Pirates Play Princeton to Scoreless Draw

Seniors Meghan Hayes and Jennifer Pettigrew were standouts for the Pirates on Friday night against Princeton

Seniors Meghan Hayes and Jennifer Pettigrew were standouts for the Pirates on Friday night against Princeton

Sept. 13, 2013

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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Up against a Princeton squad that had cruised its way to victories in its first two contests of 2013, the Seton Hall women’s soccer team put on an impressive defensive display on Friday night as the Pirates and Tigers played to a scoreless draw at Owen T. Carroll Field.

It was the first home match for Seton Hall (1-4-2) since a 2-0 victory over Army on August 30 and The Hall is now unbeaten in its first three appearances in South Orange on the season.

SHU applied its share of pressure early on, firing three shots at Princeton keeper Darcy Hargadon within the first 13 minutes. The Pirates’ best chance to jump ahead in the first half came with just over 12 minutes played as senior Meghan Hayes (Fredon, N.J.) rattled the frame with a try from in close; one of two occasions on the night where  she was robbed by the woodwork.

In the 32nd minute, junior Angie Shehaj (East Brunswick, N.J.), who was making her second consecutive start, got loose for another look at goal but Hargadon was up to the task; keeping the teams deadlocked heading into the break.

The offensive activity ramped up significantly on both ends in the second half as the teams combined for 13 shots in the period after totaling seven in the first.

Senior Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) was the first to threaten to get on the score-sheet as soon after the restart, she worked free but couldn’t keep her header under the bar.

In the 51st minute, Seton Hall keeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) faced her first test of the evening, comfortably stopping Princeton’s leading scorer and reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, Tyler Lussi, as she was positioned well to put an end to the opportunity.

Pettigrew stoned Lussi again seven minutes later but was nearly beaten in the 62nd minute mark the Tigers’ Jessica Haley took advantage of an SHU giveaway and tried her luck from outside the area, sending in a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and back into play.

The bar would come into play again a short time later when off a corner kick from freshman Frankie Maier (Oradell, N.J.), Hayes narrowly missed putting the Pirates in front for a second time as her effort beat Hargadon but not the bar.

Pettigrew was huge down the stretch for The Hall, making two key stops on quality chances as the game approached the 80-minute mark.  

With seven and a half minutes to play, senior Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) found herself in behind the Princeton back line with only Hargadon to beat but couldn’t keep her effort on target.

As the clock ticked down towards extra time, Pettigrew made her fifth stop of the half to ensure the Pirates would get a chance to grab a winner in overtime.

Shots were limited in the first extra 10 but Pettigrew was forced to make another quality stop on Lussi to keep hope alive; parrying away a well-placed effort.

The Pirates outshot the visitors, 3-0, in the final extra period but Hargadon was there to make stops on a shot from Clarke and a long-range effort from Melissa Blevins (Laurel Springs, N.J.) to hold the game scoreless through the final whistle.

Friday marked the second-consecutive meeting in which Seton Hall and Princeton (2-0-1) had gone past 100 minutes, but the tie was the first in an all-time series that spans 11 games.

The Pirates have proven to be especially sound in crunch time as with their latest result, the team is now 4-0-2 in games that have reached overtime since the start of the 2011 season.

Pettigrew’s performance was a fitting follow up to her career-best setting 15-save effort at #5/#4 Virginia last time out. The Kearny native entered the night as the BIG EAST leader in saves and now has 37 on the season; eclipsing the 200-save mark for her career.

The clean sheet was her second of the season and she is also now in sole posssession of fourth on the school's all-time shutouts list with eight to her credit.

Saturday is a travel day for Seton Hall as the team will head to Newark, Del. for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Blue Hens. Start-time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.