only other multi-point performer is redshirt senior Cory Werth, who had an assist in the season opener against Presbyterian and a goal versus California (Pa.) during the preseason.
DON'T CALL IT A WINNING STREAK...YET
The Panthers are looking to start off the season with two straight wins for the first time since 2010, which featured back-to-back wins against Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure. Only four times since head coach Joe Luxbacher took over in 1984 have the Panthers won its first two contests (1985, 1986, 2000, 2002).
The last time Pitt went two games to open the season without a loss was in 2012, when the Panthers started the year 6-0-2, including a tie and win in the first two affairs.
SETTING RECORDS AND TAKING NAMES
In the season opening win against Presbyterian, Pitt set a school record with an astounding 19 corner kicks. The Panthers had 15 in the first half alone and tied the former record of 13, which was set just last year against Longwood, in only the 29th minute last Saturday.
With three goals against Presbyterian, it was only the sixth time since 2010 that a Panthers team has reached that plateau in a contest, and is tied for the fourth most since 2001.The three goals was also the most in a season opener since a 3-1 win against Robert Morris to start off the 2009 campaign while the three goal differential was Pitt's largest since to start the year since defeating Canisius 3-0 to open the 2004 slate.
Additionally, Pitt's 23 shots are tied for the third most since 2001.
SCOUTING WILLIAM & MARY
Coming off an NCAA tournament berth in 2013, William & Mary was receiving votes by the NSCAA to begin 2014. However, the Tribe split its results last weekend in a pair of one-goal games, losing to East Tennessee State 3-2 to open the season, while bouncing back to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1 at the VCU Tournament last weekend.
William & Mary returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago, including Chirs Albiston, who had a goal and assist in the opening weekend. Albiston was one of four players to garner CAA preseason honors, earning a spot on the second team along with Jackson Eskay. Marcus Luster and Michael Teiman were first team recepients.
Another returner, Ryan Flesch, dished out assists on both goals in the win against FDU.
Bennett Jones has played all 180 minutes in goal so far for the Tribe, and has seven saves to his name.
Longwood kicked off its 2014 season with a 1-0 victory over VMI last Saturday, thanks to a goal from Zach Crandall in the 60th minute.
Goalkeeper Carlos Canas made four saves for his third career shutout. Canas went 6-7-3 as a freshman last year as the starting keeper.
Also back this year for Longwood is Anthony Ugorji, who was an All-Big South honorable mention in 2013 after leading the Lancers with six goals and 13 points. This year, Ugorji was named to the College Sports Madness Big South Preseason All-Conference second team.
Pitt will square off with both William & Mary and Longwood for the second time in program history, after meeting both foes for the first time last year. The Panthers are 0-1-0 against William & Mary, with the Tribe picking up a 2-0 win in Pittsburgh in 2013. Pitt and Longwood played to a scoreless draw last season, also in Pittsburgh.
The Panthers open the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next week and close out a three game-road swing when they head back south to nationally-ranked No. 13 North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. The game is slated to be broadcast on ESPN3.