Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum, fresh from guiding Nigeria to the last 16 at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, made a triumphant return to the club football arena on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
Waldrum’s return saw him at the helm of the Pittsburgh women’s soccer team, who squared off against Drexel in their first home game of the 2023 season at the Ambrose Urbanic Field.
The Panthers, bolstered by the presence of Nigeria international Deborah Abiodun, showcased a dominant performance throughout the match, securing a resounding 4-1 victory and maintaining an undefeated streak in the season.
Pitt wasted no time asserting their dominance, with junior forward Sarah Schupansky opening the scoring in the eighth minute.
A mere four minutes later, Samiah Phiri unleashed a powerful strike, doubling the Panthers’ lead in the 12th minute.
Pitt continued their relentless attack, with Schupansky netting her second goal in the 13th minute.
In the 48th minute, midfielder Abiodun played a pivotal role in Pitt’s fourth goal, scored by Amanda West.
Deborah Abiodun was sent off during Nigeria’s clash with Canada at the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Drexel salvaged a consolation goal in the 55th minute, courtesy of Delaney Lappin.
However, Pitt remained firmly in control, thwarting serious opportunities for the visiting team.
Following the match, Panthers head coach Waldrum praised the performance of Super Falcons prodigy Abiodun.
Abiodun, who made her first appearance for Pitt against Drexel, played for 39 minutes off the bench and delivered her first career assist on the fourth goal.
Take a bow, Pitt 🤩#H2P pic.twitter.com/Lpd62oCus3
— Pitt Women’s Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) August 21, 2023
Coach Waldrum expressed his excitement for Abiodun’s potential this season, highlighting her ability to add physicality and athleticism to the midfield.
“Well, the thing she brings is something that we’ve lacked in midfield is a little bit of a physicality,” Waldrum said on Abiodun.
“A player that can win the ball in midfield, she’s not afraid to tackle, and she brings athleticism to us and she’s a very, very intelligent player.
“I think the more people watch her, I think the more they’ll appreciate how good she is. I don’t know if people could see today, but she got out of some really tight spaces, just with some simple, clean things that she did with the ball.”
Pitt’s next challenge lies ahead as they prepare to face MAC opponent Kent State on Thursday.