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Pitt battles No. 10 UNC to 2-1 loss in #ACC opener

From University of Pittsburgh athletic department report

University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer team dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to No. 10 North Carolina Saturday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field. 

With the loss, the Panthers move to 2-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 against ACC opponents, while the Tar Heels improve to 4-1-0 overall and earn their first conference win of the year.

“I’m proud of the guys, we did a tremendous job today,” head coach Jay Vidovich said. “We posed our game on a fantastic team. I think we served notice that we’re an ACC team.”

“I’m happy with that and I’m very proud of the fact that were in it until the very last second of the match. We stayed strong and took opportunities to keep pushing and pressing the game. The other side of it is that I’m disappointed because that’s not enough. I know we are strong enough and we’re going to learn from these lessons tonight. You can’t fall asleep during different moments of the game. We have to capitalize on opportunities and turn this around.”

In a back-and-forth conference battle, North Carolina finished the match with a 6-4 advantage with shots on goal, while Pitt out-shot the Tar Heels overall 14-9.

The Panthers drew a season-high eight corner kicks to the Tar Heels three, but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities.

North Carolina struck first in the 11th minute of action as Jelani Pieters netted his fourth goal of the season.

Pitt responded in the 31st minute off the foot of freshman Edward Kizza to tie it 1-1. Senior Pol Planellas sent Kizza a long ball from midfield into the box and poked it right past the UNC keeper.

The Tar Heels added the game-winner in the 55th minute.

The Panthers resume action Saturday, Sept. 16 when they make the trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take Vidovich’s former team, No. 2 Wake Forest at 7 p.m.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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