Bearcats Top Pitt In BIG EAST Opener|
Sept. 22, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - True freshman John Manga scored his first career goal to lead the University of Cincinnati men's soccer team to a 1-0 win at Pittsburgh in the BIG EAST Conference opener for both teams at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Saturday (Sept. 22).
The Bearcats (4-4-1, 1-0-0 BIG EAST) handed Pittsburgh (6-1-2, 0-1-0) its first loss of the season. UC has won three straight, all by 1-0 margins, and won its conference opener for the third time in the last four seasons.
Manga, who started up top along with sophomore forward Cole DeNormandie, put in his first collegiate goal just before halftime after a shot from Matt Remaley was pushed aside by Pitt goalkeeper Lee Johnston. Manga collected the rebound and gave UC the lead in the 44th minute.
The Bearcats held on throughout the second half in rainy and windy conditions to post the squad's third straight shutout. Taylor Hafling made seven saves and saw his season goals against average drop to 0.97. It marked the first time the Bearcats have posted three consecutive shutouts since Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 2010. UC topped Georgetown, 2-0, played Xavier to a 0-0 draw, and defeated Rutgers, 2-0, two seasons ago.
The win was the first for the Bearcats in Pittsburgh, having lost, 2-1, to the Panthers in 2006 at Founder's Field.
"We had a great team effort tonight," said head coach Hylton Dayes. "It is tough to get a win on the road in the BIG EAST. Congrats to John Manga on his first career goal and credit to Taylor Hafling and our back four for the clean sheet. Pitt is an explosive team that can score goals so to get the shutout was a credit to those guys."
UC returns to Gettler Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 26, welcoming Cleveland State for a non-conference tilt. The Bearcats and Vikings will kick off at 7 p.m.