Sep 6, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - Defense was the order of the day on Friday afternoon in the opener of the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic as the Seton Hall women's soccer team was edged by William & Mary, 1-0.
The Pirates (1-3-1) limited the Tribe to seven shots in the match, marking the third time that SHU has held its opponent to single-digit attempts through five matches in 2013. Seton Hall recorded 10 tries at goal but none found the target and William & Mary ultimately prevailed behind a 71st minute strike.
Opportunities were limited for both sides in the first half as the teams went into the break with a combined five attempts.
SHU's two attempts in the opening 45 came off the feet of senior forward Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) inside the first 10 minutes of action. Ritter, who entered the day among the top-10 in the BIG EAST in shot attempts in addition to being the Pirates' leading scorer, got two looks at the W&M net that were separated by about five minutes but both efforts traveled wide of the woodwork.
The Hall also had three corner kicks in the half, but was unable to convert.
Senior keeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) was up to the task the one time she was tested in the period, stonewalling the Tribe's Dani Rutter in the 20th minute.
Following the intermission, the Pirates turned up the pressure, doubling the Tribe's shot output from the restart to the final whistle.
The barrage started in the 52nd minute when Amie Ruhe (Monrovia, Md.) worked an opportunity but saw her effort clear the crossbar. Sophomore defender D'Yonna Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.) found herself in an advanced position nearly 11 minutes later and headed a ball towards goal, only to see it pass the outside of the post.
In the 71st minute it was a header from William & Mary forward that undid the Pirate defense and gave the Tribe what proved to be the decisive advantage.
Forward Katie Johnston re-entered the game for W&M following a Seton Hall foul and 40 seconds later she got her head on a cross from teammate Emory Camper and was able to slot it past Pettigrew.
SHU pressed furiously for the equalizer, launching six shots from five different players over the final 20 minutes. The Pirates were nearly rewarded with less than four minutes remaining as substitute Angie Shehaj (East Brunswick, N.J.) had her shot blocked and freshman Cathy Chukuka (Marlboro, N.J.) followed soon after with a crack of her own that sailed high.
The loss marks the second consecutive year that Seton Hall has been nipped by CAA power William & Mary (2-1-1), 1-0, on a neutral field after the two teams played to the same result in Philadelphia last season.
The team will get tomorrow off from competition before getting the chance to wrap up the weekend in grand style when they take on #4/#5 Virginia on their home field. The Pirates and Cavaliers have split a pair of all-time meetings and in 2006, SHU upset then #15 UVa, 1-0, in Charlottesville.
Kick-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and the game can once again be heard live on WSOU 89.5 FM.