ACC Men’s Quarterfinal
Duke 0, Pitt 0, (Duke wins PKs, 4-3) FINAL
In a match that went to penalty kicks, Pitt couldn’t take advantage of playing up a man, after Duke’s Ciaran McKenna was issued his second yellow of the day in the 62nd minute.
The Blue Devils will played a man down for the rest of the match — and held off Pitt’s attack and ACC’s leading scorer Edward Kizza.
In the penalty kick shootout, after both teams made the first three kicks each, Duke’s Will Pulisic made consecutive saves on the fourth and fifth shots to push the Eighth-ranked Blue Devils through to the ACC semifinal where they will take on rival North Carolina.
Pitt at Duke
Koskinen Stadium, Durham, North Carolina – 1 p.m.
Can the Pitt Panthers men’s soccer team build on the momentum from its first-round ACC tournament win at Virginia?
Winning two games in a row in the strongest conference in men’s college soccer is never easy, but Pitt’s coach, Jay Vidovich has been down this road before, in 20 years of coaching at Wake Forest, winning multiple ACC championships, and one NCAA title.
Pitt’s go-to man in the attack has been Edward Kizza, who added to his impressive sophomore campaign with two goals in the win vs Virginia. The Kampala, Uganda, native currently leads the team in shots (42), points (30), shots on goal (27) and goals (15). Kizza ranks fourth in the nation and first in the ACC in total goals (15), fifth in the nation and first in the ACC in total points (30) and seventh in the nation and first in the ACC in shot accuracy (.643).
Duke will present another tough challenge for Pitt. In their meeting earlier this season, then-ranked No. 14 Duke earned a 3-1 victory against the Panthers Friday, Oct. 19 in Durham, N.C. Pitt has played all nine top 25 nationally ranked opponents very tough games this season – beating Virginia and N.C. State. An interesting side note, Duke’s goalkeeper is Will Pulisic, the nephew of Pittsburgh Riverhounds assistant coach, Mark Pulisic and cousin of Christian Pulisic.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS
· Duke enters Sunday’s match with a 10-5-1 [5-3-0 ACC] record, most recently earning a 2-0 victory against No. 18 Virginia Tech Friday, Oct. 26 in Blacksburg, Va.
· The Blue Devils are currently ranked eighth in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, and have ranked as high as second in the nation during the year.
· Duke is led by head coach John Kerr, who is in his 11th season with the program. Kerr has compiled a 110-75-26 (.583) record with the Blue Devils and a 191-134-39 (.578) career record.
· Offensively, Duke is led by Daniele Proch, who owns 11 goals on the year. Nine other players have added at least one goal or more for the Blue Devils.
· In goal, Will Pulisic has started all 16 matches for Duke, recording four shutouts while collecting 40 saves and allowing 20 goals.
LAST TIME OUT
· Pitt earned its first ACC Tournament victory since joining the conference after capturing a 2-0 win over No. 7 Virginia, Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Klockner Stadium.
· The victory was also the Panthers’ first in program history against the Cavaliers, who came into the match owning a 7-0-1 all-time record against Pitt.
· Both squads were at a stalemate through much of the match. It wasn’t until the 62nd minute that sophomore Edward Kizza broke the game open after scoring from the right side of the box following a feed from freshman Chandler Vaughn. Kizza then extended Pitt’s lead in the 79thminute, adding his second goal of the match and 15th of the season after receiving a pass from sophomore Alexander Dexter.
· Dexter and Kizza led the team with three shots each, followed by Vaughn and sophomore Marcony Pimentel with one shot apiece.
· In goal, freshman keeper Johan Penaranda recorded his third clean sheet of the season, collecting two saves while allowing no goals through 90 minutes of action.
SURVEYING THE STATS
· Eight different Panthers have scored a goal this season in Dexter, Kizza, Pimentel, senior Javi Perez, redshirt senior Robby Dambrot, sophomore Jose Luis Sena Arbona, redshirt freshman Fiorre Mane and freshman Jackson Walti.
· Kizza leads the team with 15 goals, followed by Perez with four. Dexter and Pimentel have both netted two goals on the season, with Dambrot, Mane, Sena Arbona and Walti each adding one goal apiece.
· Pitt has also seen 11 players record assists on the season.
· Dexter leads the squad with five assists, followed by Perez with three and Dambrot, Pimentel, Sena Arbona and freshmen Rodrigo Almeida and Chandler Vaughn with two apiece. Walti, senior Tom Moxham and freshmen Nyk Sessock and Alec Townsend have all added one helper each.
ACC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
· The Panthers are competing in the ACC Tournament for just the third time since they joined the conference and currently own a 1-2 all-time record.
· Pitt earned its first-ever ACC Tournament win Wednesday, Oct. 31 after recording a 2-0 victory over No. 7 Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
· Last season, Pitt recorded a 5-0 loss to then-ranked No. 21 Notre Dame, Wednesday, Nov. 1 in South Bend, Ind.
· In 2016, the Panthers fell to then-ranked No. 7 Syracuse, 4-0, Wednesday, Nov. 2 in Syracuse, N.Y.
THE SERIES – DUKE
· The Panthers and Blue Devils have met just seven times in program history, with Duke holding a 6-0-1 all-time series edge against Pitt.
· In their meeting earlier this season, then-ranked No. 14 Duke earned a 3-1 victory against the Panthers Friday, Oct. 19 in Durham, N.C.
· In 2016, Pitt recorded a 1-1 double overtime tie against the Blue Devils in Durham, N.C.
· If the Panthers defeat Duke, they will face the winner of North Carolina and Virginia Tech’s matchup Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.