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Pitt rides strong start to 3-0 win vs Liberty in home opener

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

FINAL: Pitt 3, Liberty 0


Pitt’s men’s soccer team picked up a 3-0 victory over Liberty in its home opener Friday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

The Panthers opened the scoring quickly, with junior Edward Kizza heading in a cross from junior Matt Bailey in the third minute to give Pitt the early 1-0 lead. Goals from freshman Veljko Petkovic in the 31st minute and freshman Josh Hesson in the 82nd minute would then lead to the 3-0 victory.

“I saw the quick strike and I really liked how we got into the goal on that one,” Jay Vidovich, Pitt’s Head Coach said. “Then the one that got called back right after that, once again it was just a great action to goal and that’s what we wanted. I think after that we faltered slightly, we struggled a little bit in the half trying to find ourselves there, but the goals that we scored I think were really quality soccer actions.”

It took no time for the Panthers to find their offense, with Kizza’s header from Bailey’s cross opening things up in the third minute. Petkovic then put the score at 2-0 in the 31st minute, scorching a free kick over the keeper’s head from near midfield. Pitt would head into the break with a 7-2 lead in shots and 2-1 advantage in corners.

The Panthers continued to attack in the second half, recording 15 shots in the final 45 minutes of play, but weren’t able to find the back of the net until Hesson sent in a ball from the left of the box to make it 3-0 in the 82nd minute and give Pitt the eventual win.

Hesson closed the match with a team-high five shots, while Bailey added four. Kizza and Petkovic each collected three shots, with redshirt sophomore Chad Stout and sophomore Rodrigo Almeida both recording two in the contest. Senior Braden Kline, junior Alexander Dexter and redshirt sophomore Tim Townsend each added a shot apiece in the matchup.

In goal, sophomore keeper Alexander Steinbach recorded the clean sheet while collecting a save in 90 minutes of action.


Up next, the Panthers will continue their homestand with a match against Delaware 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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