PITTSBURGH—The Pitt women’s soccer team took advantage of a penalty kick goal by senior Riliegh McHugh to register a 1-0 exhibition game victory over Central Michigan Saturday at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
The match marked Pitt’s second exhibition game of the preseason. The Panthers begin their regular season next weekend (Friday-Sunday, Aug. 22-24) as they host the Steel City Classic at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Pitt plays Akron at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday night and then hosts Duquesne on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“I think we’ve made a lot of progress since the beginning of preseason,” Pitt coach Greg Miller said. “Our first exhibition game against William & Mary was played fairly early. We knew that would be a test for us to see where we were. Over the last few days leading up to today, we worked on a lot of things we hadn’t covered yet and some things we needed to address following the William & Mary game. We were able to put more of a complete game together. Today, we created some real chances and missed on some genuine opportunities. I liked our defending and our organization on offense was better. Our shot creation was much, much better. I’m pretty pleased overall with how preseason has gone with such a young group and I’m excited to start the regular season.
McHugh’s penalty kick goal came at the 57:59 mark. Her shot sailed into the net past Central Michigan goalkeeper Maddy Bunnell. Pitt was awarded the penalty kick after freshman Shaina Ashouri was fouled in the penalty box after receiving a crossing pass from freshman Taylor Pryce.
Pitt had numerous chances in score in the match as it outshot Central Michigan 22-5. Pitt also registered five corner kicks to CMU’s four. In one sequence in the 53rd minute, sophomore Emily Pietrangelo and Ashley Moreira both fired shots that bounced off the post. In the first half, Moreira hit a high shot that was saved by Bunnell and Pryce had several opportunities to score. Pitt also finished with nine shots on goal, including two each from Moreira and Siobhan McDonough and one each from Ashouri, Courtney Coate, Emily Pietrangelo, Malea Fabean and McHugh.
Twenty-one Pitt Panthers saw action in the contest including two goalkeepers: sophomore Taylor Francis (first half) and freshman Margot Shore (second half). For the second consecutive exhibition game, six of Pitt’s 11 starters were freshmen, including Emma Pozzulo, Taylor Pryce, Shaina Ashouri, Seyla Perez, Courtney Coate and Ashley Moreira. Freshman Seyla Perez was the only Panthers player 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.
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