McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Soccer Team (2-1, 1-0) picked up a big win in their Penn State University Athletic Conference opener defeating Penn State New Kensington (1-4, 0-1) 4-0 on Wednesday. PSUGA’s defense scored their first shutout of the season and the offense supplied more then enough support for the team to pick up the victory.
The game was scoreless through the first 25 minutes of play as the teams battled back and forth. PSUGA was the first to break through when senior Belmo Nurkic (Pittsburgh, PA./Baldwin HS) beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to give PSUGA a 1-0 lead. Just five minutes later, a Yellow Card on PSU-New Kensington set Nurkic up to add on as he attempted a penalty kick.
Nurkic capitalized putting the ball into the back of the net giving PSUGA a 2-0 lead. PSUGA found more quick strike offense just one minute later when Idriss Benjelloun (Harrisburg, PA./Susquehanna Township HS) scored on a pass from Namy Makiese (Pittsburgh, PA./Taylor Allderdice). What was once a scoreless game became a 3-0 lead for PSUGA in a matter of just six minutes and they took the lead into halftime.
Their final goal of the day came in the final minute of play when Raghu Chimoriya (Pittsburgh, PA./Baldwin HS) knocked in his second goal of the year off of a pass from Christopher Rossi (Elizabeth, NJ./Frank J. Circafel Academy) giving PSUGA the 4-0 victory. It is the second season in a row that PSUGA has opened conference play with a victory in what was a very well-played match.
Nurkic led PSUGA on the day with two goals coming on four shots, all on goal, while Chimoriya and Benjelloun each chipped in with a goal. Makiese and Rossi each added assists on the day rounding out the PSUGA offensive effort. Colin Bucsok (Pittsburgh, PA./Thomas Jefferson) collected his sixth career shutout making five saves on just five shots on goal. He also got his 11th career win and is now just two wins away from being the all-time winningest goalie in PSUGA soccer history.
PSUGA did fall into card trouble with Nurkic receiving both a yellow and a red card while teammates Chimoriya and Benjelloun each received yellow cards on the day. However, it was a very well-played game according to head coach Dale Odim and he liked what he saw from his defense and especially Rossi’s effort.
“The Defense played very well today, especially Namy [Makiese] who was playing a new position at left back,” said Odim. “Chris [Rossi] had a stellar game in the midfield as well.”
PSUGA now moves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play as they look for their fifth straight PSUAC playoff berth. They continue the conference half of their schedule on Saturday when they take on PSU-Scranton at home. Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is scheduled for 4 p.m.