FINAL: Pitt 2, Boston College 0
From University of Pittsburgh athletic department report
Pitt’s men’s soccer team used a stout defense, steady ball control and some aggressive play in the final third of the field to secure a 2-0 win over Boston College Friday evening at Newton Soccer Field.
Pitt improves to 3-3-1 with the victory, including a 1-1-0 mark in ACC play. Boston College dips to 4-2-0 overall and 0-2-0 in conference action.
Freshman Veljko Petkovic led the way for the Panthers with three points on a goal and an assist, while junior Sito Sena’s quality play on the back line anchored a Pitt defense that recorded its third shutout of the season.
Pitt controlled play in the opening 20 minutes of action as Petkovic had a pair of shots saved by Boston College goalie Giacomo Piccardo
The Eagles had a pair of opportunities thwarted midway through the opening half by strong defensive play from the Panthers. Junior Edward Kizza beat a lunging Boston College attacker to a header off a corner kick from the left side with 26:55 remaining in the half before goalie redshirt junior Arie Ammann made a couple aggressive plays, punching away a curling cross towards the back post and beating a pair of Boston College players to the ball on the ensuing throw into the box.
Pitt regained momentum quickly, creating a scoring opportunity in the 23rd minute. Freshman Matt Bailey was taken down just outside the box on the left side with fellow freshman Valentin Noel testing the BC defense with a low diving shot to the near post that was flicked out for a corner.
The Panthers earned a free kick near the top right side of the box off the corner and Petkovic nearly broke open the scoring with dipping shot that cleared the BC wall and sailed inches high of the cross bar.
Pitt took advantage of another foul near the top of the box in the 37th minute as sophomore Nyk Sessock was taken down after beating a BC defender. On the ensuing free kick, Noel tapped the ball to Petkovic, who ripped a curling ball from 26 yards out on the right side into the left side panel of the net for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 Pitt advantage.
The Panthers nearly tacked on another goal in the 44th minute as senior Braden Kline sent a blistering shot from just inside the 18 through the BC keepers hands and off the crossbar.
Pitt continued to control the game throughout the second half consistently challenging the Eagles defense with swift ball movement and aggressive runs into the box. On the other end of the field, the Panthers’ defense stifled each Boston College attack with strong tackling and excellent play on balls in the air. Pitt’s ability to clear and control crossing passes led to a significant advantage in ball control.
With just over five minutes remaining, the Panthers once again took advantage of a free kick, this time from midfield. Sena found Petkovic who sent a back header flick to the top of the box, where junior Alexander Dexter beat a chasing BC defender and charging keeper for his second goal in as many games. Dexter’s goal in the 85th minute gave Pitt a 2-0 lead and helped the Panthers secure their first ACC win of the year.
Ammann preserved his clean sheet with a save on a hard shot from just outside the six with under two minutes remaining. He finished the night with four saves as Pitt held the Eagles to four shots on goal for the night.
The Panthers posted 14 shots with Petkovic recording seven attempts.