On Wednesday, the SRU men’s soccer team’s seven-game winless streak, which dated back to September 3, came to a close in a 4-0 victory over the University of Pitt at Johnstown. The win was The Rock’s first in league play this season and was a continuation in the historical command SRU has held over the Mountain Cats.
Slippery Rock visited UPJ, who came into the game residing in the basement of the PSAC standings with a 0-7-1 record. Leading the all-time series 30-9, the green and white ensured the 15-game win streak against Eric Kinsey’s Mountain Cats would stretch to 16, governing the contest. They sent 27 shots at the Cats’ senior goaltender, Nate Kleya, 14 of which were on target.
SRU found itself ahead on the scoreboard in the 15th minute when senior midfielders Kyle Boyer and Tyler McCarthy connected for a header goal, McCarthy’s third in as many games. Each of the subsequent goals scored by the Rock would be the first of the players’ season. Both junior midfielder George Oakley and junior defender Kenton Keeslar helped to lengthen the lead with their first goals of the campaign, putting the Rock up 3-0 heading into the intermission.
If not already, SRU sealed the victory when freshman midfielder Brady Sittinger put one past Kleya on an assist from rookie midfielder Hayden Seifert. It put Slippery Rock up 4-0 and made certain that the win streak against UPJ that dates to 1996 would continue.
Jonathan Sharp, entering the game ranked second in save percentage with a tally of 49 saves on 130 shots directed in his direction, recorded his third shutout of 2017. He faced only one shot on goal from the Mountain Cats, coming in the 8th minute of the game. Those playing in front of him aided him, blocking three consecutive shots in the 24th minute. The Cats would have four more shots, all of them sailing high over the net.