Bradford, PA -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Men's Soccer team scored 4 goals in the second half to pick up an AMCC win against Alfred State.
Both teams had a difficult time coming up with an end product in the first half, as the Panthers managed 7 shots and the Pioneers taking 5. Neither team was able to break the ice, however, both teams had a chance to open the scoring before the break. In the 10th minute, Pitt-Bradford winger Chase Rider was able to wriggle into enough space to get off a shot which the Alfred State keeper parried into the path of Thomas Kelly. Kelly attempted an off-balance shot upon gaining control of the ball but saw the keeper push it away for a corner kick. Panther goalkeeper Sihle Sizani was able to save the two shots on goal he faced in the first but needed some help after a bad giveaway in the 39th minute. After the Panthers lost possession, Pioneer forward David Pearson ripped a shot that Sizani was unable to reach, but saw it bounce off the post and out for a goal kick.
Pitt-Bradford responded following coach Nathan Whitehurst's halftime team talk as they needed just over two minutes to open the scoring. Aside from the pep talk, Whitehurst made a line-up change at the break as Nicholas Pezo was introduced to the midfield for just his second appearance of the season. Pezo made his presence known immediately as he made a run into the box and headed a Chase Rider cross into the top right corner for his first career goal. Two minutes later, the roles reversed, as Pezo played a through ball behind the defense for Rider. Rider won the race to the ball and slid a shot underneath the Alfred State goalkeeper to score his 9th of the year.
In the 59th minute, Rider made an incredible individual play to score his brace. After running onto a long ball from TJ Magro, Chase skillfully dribbled around one defender and the oncoming keeper. Facing his own goal, he flicked the ball with his backheel into the open net to put the Panthers up three. The final goal of the game came with just 3 minutes to go. Rider played a cross that curved towards the goalie who came out to meet it. The goalkeeper fumbled the ball on the ground and Spencer Sklar sprinted in to take control of the ball and tap in a shot for the fourth.
Rider finished the game taking 5 shots and putting 3 of them on goal. Sklar and Thomas Kelly took 3 shots each with Sklar getting 2 on goal and Kelly with 1. Sizani made 6 saves on the way to his 6th win and 4th clean sheet of the season.
The win moves Pitt-Bradford to 7-4 on the season with a 3-1 record in AMCC play. They currently sit in a tie for third place in the conference standings. Their next game will be an important game for their spot in the standings, as they will host 2nd place Franciscan University (8-2-2, 3-1-1 AMCC) on Saturday, October, 12th at 1:00 PM.