Aug 25, 2013
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PITTSBURGH--The Pitt women's soccer team opened its 18th all-time regular season with a 1-0 shutout win at Duquesne on Sunday at Rooney Field. Sophomore Roosa Arvas provided the game-winning goal in the game's 43rd minute and junior goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino registered her fourth career shutout for Pitt.
"Today, it was a matter of trying to execute our game plan and really trying to match their physical intensity," Pitt head coach Greg Miller said. "As the game wore on, our fitness and ability to handle their physicalness were keys. We had a couple of great opportunities in the second half. As a young team, we didn't do a great job of managing the game."
Pitt (1-0) took a 1-0 lead with three minutes left in the first half when Arvas received a pass in the middle of the field from senior Dana DelleFemine and launched a shot from 25 yards out that soared over Duquesne goalkeeper Devon Tabata and into the net. The goal marked the first of the 2013 campaign for the Panthers. It was Arvas' fourth career score and DelleFemine's third career assist.
Arvas, who led the Panthers with five shots, had another golden opportunity in the 83rd minute when her hard shot from 20 yards out deflected off the crossbar and back into play. But her lone goal was all the Panthers needed as their defense, led by goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino and defenders Morgan Sharick, Jackie Poucel and Caroline Keefer held Duquesne scoreless for 90 minutes.
"They all did a great job of putting out fires," Miller said. "We could have done a better job of not putting them in a position to make those plays, but they did a fantastic job of disrupting Duquesne's ability to try to sneak one in on us."
Duquesne (1-1-0) was playing its second game of the year after defeating St. Francis, Pa. 1-0 in overtime Friday evening. The Dukes had three opportunities to score in the game's 62nd minute on back-to-back corner kick opportunities.
Pitt won its eighth consecutive game against Duquesne and improved to 8-2-0 in 10 all-time matchups against the Dukes. In addition, the Panthers have outscored the Dukes 16-2 in those eight games, including a 3-1 victory on August 26, 2012 at Ambrose Urbanic Field last year. Pitt is 3-2 all-time in road games at Duquesne's Rooney Field.
Pitt's D'Agostino made several key saves in the game and finished with five for the match. In the fourth minute, D'Agostino saved a high arching potential goal by punching the ball over the net. She also came off her line to save several Duquesne corner kick opportunities.
Four Pitt freshmen started the game including forward Carly Seneca, midfielders Ella Vanhanen and Siobhan McDonough and defender Kaila Jenkins. Several others saw action in reserve roles including Jessica Marini, Emily Pietrangelo, JoJo Chryst and Jaci Brown. Seneca, who finished with three shots on the day and had been impressive during preseason, was forced to leave the game with a right knee injury just four minutes before halftime. Her status for the rest of the season is in question.
Duquesne outshot Pitt 15-12. Both teams registered five shots on goal. Duquesne finished with 11 fouls to Pitt's seven.
Pitt will travel to No. 23 Ohio State for its second match of the year on Wednesday, Aug. 28. That match will be a homecoming for Pitt head coach Greg Miller, who spent 11 years in Columbus as Ohio State's Associate Head Coach. The two programs scrimmaged in Pittsburgh earlier this spring.
Next Friday, Pitt opens its home schedule against Bucknell on Aug. 30. Pitt's first Atlantic Coast Conference game will be against Boston College on Thursday, Sept. 12. Pitt's 2013 women's soccer schedule also includes nine home games at Ambrose Urbanic Field and 11 matches which will be played in the Pittsburgh area.