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FINAL: Pitt 2, Syracuse 0

Photo by Ed Thompson

FINAL: Pitt 2, Syracuse 0

FINAL: Pitt 2, Syracuse 0 (ACC Women’s Soccer)

GAME STATS 

SUMMARY

On the front foot most of the evening, Pitt women’s soccer team earned its first ACC victory of the season, defeating Syracuse, 2-0 at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday.

A freshman from Erie, Emily Yaple, scored her first career collegiate goal in the 57th minute and Amanda West added a penalty kick conversion in the 76th minute as the Panthers improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the ACC.

Pitt outshot Syracuse 27-4 (12-1 on target) and held the edge in corner kicks (8-3) in the dominant effort.

“I think we felt like at halftime if we kept pressing like we did, getting numbers in the box, that something would eventually break our way” said head coach Randy Waldrum. “It was great to see Emily Yaple get her first college goal, which was huge for us because I felt like if we got one on the board more would follow. Fortunately we got the second one later on and kind of finished the game out comfortably.”

Yaple scored the game-winning goal in the 58th minute. Amanda West rang a shot off the left post, and Yaple gathered the rebound from a few yards out and pushed the ball to right of the goalkeeper.

West record her own goal in the 76th minute. After making a few moves to get in the box, she was tripped up to force a penalty shot. She easily scored into the right side of the net.

The two teams played a scoreless first half, as the Panthers had both corner kicks and a 14-3 edge in shots.

Pitt goes back on the road to face Navy Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

Notes

  • Pitt is off to the best start in program history since winning its four games in the 2009 season.
  • With three points, West moved into seventh place in the all-time career points (38) in program history.
  • She tied Jennifer Kritch (2005-08) for the sixth-most goals (13) and Cande Ruiz (1998-01) and Kristina Francois (2003-06) for fourth most assists (12) by a Panther.
  • Also, she tied Ruiz for the most 3+ point games with the seventh of her career. West has recorded a goal and assist in each of the three games this year.
  • Katherine Robinson (3-0) made one save in her first and team’s second shutout of the season.
  • The Panthers had an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks and possessed the ball for 63% of the game.
  • West placed four of a game-high eight shots on goal.
  • Yaple had six shots, including one that hit the cross bar in the 39th minute.

Check back here for a more detailed match report, photos from Ed Thompson and postgame reaction from Ambrose Urbanic Field.  

GAMEDAY UPDATES

It’s FINAL!

Pitt wins 2-0!!

Here’s a look at Amanda West’s PK conversion…

76′ – GOAL – PITT (2-0)

Amanda West converts the PK!!
3rd goal of the season.
Pitt now doubles its lead over the Orange.
57′ – GOAL – PITT  (1-0)

Emily Yaple with the finish.
Nice pass from Amanda West!
55′ – Holy moly did Pitt dodge a bullet there.
Syracuse’s Jenna Tivnan hits the top woodwork after free kick into box comes out to her by top of box.

Still scoreless at the half.

Pitt on the front foot for most of the first half, out shooting the Orange 17-3.

 

OPENING WEEK

  • Pitt beat Appalachian State twice last weekend on the road with a 4-0 win Thursday and 7-1 victory in the series finale Sunday.
  • The shutout was biggest-ever margin of victory in a season-opener.
  • Seven Panthers scored the 11 combined goals.
  • Leah Pais scored the game’s first two goals Thursday with an assist as well and then scored Sunday’s first goal as well.
  • Pais recorded the second-most points (five) in a Panther’s debut, behind West’s 10 points last year.
  • Pitt is 3-0 in season-openers under head coach Randy Waldrum.
  • The Panthers had not defeated an opponent by 4+ goals since a 6-1 victory over St. John’s on Oct. 9, 2011.
  • The opener was the first official game of in all of NCAA soccer.
  • The Panthers picked up a second road win of the season, the first since winning three times away from home in 2015.

ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

  • Kate McKay was named the first ACC Defensive Player of the Week for the 2020 season.
  • As a centerback, McKay played a key role in limiting Appalachian State to just one goal and 13 shots.
  • She also contributed on the offensive side. She recorded her first collegiate multi-assist game in the season-opener and scored her first goal in the following game.

RETURNING FOR PITT IN 2020

  • The Panthers return seven starters and eight other letterwinners from last year’s team that went 5-10-3 overall and 2-6-2 in ACC play.
  • Amanda West and Mackenzie Edwards started every game last season as freshmen, and Athalie Palomo started in every game played with one game missed due to an injury.
  • McKay, a transfer from Elon, started in all but one game.
  • Sophomores Krystyna Rytel and Anna Bout combined for 26 starts in the midfield and will look to fill the void of last year’s team captain Juliana Vazquez, who graduated.
  • This year’s team still ranks as one of the youngest in the ACC with only six upperclassmen. Dixon Veltri is the team’s lone senior.

THIS YEAR’S NEWCOMERS

  • Pitt welcomes 10 new players to this year’s rosters with two transfers and eight freshmen.
  • The Panthers are already counting on their newcomers to make instant impacts, as four started in both games last week: Chloe Minas, Hailey Davidson, Leah Pais and Emily Yaple.
  • Davidson came from Oklahoma, where she started two years as a defender and had four goals and an assist as a freshman in 2018.
  • Pais won the 2019 America East Rookie of the Year while at Albany, where she tied for the team-lead in goals (five) and tallied 12 points.
  • Coach Waldrum brought in one of the most talented recruiting classes in program history, an eight-member class: Nyla Allen, Ione Fetsko, Eva Frankovic, Hannah Knych, Minas, Chantelle Parker, Yaple and Zaria Stevenson.
  • Davidson, Frankovic, Minas and Yaple all joined the team for last year’s spring semester.

SCOUTING SYRACUSE

  • Syracuse returns nine starters and 11 newcomers from last year’s team that went 3-11-2, 1-7-1.
  • Head coach Nicky Adams enters her second season at the helm.
  • Last year the Orange were 3-3-1 at home, including a 2-1 upset win over Wake Forest, and winless (0-8-1) on the road.
  • Junior forward Meghan Root was the only player to have more than four points last year with three goals and two assists.
  • Senior goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx played every minute of 2019, recording a 1.69 goals against average, 83 saves and .748 save percentage.

THE SERIES

  • Syracuse has the edge in the all-time series 12-5-4, including 3-2-1 in ACC play since the two schools joined the league in 2013.
  • In games contested in Pittsburgh, the Orange have a 5-3-2 record against the Panthers.
  • Last year the two teams played to a 1-1 tie on Sept. 20 in Pittsburgh.
  • Syracuse won the previous two meetings, 2-0 at home (2017) and 1-0 (2016). Pitt won the previous two matchups 1-0 (overtime) in 2015 and 1-0 in 2014.

 

WHAT DOES WEST HAVE IN STORE FOR YEAR TWO

  • Amanda West hit the ground running last week, just like she did last year, with a goal and assist in each victory.
  • With only 19 career games played, West already ranks among the top all-time scorers in program history.

o   Tied for the seventh-most points (35) with Jennifer Kritch (2005-08).

o   Tied for seventh-most goals (12) with Corina Sebesta (2003-06).

o   Tied for sixth-most career assists (11) with Charity McClure (1997-98) and Taylor Pryce (2014-18)

  • She has recorded six three-plus point game, tied with Roosa Arvas (2012-15) for second-most in program history.
  • She accomplished things in 2019 that no other Panther has done in program history.
  • She was named to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-Atlantic Region Third-Team, becoming the second-ever Panther to receive all-region honors.
  • She became the first Pitt women’s soccer player to receive All-ACC honors when she was named to the third and all-freshmen teams.
  • She broke the school’s all-time single-season points record last year with 29.
  • Also, she passed Cande Ruiz (1998) at 26 for the most and also tied Ruiz for the most goals in one year with 10.
  • In assists, she tied with McClure (1998) and Katelyn Ruhe (2010) for the single-season record and already ranks tied for eighth in career assists.

ACC PRESEASON POLL

  • This year the Panthers were picked to finish 10th in the ACC Coaches’ Preseason Poll, the highest team has even been selected by the coaches.
  • Pitt was selected 11th in 2016 and has been only picked to not finish last in other season, last year (13th).

EASY OUT NO MORE

  • The improvement under coach Waldrum’s first to second year guiding the program was evident by the team’s results last season. Pitt proved to be not an automatic win by fellow ACC opponents, but a team that will play tough against anyone, including the nation’s best teams.
  • In 2018, the Panthers scored just 11 goals and had a -38 goal differential. In ACC play, they were outscored 42-2 with an average score of 4.2-0.2.
  • Last year, Pitt scored 24 goals with a -8 goal differential. In 10 games of conference action, it was outscored by only eight goals (20-13) with an average score of 2.0-1.3.
  • The Panthers were held scoreless in all but one league game in 2018 and scored against seven opponents last season.
  • In 2018, Pitt lost to Boston College 7-0, NC State 6-0, North Carolina 3-0 and Florida State 4-0. The Panthers then beat the Eagles and Wolfpack 2-1 in 2019 and lost only 1-0 at the Seminoles and 3-1 to the Tar Heels.

NEW STARTING GOALKEEPER

  • The Panthers must replace two-year starting goalkeeper Amaia Pena, who signed a professional contract with Athletic Club Femenino (Spain).
  • Pitt has three goalkeepers on the roster: Katherine Robinson, Caitlynn Lazzarini and Gabriella Neibart.
  • Robinson, the most experienced of the trio, started both games at App State and allowed no goals with three saves in 122 minutes played.
  • Lazzarini relieved Robinson in both games in the second half and made two saves in 58 minutes.
  • Prior to this season, Robinson made eight starts in 12 games played over two seasons. Last year she registered a 0-1-1 record with a 2.20 goals against average and eight saves.
  • Lazzarini played in three games last year as a freshman and recorded a 1-2-0 record, 0.95 goals against average and eight saves.

O CANADA

  • Waldrum and his staff have gone north of the border the last two years to find top talent to fill out the roster.
  • Six players grew up playing in the Canadian youth soccer system: Parker (Milton, Ontario), Pais (Mississagua, Ontario), West (Burlington, Ontario), Anna Bout (Cambridge, Ontario), Minas (Montreal, Quebec) and Bex Bartosh (Hiawatha First Nation, Ontario).
  • Pais leads the team in scoring with three goals and seven points with West right behind her with two goals and six points.
  • Bout and Minas have started in the midfield in both games, and Bout scored her first collegiate goal on Sunday.
  • Parker made her collegiate debut on Sunday, and Bartosh came off the bench in both games.

A DIFFERENT SCHEDULE THAN USUAL

  • With the majority of D-I soccer deciding to not play this season, the Panthers and ACC Conference had to be creative with their scheduling the fall season.
  • Pitt is slated to play 15 games with eight in league play, instead of the usual 10 conference games.
  • The Panthers are set to play more games than any other team in the ACC and is one of two squads to play a non-ACC member this fall (Navy at Virginia Tech, Oct. 24).
  • Syracuse plays Pitt twice this season, with one matchup not counting as a league game.

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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