WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--The Pitt women's soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision at William & Mary in its first exhibition match of the 2014 season Tuesday afternoon at Albert Daly Field. Pitt will play its second exhibition game of the preseason when it hosts Central Michigan on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Kickoff for that match is at Noon.
Twenty-two Pitt Panthers saw action in the contest including two goalkeepers: sophomore Taylor Francis (first half) and freshman Margot Shore (second half). Six of Pitt's 11 starters were freshmen, including Emma Pozzulo, Taylor Pryce, Shaina Ashouri, Seyla Perez, Courtney Coate and Ashley Moreira. Senior Jackie Poucel and Perez were the only two Panthers to play the full 90 minutes.
With just three seniors, two juniors and 23 sophomores and freshmen, Pitt is one of NCAA Division I's youngest women's soccer teams.
"Overall it was about what I expected," Pitt coach Greg Miller said. "We have some more work to do on things we've introduced and some things we haven't worked on. When you start six freshmen, you have inexperience and you have a team that is trying to figure out the system and one another. It was a great test for us, exactly what we needed. We'll be able to see a lot of things on video and have some teachable moments. Hopefully we'll be more sharp on Saturday."
"We have a lot of soccer players out there. It was good from a possession standpoint. We kept the ball more, moved the ball around. Definitely, we had some good moments of possession. We need to get them to play a little bit faster. When the opposition puts more pressure, there has to be more of a better response. That comes with a little more experience. Individually, I was pleased with the play of Taylor Pryce and Ashley Moreira and defensively, Jackie Poucel and Seyla Perez played well and put out a lot of fires."
In goal, Francis finished with five saves and Shore registered one save.
Traditionally a top-25 program and consistent NCAA Tournament team, William & Mary took a 1-0 lead just one minute prior to halftime when Adrienne Maday's corner kick got past Francis and found the net. The Tribe scored its second goal in the 71st minute when Emory Camper lofted a shot over Pitt goalkeeper Shore after receiving a pass from Aly Shaughnessy. William & Mary managed 16 total shots, including eight on goal.
"William & Mary is a much more experienced team than us, a good side," Miller said. "They are a team that has been there and done that, older than us, at home, all of those things factor in. For a young team like us, it was a very good first test."
In other news, it was announced by the Atlantic Coast Conference today that Pitt will play three matches on national television: at North Carolina (Oct. 12), vs. Louisville (Oct. 23) and vs. Clemson (Oct. 26).
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