North Carolina 2, Pitt 1, 2 OT
From University of Pittsburgh and North Carolina athletic department reports
If there was any doubts about Pitt’s men’s soccer team ability to compete against some of the top teams in the country, they’ve clearly been erased in the past two games.
On Saturday, Pitt took the number five ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to the brink in the ACC opener for both sides, losing 2-1, surrendering a Milo Garvanian game-winner in the 109th minute in Koskinen Stadium on the campus of Duke University in Durham, NC.
“I’m proud of the effort of the guys,” Jay Vidovich, Pitt’s head coach, said. “I think they worked very hard. I think the game could have gone differently. Once again, a decisive moment and a decisive decision cost us. But, we’re starting to understand the requirements of playing in the ACC. So, our progress is tremendous. If the guys are willing to work and fight and battle like that we’re going to be just fine.”
A late equalizer + A DOUBLE OVERTIME WINNER = CAROLINA VICTORY ????
Checkout the highlights from our dramatic comeback HERE ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/py7cmicuXe
— UNC Men's Soccer (@UNCmenssoccer) September 9, 2018
Pitt jumped out to the lead as Edward Kizza buried his team leading fourth goal of the season 12 minutes into the first half.
Kizza put Pitt on the board early thanks to a nice feed from sophomore Marcony Pimentel.
The rest of the half proved to be a defensive stalemate, with the Panthers unable to get off a shot following Kizza’s goal, and the Tar Heels only notching two shots of their own.
The tempo picked up in the second half, with UNC attempting seven shots and Pitt recording four.
In the 73rd minute, North Carolina’s Mauricio Pineda evened the score off an assist by John Nelson. The Panthers had opportunities to regain their lead late in regulation, drawing two corners and rattling off two shots in the final minutes, but were unable to capitalize.
Neither team could get much going in the first overtime period, with Pitt recording just one shot while shutting out the UNC offense.
It wasn’t until the 109th minute of the match that the fifth-ranked Tar Heels ultimately prevailed, with Garvanian scoring on a header off a cross from Nils Bruening to earn the win in a hard fought battle.
Kizza finished the match with a team-high three shots and one goal, while Pimentel added a shot and assist. Seniors Javi Perez and Robby Dambrot and freshman Alec Townsend also recorded one shot apiece in the match.
With the result, Pitt drops to 1-3, 0-1 in ACC, on the season, but should be encouraged by taking a highly ranked opponent to double OT on the road. All of Pitt’s losses have come against nationally ranked opponents.
Freshman goalkeeper Johan Penaranda came up big for the Panthers, coming up with three saves in the match.
North Carolina finished the match with advantages in shots (11-7), shots on goal (5-4) and corners (11-5).
The Panthers will stay on the road, where they will visit Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. from Richmond, VA.
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