Coaches: Pitt: Greg Miller, 1st year at Pitt (5-4-0); Marquette: Markus Roeders, 17th year at Marquette.
Series: Pitt and Marquette meet for the eighth time in series history. Marquette owns a 6-0-1 all-time record vs. the Panthers. Marquette has defeated Pitt in each of the last two matchups.
Pitt (5-4-0) will open up Big East play against No. 24 ranked Marquette (3-2-1) on Thursday at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Pitt is 0-6-1 against Marquette, including a 3-1 loss in the Big East opener in 2011. Pitt is in its 17th all-time season of women's soccer and its first under head coach Greg Miller.
Pitt tied a program record for the most non conference victories in a season with five. It also registered five wins in 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino has played every minute in all nine games for the Panthers. She has 32 saves on the season.
At 5-4-0, Pitt is off to its best start in three seasons. Pitt has already won more games in nine contests than it did in 19 matches last year.
All five of Pitt's victories have come after trailing or being tied in each of its respective contests. In addition, Pitt has been in every game and lost only one game by more than one goal.
Several Pitt players rank among the Big East statistical leaders (as of Sept. 9, 2012). Ashley Cuba ranks 6th in shots (25) and 9th in shots per game (3.12). With 3 goals on the season, -Morgan Sharick ranks 9th in the Big East in goals. Roosa Arvasranks 2nd in both assists (6) and assists per game (0.67). Nicole D'Agostinoranks 5th in saves with 132. She also is ranked 9th in goals against average (1.09), save percentage (.762) and saves per game (3.56).
Defender Morgan Sharick leads the team with three goals. All three goals have come on corner kicks. Midfielder Roosa Arvasleads the squad in assists (6) and points (8).
Pitt head coach Greg Miller is in his first season at Pitt. He was named the school's third all-time head coach on January 1, 2012. Miller joins the Panthers after spending 11 seasons as the Associate Head Coach at Ohio State where he helped lead the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Championships and seven NCAA Tournament berths.
On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, senior forward Ashley Cuba (48 points) set the Pitt career points record, which was previously held by Cande Ruiz, with a first half goal against Robert Morris. Ruiz concluded her career with 47 points from 1998-2001. Last year, Cuba set the school's career goals record with her 21st score. She broke the record held by Ashley Habbel (19 from 2006-09) and originally held by Ruiz (18 from 1999-2001). An All-Big East Third Team selection last year, Cuba has led the Panthers in scoring in each of the last three seasons and currently has 22 career goals.
Ranked No. 24 nationally, Marquette opens Big East play after back-to-back losses against Duke (5-2) and North Carolina (4-0). In 2011, Marquette picked up its third consecutive Big East American Division Championship and earned its 10th straight NCAA Championship berth. The team fell in the second round to Penn State (4-1). Head coach Markus Roeders returns for his 17th season with the Golden Eagles.
PITT'S WEEK IN REVIEW
Pitt moves to 5-4-0 on the year after a shutout win against Liberty (1-0) and a loss at Virginia Commonwealth (1-0).
Last Friday, Pitt earned its first shutout of the year against Liberty. Riliegh McHugh scored the game winning goal in the 14th minute on a cross from Alex Charlebois. Pitt's backline was impressive, limiting the Flames to only two shots on goal. Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostinoregistered her first collegiate shutout with two saves.
On Sunday, Pitt was unable to hold off VCU in a 1-0 overtime loss. At the game's 95:30 mark, VCU's Courtney Conrad sent a shot inside left post to win the game. Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino finished with four saves.