North Carolina 3, Pitt 0
Pittsburgh women’s soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision to fifth-ranked North Carolina Thursday evening at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C.
North Carolina (7-2-1, 2-0-0 ACC) got on the board in 17th minute, as Dorian Bailey found Alessia Ruso in the box for a clinical one touch finish..
The Tar Heels extended its advantage in the 22nd minute to grab a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Tar Heels would make it 3-0 in the 52nd minute when Brianna Pinto beats 3 players in the box before tucking it away Goal was assisted by Emily Fox and Alessia Russo! holding on for the victory.
Lost to a dynamite UNC team tonight. Very proud though of the way we fought and competed! Making some good progress this past month! Excited for the rest of the season #H2P
— Randy Waldrum (@CoachWaldrum) September 21, 2018
Pitt (4-4-1, 02-0 ACC) will continue its three-game ACC road trip Sunday, visiting No. 16 NC State in Cary, N.C. at 1 p.m.
WakeMed Park (Cary, NC) – 6 p.m.
PREVIEW Pitt women’s soccer team will kick off a three-game road trip Thursday evening, including the first of back-to-back games against nationally ranked teams for a conference battle with No. 5 North Carolina.
The Panthers and Tar Heels saw the game moved to WakeMed Park due to unplayable field conditions in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Pitt continues ACC play against No. 5 North Carolina on Thursday, kicking off three straight road league games. The Panthers are coming off a tough 2-0 loss Saturday night against (RV) Louisville.
Offensively, the Panthers struggled against a good Cardinals defense, tallying just four shots in the game, all of which came in the opening period. On the season, freshman forward Anna Rico leads the team with three goals, while Madeline Gravante has a pair. Six different Panthers have found the back of the net at least once this season.
In net, redshirt sophomore Amaia Pena was forced to make eight saves against Louisville. She has started all but one game this season, owning a .818 save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels are coming off a big road upset of then second-ranked Florida State as North Carolina downed the Seminoles 1-0 in Tallahassee, Fla., to open league play. North Carolina has faced off against three top-15 programs in its last three outings, falling to No. 12 Santa Clara 1-0 and dropping a 2-1 decision to top-ranked Stanford before the victory over Florida State.
Freshman midfielder Rachel Jones made her first career start and tallied her first career goal, which would be the game winner, pushing the Tar Heels passed Florida State. On the season, the Tar Heels have outscored opponents 14-5 as nine different players have tallied at least one goal. Taylor Otto and Julia Ashley lead the team with six points apiece.
In net, the Tar Heels have split time between Samantha Leshnak and Claudia Dickey. Leshnak earned the start and the win against the Seminoles and has recorded a .875 save percentage and 0.40 goals against average on the season.
THE SERIES WITH NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels have dominated the series, owning a 3-0-0 advantage in a matchup that dates back to the 2013 season when the Panthers joined the ACC. North Carolina has won both meetings as Pittsburgh as well as the lone game in Chapel Hill.
In three contests the Tar Heels have outscored the Panthers 6-1. This will be the fourth straight time the Panthers face the Tar Heels with North Carolina in the top 20 of the national poll. It is the highest ranked North Carolina team that the Panthers have faced.
The Panthers’ schedule will continue to challenge as the team enters a tough stretch against nationally-dominant opponents. Thursday’s match against the Tar Heels continues a streak of games in which the Panthers face three teams that are receiving votes nationally in Louisville (RV), North Carolina (5) and NC State (16)
Of the remaining nine games on Pitt’s schedule, four will be against nationally-ranked teams, with one additional team receiving votes. Of those four teams ranked nationally, three check in in the top-10 and two in the top-five.
FRESHMEN FOOTING THE LOAD
First year players have made quite the impact for the Panthers in 2018, as the freshmen have tallied six of the team’s nine goals this year. A pair of freshmen in Anna Rico (3) and Madeline Gravante (2) are the only pair of Panthers to have tallied multiple goals on the season.
The Panthers check in at No. 103 in the most recent RPI rankings. Of Pitt’s remaining nine games, six teams rank in the top 35 – NC State (5), Florida State (7), North Carolina (10), Virginia (14), Virginia Tech (32) and Boston College (33).