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Scouting Report: Challenging ACC stretch coming up for Pitt women

Aideen O'Donoghue - File photo from University of Pittsburgh athletics

The Pitt Women’s Soccer team is coming off a hard fought draw, 3-3, on the road against Miami on Sunday where they rallied from a second half two goal deficit and after conceding the go ahead goal to the Hurricanes, Freshman Amanda West used her speed to get behind the Miami defense and crossed the ball to the front of the net and Sydney Marasco was able to direct it by Miami’s keeper to even the game at 3.

West continues to make a strong case to be in consideration for ACC Freshman of the year as she has tallied 7 goals and 7 assists in 11 games so far this season.

Early on this season, the Panthers were rotating between their three keepers and it appears that Amaia Pena is the one that is looking to earn the starter’s job and keep it for the rest of the season.

Pena has made 8 starts and has a 2-3-2 record while making 16 saves (.571 Saves %) while conceding 12 goals (1.59 GAA) on the season.

After three conference games, the Panthers (3-5-3 (0-1-2 in ACC Play)) find themselves in 12th place in the conference with 2 points

One more match on this road trip in Tallahassee and then Pitt returns home for a three match home-stand, including a match against #3 North Carolina.

Here is a quick look at the upcoming matches:

Saturday October 5 @ #6 Florida State (1 pm)

The Seminoles enter this match on Sunday ranked sixth in the country and are on a 7-game winning streak with their last loss coming September 1st on the road against then-#5 USC 3-2.

Florida State is 9-2 (3-0 in ACC Play) which has them tied atop the conference standings with North Carolina with 9 points.

“I think across the board we really have a lot of really good teams (in the conference),” said Seminoles Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “I think last year we had 10 teams make the NCAA Tournament out of the ACC and that’s a lot. There have been years where it gets to the Sweet 16, we’ve had 8 teams in the Sweet 16 and then we get down to the round of 8, we have 4.5 or 6 teams and then last year two ACC teams played in the National Championship. I think the quality on the top has been good, but it’s a consistent quality throughout the ACC.”

Deyna Castellanos, 7 goals, and Jenna Nighswonger, 5 goals, lead the Seminoles on the field this season when it comes to scoring. But, Florida State is pretty deep when it comes to scoring as they have three other players with at least three goals.

“They (Deyna and Jenna) have so many attacking dimensions, both of them are capable of scoring a big goal,” said Krikorian. “They’re also capable of making the final pass, but beyond that they can control the tempo of the game, they read the play very well. Probably the best compliment I can give any player is they make their teammates better. They know how to use the strengths, and avoid the weaknesses, of their teammates to help their teammates perform at the highest level they can.”

Caroline Jeffers has started 8 games for the Seminoles this season and is 6-2 and has made 26 saves while conceding 13 goals (1.59 GAA).

“I think we’re getting better and better as the season goes on,” said Krikorian. “Scoring some different goals in different ways and as I said we have good players, we should be a good team. I think overall we have been a pretty good, pretty consistent team.”

The match can be seen on the ACC Network if you are not making the trip to Tallahassee.

Thursday October 10 vs Boston College (7 pm)

The Eagles are receiving votes in the latest Top 25 poll as the ACC continues to stake it’s claim as one of the best, if not the best, Women’s Soccer conferences in the nation again this season.

“The ACC is the best soccer conference (Women’s or Men’s) in the country because you have 14 programs that have the potential to make a run in the NCAA Tournament at the beginning of the season.” said Eagles Head Coach Jason Lowe. “Our league attracts the best players and coaches to programs with long track records of success. It’s humbling when you’re chasing 10 wins and you see other coaches in the league like Randy and Jay (my former coach at Wake) chasing 500 wins.”

Boston College is 8-2-1 (1-2 in ACC Play) and are coming off a 2-1 home loss to Louisville.  Before their match against PItt, the Eagles will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina to take on N.C State on Saturday.

Sam Smith, Olivia Vaughn and Gaby Carreiro have started all 11 games for Boston College this season and have combined for 17 goals and 5 assists.

Allie Augur has started 10 games this season and has put up a 6-2-1 record while making 30 saves and only conceding 10 goals (1.03 GAA) on the season.

“I’ve learned that our team is extremely coachable and resiliant,” said Lowe. “They have embraced everything we have presented to them as a new staff and work really hard to improve each day. The thing I like the most about our team is that each player is truly invested in the success of their teammates. It’s a fun team to be around and I think anyone who interacts with our program can sense a really good energy.”

The match can be seen on ESPN+ if you can’t make to campus to see the match.

Sunday October 13 vs #3 North Carolina (1 pm)

The Tar Heels are ranked as the #3 team in the nation as they close out a home-stand against Clemson before hitting the road to face Duke, Pitt and Boston College.

North Carolina 10-1 (3-0 in the ACC) and is tied with Florida State at the top of the conference with 9 points.

Brianna Pinto, 7 goals, and Alessia Russo, 5 goals, lead the Tar Heels on the offensive half of the pitch this season. North Carolina’s scoring output is spread out as well as they have six players with at least two goals on the season.

It is an even split when it comes to who’s in net for North Carolina as Claudia Dickey has appeared in 11 games and Marz Josephson has appeared in 9.

Dickey has put up a 5-1 record with a .857 save percentage and has conceded only 2 goals (0.31 GAA).

Meanwhile, Josephson has put up a 5-0 record with a .750 save percentage and has also conceded only 2 goals (0.44 GAA) on the season.

The match can be seen on ESPN+ if you can’t make to campus to see the  match

Saturday October 19 vs N.C State (7 pm)

The Wolfpack are coming off a 1-1 draw against Wake Forest and are getting prepared to open up a three game home-stand against Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech before hitting the road to face Pitt.

On the season, N.C State is 5-4-2 (0-1-2 in ACC Play) which has them currently tied with Pitt in the conference standings.

Tziarra King is the offensive threat for the Wolfpack as she has tallied 9 goals and an assist in 10 games this season.

Jessica Berlin has appeared in 11 games this season and has put up a 4-4 record while recording .730 save percentage and has conceded 10 goals (0.93 GAA) on the season.

The match can be seen on ESPN+ if you can’t make to campus to see the match.



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