Shutouts pave way for Pirates
The women’s soccer team recorded their fourth straight victory for the first time since 2005 after defeating SUNY Binghamton 1-0 on Sept. 20 and Rutgers by the same score on Sept. 17.
The wins improve the Hall’s record to 5-3 on the season and 1-0 in the Big East.
The defense led the way against Binghamton, holding the Bearcats to only seven shots with three of those being on net.
“We got a shutout again,” head coach Kazbek Tambi said, “and whenever you get a shutout, it’s good defense.”
The only goal of the game came in the 35th minute when freshman Meghan Hayes headed the ball into the back of the net after receiving a cross from freshman Ashley Clarke.
It was Hayes’ first goal of her collegiate career.
Sophomore Jennifer Pettigrew and redshirt junior Elizabeth Bond both played goalkeeper for the Hall.
Pettigrew got the start and received credit for the shutout, saving two of the seven shots taken by Binghamton. Bond came in for the second half and recorded one save.
The Pirates attempted 27 shots, 19 of which were in the second half.
Redshirt sophomore Stephanie Soma led the aggressive Pirate attack with eight shots, one was on goal.
“With every game, [there are] different challenges and each player can improve on difficulties they have from game to game,” Tambi said.
On Sept. 17 against No. 24 Rutgers, freshman and Big East Rookie of the week, Kaitlyn Ritter scored her fifth goal of the season leading the Pirates to a 1-0 win in their first Big East game of the year.
“It feels good about the acknowledgement,” Ritter said. “My parents were more excited than I was.”
In her first ever Big East game, she scored the lone goal in the 28th minute.
Ritter received a throw in from Clark, dribbled around the defender to the right side of the box, and kicked the ball just out of the reach of redshirt sophomore Emmy Simpkins into the left top corner of the goal.
“I just kept pushing to get another one,” Ritter said.
The Pirates strategy became defensive to hold the 1-0 lead, with Pettigrew recording six saves, including two one-on-one saves.
A crucial handball by a Seton Hall player within the last minute of the game gave the Scarlet Knights one last chance to score. The free kick by Rutgers was missed, giving the Pirates the victory.
Four Rutgers’ players led the team with two shots each. The Hall was led by Ritter and freshman Amy Ruhe, with four of the team’s 10 shots. Rutgers took six shots in the game with the Hall taking five.
In preparation for their next home game against the Villanova Wildcats, coach Tambi said, “the Big East is tough and to succeed, they have to compete at an optimum level.”
“We have to bring out our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses,” he said.
The Hall will face the Wildcats at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Owen T. Carroll field.
Ryan Rush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org