Oct. 2, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – After posting three consecutive wins in two weeks at home, the Seton Hall women’s soccer team hit the road on Wednesday, traveling to Chicago in search of their first road victory of the season, one they hope to capture on Thursday against the Blue Demons of DePaul.
The rest of the conference is looking up at the Pirates heading into week two of conference play after SHU scored a valuable six points with wins over Providence and Butler during opening weekend.
Freshman Sarah Cortes (Paramus, N.J.) helped The Hall get off on the right foot when she buried the first goal of her young career to guide the squad to a 1-0 triumph over the Friars. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) recorded her third shutout of the season as PC struggled to crack an imposing Seton Hall back line that limited Providence to one shot on net for the night.
With #25 Butler the opponent for Sunday’s match, Seton Hall jumped ahead early when seniors Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) and Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) combined to make the Bulldogs pay for a gaffe in their defensive third. After the visitors drew level, Clarke would provide the eventual game-winner off a ball from classmate Amie Ruhe (Monrovia, Md.) before Ritter, with help from sophomore D’Yonna Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.), added her second to put the game out of doubt.
Ritter was selected as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week after also firing a game-high five shots against the Friars, marking the fourth time in five weeks a Pirate has been honored by the conference. She is also the first Seton Hall player to earn the award since Taylor Wilson in 2011.
Riley was part of a Seton Hall defense that included fellow sophomore Melissa Blevins (Laurel Springs, N.J.), freshman Cathy Chukuka (Marlboro, N.J.) and junior Kristina Meier (Paramus, N.J.) that has been a major factor in the team’s current winning streak.
Before packing up to head to Chicago, Riley and Meier joined Cortes and Ritter in sitting down to discuss the roll the Pirates are on and how that momentum can propel them towards continued success. You can see what they had to say in this video interview
Heading into the DePaul match, the Pirates have a chance to achieve something that has rarely been accomplished in the program’s history. SHU has now started out 2-0 in conference play in three of the last four seasons but only twice has Seton Hall gone unbeaten in its first three BIG EAST games, the last occurrence coming in 1997.
The Blue Demons began their league slate with an important draw at top-10 foe Georgetown but fell to Providence, 1-0, before returning home. DPU will host a game for the first time in three weeks tomorrow but also boasts an unbeaten 3-0-1 mark at home to this point in the year.
This is the second consecutive season in which Seton Hall has made the trip to Wish Field, having been edged 1-0 in 2012. The teams have split the last two meetings after current Pirates Clarke and Brittney Albrecht (Mahwah, N.J.) scored during a 3-1 victory in 2011 but DPU holds the upper hand in the all-time series with a 4-2-2 overall record.
SHU will return home on Sunday, October 6 when they will get their first look at new conference member Creighton. The Bluejays saw their seven-game winning streak snapped in their inaugural BIG EAST contest thanks to a 2-1 loss to Marquette but bounced back to record their first point as a member of the league with a scoreless draw against St. John’s last time out.
Creighton is powered by an attack that spreads the wealth as CU has eight players with two goals or more on the season and nine who have notched at least five points.
If Creighton can secure a result at Providence on Thursday, something figures to give when the two teams square off in an all blue & white affair on Sunday, as the Pirates will put up their unbeaten home ledger against the Bluejays unblemished road record.
CU rolls into Rhode Island with a 1-0-2 mark in road games this season.
Start-time for The Hall and DePaul on Thursday is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. local time. Be sure to follow @SetonHallsoccer on Twitter for live updates throughout the game.
Start time for the showdown between the Pirates and Creighton is slated for 1:00 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field. Fans who can’t make it out can catch the action on www.PirateSportsNet.tv or listen live at www.WSOU.net