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Women’s College Wrap-Around: Pitt draw No. 10 Notre Dame, Malia Kearns breaks Robert Morris record for goals in match and Duquesne remains unbeaten in A10

Photo courtesy Robert Morris Athletics

All of Pittsburgh’s Division I college soccer programs were in action this past weekend, wrapped up by a positive Sunday for all three women’s teams.

Robert Morris’ Malia Kearns pulled off the most impressive individual performance of the day, as the former Penn-Trafford standout scored a school record four goals in the Colonials 4-2 win vs Wright State.  Kearns’s four goals and eight points in one game are an official program record. Recording the game-winning goal as well, she’s now tied third all-time in game-winning goals in a season with three. Now with seven goals and three assists, Kearns has reached 17 points in 2023. She’s made her way into the top 10 in program history in goals and points scored through one season.

Duquesne also won its second straight A-10 Conference match, by defeating St. Bonaventure, 2-0, on a rain soaked afternoon in Western New York.

Meanwhile, at Ambrose Urbanic Field, Pitt showed plenty of fight in getting an equalizer after trailing No. 10 Notre Dame in the second half.

Kearns Double-Brace Leads Colonials Past Wright State, 4-2 

On a rainy Sunday, the Colonials immediately got to work at the North Athletic Complex.

Right off the bat, RMU earned a corner kick in the second minute of the game and midfielders Taylor Day and Elisa Corvalan recorded shots following the corner kick.

Just eight minutes into the game, Malia Kearns scored the first goal of the game. Her shot skipped past the Raiders goalkeeper and gave the team an early lead.

Following the first goal, RMU peppered two more shots, but going the other way, Wright State tied up the game in the 14th minute.

Through the middle of the half, the Colonials kept on the pressure, earning three more corner kicks and pouncing three more shots at the frame.

With seven minutes left to go in the first, Kearns would be the goal scorer once again. Freshman Julia Becerra found Kearns in the box, she took a touch cutting inside and slammed in a world class finish into the top-right corner to give RMU the lead till halftime.

Early on in the second half, RMU got right back to where they left off, creating several chances. The first 15 minutes featured four shots and two corner kicks for the home side.

In the 61st minute, Kearns completed the natural hat trick, scoring another goal past a different Raiders goalkeeper to move RMU up, 3-1. This time, she received the ball out, beat a player and slotted the ball into the back of the net on the far post.

About 10 minutes passed, the Colonials kept possession in WSU’s defensive zone. After three consecutive corner kicks, the ball popped out to Kearns on the third opportunity, and she banged another one home for her fourth goal of the game.

As time winded down, with just 15 seconds left in the game, the Raiders Kaylin Helinski scored a goal, but goalkeeper Brenna Murray would go on to earn another victory

Panthers Battle Back to Draw No. 10 Notre Dame 

Pitt hosted No. 10 Notre Dame at Ambrose Urbanic Field in a match between two sides which split the series last year, with the Irish getting the win in the ACC Tournament in a match that went to penalty kicks.

It was a scoreless affair on Sunday until the second half.

That’s when Notre Dame took the lead in the 72nd minute, as Kristina Lynch anticipated a long, low thru ball from Eva Gaetino to accelerate past the Panthers’ back line, then slotted home a left-footed finish.

At the 82nd minute, freshman Deborah Abiodun headed the ball into the back of the net off of Keera Melenhorst’s corner kick.

Look for a more detailed post-match report to come from PSN contributor Rachael Kriger, who called the match on ACCNX.  Kriger spoke with Pitt’s Randy Waldrum, Abiodun and Amanda West after the match.

Dukes Win Second Straight A-10 Match 

The Dukes (5-5-2, 2-0-2) have now earned back-to-back road wins and are off to their best start in A-10 play since 2016, going four games without a loss.

Duquesne put pressure on the Bonnies (3-3-5, 2-1-1) early with a shot from forward Maya Matesa intercepting a pass and running past a defender before bouncing a shot off the post in the 14th minute.

Just three minutes later in the 17th minute, Jaimi Araujo received a great pass and fired a shot that Bonaventure’s keeper barely saved after deflecting it off the far post.

The game turned into a back-and-forth event with the rain being a factor on the turf with many issues completing the final pass for both sides. At the half, the score remained even at 0-0 with the teams being even in shots with six a piece.

In the second half, the energy went completely Duquesne’s way as the passing got better as the game continued and the shots would start to fall into the back of the net.

In the 67th minute, a corner from Margey Brown set up a fire drill in front of the goal before defender Karley Steinher tapped in the shot for her first goal of the season, to give the Dukes a 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes later, Cami Taylor received an errant pass from SBU’s keeper before Brianna Moore fired a shot over the keeper’s head landing in the back of the net for her team-leading fourth goal of the season to increase the gap to 2-0.

The Dukes outshout the Bonnies 8-4 in the second half and kept possession in their end most of the half with DU having four corners to SBU having zero. In total, Duquesne racked up a season-high nine corners.

Despite not scoring Araujo led the charge for the offense with a game-high six shots with two of the shots going on goal.

The Dukes second straight win in Atlantic 10 action moves them into second place in the standings after the first four games.

Duquesne looks to continue the early success through conference play when they come back home on Thursday against the University of Massachusetts. Start time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Rooney 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).

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