Aug 30, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – It was a day of firsts for the Seton Hall women’s soccer team on Friday afternoon as the Pirates blanked Army, 2-0, to pick up their first win of the new campaign.
It was the third meeting for the teams in as many years and the first win for SHU in the series after having suffered a pair of 1-0 defeats on the road against the Black Knights over the last two seasons.
The first half was completely dominated by The Hall as SHU limited Army to just one shot on goal while managing 10 of their own in the opening period. Less than a minute into the action, freshman Sarah Cortes (Paramus, N.J.) was played in on goal and rifled a shot off the right post; a precursor to several more quality opportunities the Pirates would create on the day.
Senior Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) forced a save from Army keeper Jordan Cassalia in the second minute and classmate Amie Ruhe (Monrovia, Md.) narrowly missed putting Seton Hall on top with a speculative effort in the sixth minute.
With nearly 13 minutes gone, midfielder Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) played in a cross from the left wing that dropped into an open area allowing a rushing Meghan Hayes (Fredon, N.J.) to one-touch the ball into the roof of the open net, giving The Hall an early one-goal lead.
The goal was the first of the season for Hayes and the third of her career. It was also the first time the Pirates have struck first in 2013, as the team improved to 6-1 in the last seven matches in which they have claimed the opening goal.
The assist was the second in three games for Clarke who has directly factored into three of the Pirates four goals on the season and now leads the squad with four points. With 14 for her career, she is now tied with Courtney Wood for second in school history and trails only international women’s soccer legend Kelly Smith who recorded 22 assists during her time in South Orange.
Marie Klemme (Berlin, Germany) got her head on the end of a ball in the 34th minute that almost expanded the lead to two, but her effort sailed just high. Less than a minute later, the Pirates took full advantage of another quality look at the Army goal and it was Hayes again at the center of the scoring play for Seton Hall.
Hayes played a ball in behind the defense and into the path of freshman Frankie Maier (Oradell, N.J.) who sized up her chance and floated a shot over the rushing keeper and inside the far post for the first goal of her career.
Maier had been on the cusp of opening her scoring account by matching the team-best total with six shots over the first two games before breaking through on Friday. The assist was Hayes’ first helper of 2013 and gave her a career-high three points for the day.
The Pirates went on to outshoot Army 5-4 in the second half but other than a header off a corner kick that Ruhe blocked off the line near the far post, goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) and a rotation of players at the back never appeared threatened.
Pettigrew tied a season-high with four saves on the night en route to her first shutout of the season. The clean sheet is also the seventh of her career; moving her to within one of claiming sole possession of fourth on the school’s all-time list.
For the afternoon, SHU held a 15-5 advantage in shot attempts and has now outshot all three of their opponents in double-digits; amounting to a 57-25 edge over the stretch.
The Pirates will look to extend their winning ways on Monday, September 2 when they travel down the shore to meet Monmouth for a Labor Day matchup. Start-time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.