Sept. 25, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Thursday marks the beginning of a new campaign for the Seton Hall women's soccer team as the Pirates get their first taste of conference competition in this, a new era of BIG EAST athletics.
SHU wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 2-5-2 overall record but posted an unbeaten 2-0-2 ledger in games played at Owen T. Carroll Field which is where The Hall will be for both contests this weekend.
First up, a showdown with fellow BIG EAST founding member Providence as the Friars and Seton Hall are set to clash on the pitch for the first time in three years. The Pirates own a 7-3-0 advantage all-time over PC but Providence has claimed three of the last five meetings.
On Sunday, SHU will welcome one of the league's newest members in the Butler Bulldogs for what will be the inaugural meeting between the new conference rivals. The Bulldogs are riding a nine-match unbeaten streak after dropping their season opener to Louisville; and have vaulted to #25 in the Soccer America rankings.
Seton Hall will be led by an eager group of seniors that have already made a significant impact to this point in their final season in blue & white.
Goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) enters the weekend as the BIG EAST saves leader with 48 for the season. Last time out, she held Marist scoreless for the final 100 minutes by making six stops; aiding an effort that resulted in a 2-1 victory thanks to the game-winning strike from sophomore Alexis Urbanski (Aberdeen, N.J.).
Senior Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) also found the back of the net against the Red Foxes, becoming the third player in school history to reach the 20-goal mark for her career. Ritter currently leads The Hall with four goals and nine points on the season, both of which are totals that rank among the top-10 in the league.
Midfielder Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) assisted on both SHU scores against Marist, bumping her season total up to five. Last season, Clarke tied Kelly Smith's single-season school record with eight assists and now sits just five more shy of matching her career record of 22.
Clarke's seven points in 2013 are second-most on the squad and she is immediately followed by fellow senior midfielder Meghan Hayes (Fredon, N.J.) who sits in a tie for third with one goal and two assists to her credit. Hayes is a central figure in the Pirates' defensive efforts but tallied the decisive strike earlier this season in a win over Army and her assists are an indication of the playmaking ability she has displayed in her fourth year.
Freshman Frankie Maier (Oradell, N.J.) has an identical score-line to Hayes after recording two assists in the victory over Marist. The helpers were the first two of her career and helped her land on the latest BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (9.23).
Recently, Pettigrew, Ritter, Clarke and Hayes all sat down to discuss the season to this point and look ahead to the upcoming BIG EAST slate. To view the video click HERE
Thursday's tilt between the Pirates and Friars is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start. If you can't make it to the game, you can watch live on www.PirateSportsNet.tv, listen live at www.WSOU.net and follow @SetonHallsoccer on Twitter.