Women's Soccer Travels To Pittsburgh
    Two Tech players return home when Hokies travel to western Pennsylvania
    September 27, 2002

    BLACKSBURG, Va. - Sunday afternoon the Virginia Tech women's soccer team travels to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a cross-divisional BIG EAST match with the Pittsburgh Panthers.

    Sophomores Sarah Kammerer (Moon Township, Pa.) and Natasha Dirda (McKees Rocks, Pa.), both from western Pennsylvania, are looking forward to this weekend's match and the opportunity to play in front of their family and friends.

    Kammerer, a graduate of Moon Area High School, will go head-to-head with two former high school teammates, Pittsburgh freshmen Aimee Romasco and Julianne Jockman.

    "It will be a nice reunion," Kammerer said. "We haven't really seen each other play for at least a year so it will be nice. My family lives about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh, so it will be good to see everyone."

    Dirda joined the Hokies last spring as a walk-on goalkeeper and has started six games this season with a team-best 32 saves in nearly 500 minutes of action. Dirda used to play club soccer with Pittsburgh's second-string goalkeepr, Lailah Issac.

    "I can't wait to play on Sunday," Dirda said. "My sister is coming home and my family will be there to watch. It's really exciting and something I have been looking forward to."

    The Hokies enter the match with a 1-6-1 record overall after earning their first victory of the season on Tuesday afternoon against Liberty in convincing fashion, 5-0.

    "That was an important game for us, especially since it was a home game," Kammerer explained. "We needed a win and that definitely helped to boost everyone's confidence. The fact that we did not just win, but were able to score five goals was very important for us. We are starting a part of our season with a lot of conference games, and that is obviously an important stretch for us if we want to make the BIG EAST Tournament."

    The Hokies, playing the toughest schedule in the program's 10-year history, have lost three games by one goal, including a 1-0 loss to Florida State, a team ranked in the preseason top-10 by Soccer Buzz Magazine.

    "With the exception of our first two losses (Notre Dame and William & Mary), we have been in every game, they were all close," Kammerer stated. "Versus Liberty we were able to capitalize on our chances. That definitely has helped our confidence going into the second part of the season.

    With a team that includes 12 freshmen and only two seniors, Tech has several reasons to remain positive as it begins the second half of the season. With each game the Hokies become more united and more familiar with each other and the new system of play.

    Kammerer explained, "Personally, when I walk on to the field, I don't care what our record is. That is the last thing I think of. The way I look at it now is, hey, we are undefeated at home. Who cares if we have only played one game."

    hokiesports.com previews Sunday's match against Pittsburgh:

    WOMEN'S SOCCER PREVIW
    OVERALL RECORD: 1-6-1, BIG EAST RECORD: 0-1-0
    For Updated Women's Soccer Stats Click Here

    TROUT SETS TWO SCHOOL RECORDS VERSUS LIBERTY: Playing in their first home game of the 2002 season, the Hokies cruised to a convincing 5-0 shutout over the visiting Liberty Lady Flames. Freshman Kjersti Trout set two single-game school records becoming the first Tech women's soccer player to score four goals and tally eight points in a single match. Needless to say, Trout now leads Tech with 11 points (five goals, one assist). Tech's defense limited Liberty to only two shots on goal and goalkeepers Natasha Dirda and Katie Hancock made one save each to preserve the shutout.

    SCOUTING PITTSBURGH: The Panthers, under the direction of seventh year head coach Roland Sturk, enter the match 3-6-0 on the year and 0-3-0 in conference play. Pittsburgh is led by senior Lauren Sciocchetti who has tallied eight points on four goals this season. Freshman goalkeeper Jamie Pelusi has posted a 1.87 goals against average in nearly 820 minutes of action while making 64 saves. This will be the first meeting ever between Tech and the Panthers.

    MOVING ON UP: In Tech's 5-0 victory against Liberty on Tuesday, junior Emily Barnhart assisted Trout on her first two goals of the afternoon. With those two assists Barnhart now has eight career assists and ranks tied for third among the program's all-time assist leaders. Wendy Kotwas (1998-01) also tallied eight assists in her career at Tech. Shannon Otto (1996-99) and Carmen Chestnut (1998-01) stand atop the leader board with 10 career assists.

    A CAREER FIRST: With Trout scoring four goals against Liberty it was easy to overlook the efforts of sophomore Sarah Kammerer as she scored her first career goal in the 63rd minute of play. Kammerer elevated above a crowd of players and headed a ball played by classmate Kristel Jacobson past the Liberty goalkeeper for the fifth and final tally of the day.

    LOOKING AHEAD: Following Sunday's match at Pittsburgh, the Hokies will travel to North Carolina for a match against Davidson on Friday, Oct. 4, before playing their next home game against Old Dominion Sunday, Oct. 6.

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