INDIANOLA, PA - The No. 8-ranked Rutgers men’s soccer team rebounded from a loss to St. John’s in a non-conference match on Wednesday, earning a decisive, 4-1, victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. The win improves RU to 3-1 overall for the season and 2-0 in BIG EAST play, while Pittsburgh falls to 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the BIG EAST.
Junior Richie Arenas (Guatemala City) opened the scoring for Rutgers at the 19:13 mark, heading in a ball from junior Gustavo Mora (Asuncion, Paraguay) on a corner kick. The Scarlet Knights added another goal three minutes later as junior Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ) fired a shot off the right post and into the goal.
Pittsburgh cut the deficit to 2-1 just before halftime with the Panthers’ Billy Bush the beneficiary of a missclear by Rutgers goalkeeper Scott Conway (Aston, PA).
Freshman Joe Donoho (Tampa, FL) scored his first collegiate points, heading a goal off a Mora corner kick in the 66th minute to open up a two-goal lead (3-1).
With Rutgers in control, senior Josh Gros (Mechanicsburg, PA) continued his hot start to the 2003 season, scoring a goal on a cross from junior Wes Kirk (Bloomfield, NJ) in the 74th minute to make it 4-1. The goal is Gros’ sixth of the season; he leads the team in scoring with 13 points. Gros, the reining BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, has scored at least one goal in each of the Scarlet Knights’ four matches this season. He has a total of 11 goals in his last eight games, dating back to October 30, 2002.
“We had a tremendous team effort today,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “I thought we played exceptionally well and controlled the match. We looked very sharp in the attacking third.”
Conway played 78 minutes in goal, recording two saves, while freshman Lubos Ancin (Burlington, NJ) made his second appearance of the season, logging the final 12 minutes of the match. Pittsburgh’s Justin Lowery made seven stops, allowing all four RU goals, before being relieved by Jason Cooke in the 74th minute.
Rutgers’ powerful offensive attack resulted in 21 shots to Pittsburgh’s eight, while the pair had four corner kicks each.
Rutgers will travel to West Long Branch, NJ, on Wednesday, Sept. 17 for a 3 p.m. match with Monmouth. Following Monmouth, RU will return home to face No. 10 Connecticut at Yurcak Field on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.