Two other Pitt teams began their seasons in the past week: men's soccer and volleyball, while women's soccer continues to be the comeback kids. On to the recaps!
Women's Soccer: (3-1-0)
8/19: lost 1-0 @ Michigan
The Lady Panthers had a busy week with three games. They ended a two game Michigan road trip on Sunday with a close loss at Michigan after beating Eastern Michigan last week. After keeping things level for 80+ minutes, the Panthers conceded the lone goal of the match in the 82nd minute. Despite being outshot 18-10 and only recording 1 shot on target (as opposed to 10 for Michigan), Pitt nearly came away with a tie against the Wolverines. But a defensive lapse late led to the goal and Pitt's first loss on the season.
Pitt came home on Wednesday for their home opener of the season against local rival Robert Morris. The Panthers opened up the scoring in the 34th minute off a corner kick from senior Ashley Cuba. The ball was deflected into the net by a RMU defender, giving Pitt a 1-0 lead. The goal places Cuba as Pitt's career leader in points with 48. RMU came back in the 63rd minute after Pitt keeper Nicole D'Agostino tried to catch the ball off an RMU throw-in, but missed and the ball crossed the line for the score. Pitt quickly answered though in the 70th minute with a goal from Alex Charlebois off a corner kick. The Panthers dominated the Colonials on both sides, recording 17 shots while limiting RMU to just 6 with 1 of those being on target.
Pitt ended the week with a road game against the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure. While Pitt and St. Bonaventure kept things level after the first half, the second half featured plenty of scoring. Pitt got things started in the 52nd minute with a goal from Morgan Sharick off of a corner kick. The Panthers were playing well throughout the match until a careless foul in the 81st minute gave the Bonnies a penalty kick, which they scored on to tie the game. Pitt responded well though and in the 88th minute, Dana DelleFemine tapped in a cross off of a corner kick to give Pitt the win.
Men's Soccer: (0-0-1)
The men's soccer team began their regular season this week, but not before playing in one more exhibition game against local rival California (PA). Pitt fell behind early in the match after Cal U scored in the 10th minute of the match and then again in the 46th minute. Pitt responded in the next minute with a goal from freshman Kevin Fielden off a direct kick. The equalizer came in the 62nd minute off of a one-timer from sophomore Michael Tuohy. Pitt and California (PA) played a pretty level match throughout, with Pitt outshooting the Vulcans 14-13.
The regular season opener came against Niagara at the Duquesne Invitational. Pitt nearly lost this game to Niagara after a goal by Niagara in the 41st minute. The Panthers just couldn't find the back of the net despite outshooting Niagara 14-8 in regulation. With just 4 seconds left in regulation, Pitt got the goal they needed. Tuohy crossed the ball on a corner kick and senior co-captain John Cordier hit the ball into the goal. Overtime saw no change in the scoreline so Pitt ended the game with a tie.
8/25: 3-0 loss vs. #21 Northern Iowa
8/25: 3-0 loss at #9 Purdue
The Pitt volleyball team also got their 2012 season started at the Mortar Board Premier Invitational at West Lafayette, Indiana. They opened with a win over George Washington in 4 sets (25-20, 15-25, 25-21, 25-17). Junior hitter Monica Wignot led Pitt with a match-high 16 kills. She also recorded 10 digs while Lindsey Zitzke also had a double-double with 34 assists and 12 digs. Pitt's defense helped the Panthers overcome first match jitters late in the match, allowing Pitt to come away with the win.
Pitt would not be so fortunate in their next match against a ranked Northern Iowa team. Despite keeping it close in the first two sets, Pitt was swept by the #21 Northern Iowa Panthers, 19-25, 21-25, 13-25. Pitt kept it close in the first set, tying the set at 15-15 after falling behind 11-4 early. UNI stormed back with a 6-2 run and took the first set. Pitt and UNI kept things closer in the second set, with 8 ties and 4 lead changes until UNI took the lead for good at 12-11. UNI then took charge early in the third set and ran away with the match in the 3rd set. Pitt was led by Zitzke, who had 17 assists and 7 digs, while Jessica Wynn and Kate Yeazel each had a team high 6 kills.
The final game at the Invitational came against the host and #9 Purdue. The Boilermakers showed why they are ranked in the top 10 and Pitt is, well, not. Purdue raced out to a 10-3 lead in the first set and at one point led by 12 before taking the first set 25-16. Pitt would keep things close in the second set though. In a set with 10 ties and 5 lead changes, Pitt led late in the set 21-19, but Purdue came back to tie things at 21. Pitt and Purdue would trade points to tie things at 23-23. But Purdue then scored the next two points to take the second set 25-23. Purdue then dominated the third set, scoring the set's first 11 points and running away with the set 25-6. Pitt finished third at the Mortar Board Premier Invitational. Senior Margy Acton was named to the All-Tournament Team, after recording double-digit digs in all three games.
This week in Pitt Athletics (August 26th - September 1st)
9/1 vs. Youngstown State
8/26: vs. Howard (Duquesne Invitational)
9/1: vs. St. Francis (PA)
8/26: vs. Duquesne
8/31: vs. Miami (WVU 90 Minute Classic)
8/31: vs. Coastal Carolina (Pitt Invitational)
9/1: vs. Howard (Pitt Invitational)
9/1: vs. Butler (Pitt Invitational)
9/1 Duquesne Duals