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Pitt stuns Virginia, 2-0, for first-ever win against top-ranked opponent

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

FINAL: Pitt 2, No. 1 Virginia 0


For the first time in program history the University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer team upset the No. 1 team in the country. The Panthers shutout top-ranked Virginia, 2-0, Friday night at Klöckner Stadium.

With the win, Pitt improves to 7-5-2 overall and 3-2-1 against ACC foes. Virginia, suffering its first loss of the season, moves to 11-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in conference play.

“What a great win on the road over the No. 1 team in the country,” said head coach Jay Vidovich. “I’m proud of our guys effort and execution.” 

The win is the first over a top-ranked team, as the highest ranked opponent the Panthers previously defeated was No. 2 St. John’s in 2000.

Two different Pitt players netted goals in the upset in senior Braden Kline and freshman Veljko Petkovic. The two goals were the third and fourth that Virginia has allowed this season. 

In goal, sophomore Johan Penaranda earned the clean shirt in just his third game of the year, making four saves through the 90 minutes.

Kline got the Panthers on the board in the 21st minute as he received a long pass from freshman Valentin Noel. Kline needed just one strike with his left foot to put the ball past the Virginia goalkeeper for his first goal of the season.

Pitt struck again in the 60th minute thanks to Petkovic. Kline sent a pass into the box to junior Edward Kizza in transition. As the Cavalier defenders approached, Kizza dished it to Petkovic who buried the ball for the second and final goal of the night. The goal was the fifth of the year for Petkovic.

Petkovic now has a team second-best 15 points on the year, while Kizza continues to lead the team with 20 points.

The win is the second consecutive over Virginia as the Panthers knocked the Cavaliers out of the ACC Tournament a year ago in Charlottesville. Virginia still leads the series, 7-2-1.

Pitt returns to Ambrose Urbanic Field Friday, Oct. 25 to host Duke for its final home regular season game at 7 p.m.

The Panthers conclude the regular season Friday, Nov. 1 at Notre Dame before entering postseason play.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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