From University of Pittsburgh and University Louisville reports / Kelly Dumrauf & Kylie Klotzbach
Pittsburgh women’s soccer opened ACC play Saturday night, dropping a 2-0 decision to (RV) Louisville at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Pitt (4-3-1, 0-1-0 ACC) drops its first league game of the season as it kicks off a stretch of three straight games against teams receiving national votes in the United Soccer Coaches Association Poll.
“We’ve been talking all along about the ACC and the strength in our conference,” said head coach Randy Waldrum. “Louisville was ranked last week coming in so we knew they had a really good team. I think the players understand that. I think the freshman that hadn’t played against it, this was good for them tonight to get that kind of game under their belt.
“Even though it’s not the result we wanted, the big picture for us is making sure we continue to improve. I thought our overall performance tonight was actually pretty good compared to what we’ve been coming from. So we just want to keep getting better every week and eventually once we get to that point, the wins will come.”
Louisville (7-1-0, 1-0-0 ACC) opened the scoring up within the first five minutes of the match, connecting on a loose ball around the net as Brooklynn Rivers found Maisie Whitsett, who sent a loose ball past the keeper and into the back of the net just under five minutes into the match.
Making her return to Pittsburgh, former Moon Township standout and Louisville freshman Delaney Snyder had two consecutive scoring opportunities in the 34th and 35th minutes, however each of her shots were stopped by Pitt’s Amaia Pena.
The 2017 Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year who led Moon to consecutive WPIAL and PIAA titles, Snyder, has played in all eight of Louisville’s matches racking up three goals and an assist.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the half, the Panthers earned a free kick but Juliana Vazquez‘s shot flew above the goal, allowing the Cardinals to maintain their 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Louisville finished the half with an 11-4 advantage in shots, while edging Pitt 3-1 in corners. Gabby Kouzelos recorded a save on the Panthers’ lone shot on goal.
The Cardinals continued to apply pressure on offense, earning three corners within the first six minutes of the second half. In the 54th minute, Mollie Rouse collected a through ball from Arianna Ferraro and fired a shot into the goal to give Louisville a 2-0 lead.
For the Panthers, Juliana Vazquez, Cheyenne Hudson, Clare Beahn and Ari Morgan each recorded a shot. Keeper Amaia Pena made eight total saves, including some crucial defensive stops.
Louisville kept the Panthers from getting a single shot off in the second half, finishing the game with an 18-4 edge in shots and 8-2 advantage in corners. Kouzelos registered one save on the evening, while Amaia tallied eight.
“I’m very happy with our team’s performance tonight, and glad we can open up the ACC season with three points on the road,” said UofL head coach Karen Ferguson-Daye
The Panthers will head south to continue ACC play starting with a visit to No. 6 North Carolina on Thursday at 4 p.m. and will wrap up the weekend at No. 17 NC State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT (Delaney Snyder returns to Pittsburgh)
Great night out to support one of our own @DelaneySnyder ! @ulwomenssoccer opened up ACC play with a 2-0 win over Pitt last night and these pictures are only some of the Moon crew in attendance. Glad we could be there and good luck the rest of the season! #MLTS pic.twitter.com/SjiybF2ltf
— Moon Girls Soccer (@_MLTS_) September 16, 2018