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FINAL: North Carolina 3, Pitt 0

Photo courtesy North Carolina University athletics
ACC Men’s Soccer 

FINAL:  North Carolina 3, Pitt 0



North Carolina scored early and led virtually from start to finish in a 3-0, shutout win over fourth-ranked Pittsburgh on Friday night at Dorrance Field.

Jonathan Jimenez scored an unassisted goal in the 11th minute to hand the Tar Heels the early lead, then Giovanni Montesdeoca scored twice in the second half to ice the victory.

Carolina improved to 4-3-2 overall and 4-1-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play in 2020-21. The Panthers fell to 8-2, 4-1 ACC.

Jimenez scored his goal when he took a long pass from the left corner into the box, creating the space to shoot by evading two Panther defenders for the 1-0 lead.

After the two teams went scoreless the rest of the first half, Jimenez assisted Montesdeoca for UNC’s second goal at the 53:08 mark, taking the ball from near midfield all the way to the end line before centering it to Montesdeoca, whose shot eluded Pitt goalkeeper Nicolas Campuzano into the bottom left corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage.

Not quite 14 minutes later, Campuzano was whistled for a yellow card for taking down Carolina’s Akeim Clarke on a breakaway in the box. Montesdeoca drilled the resulting penalty kick into the lower right corner for a commanding, 3-0 lead.

Alec Smir posted his 15th career shutout (and sixth of the season) in goal for Carolina, making three saves.

UNC out-shot the Panthers, 8-3, in the game.

Gameday Updates

FINAL — Pitt loses its first regular season ACC match since 2019, falling to North Carolina on the road, 3-0.

We’ll be posting game recap later.

66′ – UNC 3, PITT 0 – GOAL – Giovanni Montesdeoca PENALTY KICK GOAL.

57′ – UNC 2, PITT 0 – Giovanni Montesdeoca. Assist by Jimenez, Jonathan.

5′ – UNC 1, PITT 0

Jonathan Jimenez gets UNC on the scoreboard with a nice individual effort to get into the box and unleash a shot.

Look for line-ups to be posted here at approximately 6:55 p.m. and we’ll provide key updates here during the match.

Pitt’s starters:

GK – Nico Campuzano

D –  Jasper Loeffelsend, Raphael Crivello, Bryce Washington, Arturo Ordonez

MF – Valentin Noel, Vejlko Petkovic, Seto Sena,, Jackson Walti

F –  Luke Mort, Alexander Dexter

North Carolina’s starters:

GK – Alec Samir

Def – Joe Pickering, Thomas Riley, Mark Salas

MF – Tim Schels, Milo Garvanian, Lucas Del Rosario, Fillipo Zattarin

F – Giovanni Montesdeoca, Santiago Herrera, Johnathan Jimenez



After beating Duquense on Sunday, Pitt will return to ACC action with a tough road trip to North Carolina. Both Jasper Loeffelsend and Matt Bailey had to leave Sunday’s match, but both Brandon Clagette and Luke Mort stepped up in their absence.

Despite a solid defensive effort and Nico Campuzano’s first clean sheet of the season, Pitt struggled to get its attack in high gear, especially in the final third against Duquesne, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against North Carolina, who’ve posted strong defensive performances this season (including the Fall). The Tar Heels have surrendered just six goals in eight contests all year, three of which came Oct. 27 at Clemson.

For the Tar Heels, they didn’t exactly have a favorable start to its Spring season last week in a non-conference loss, 1-0, to Liberty.

For UNC, sophomore forward Jonathan Jimenez, junior midfielder Milo Garvanian and first-year midfielder Yaya Bakayoko spread the wealth in shot attempts with two each. Zattarin, who had the Tar Heels’ only shot on goal, continued to show his worth on both offense and defense.

Both programs had players on the MLS SuperDraft eligibility list. Pitt’s three players included Jasper Loeffelsend, Nico Campuzano and Alexander Dexter. None of the Panthers were taken but three Tar Heels players were selected in January:  Defender Matt Constant went as the No. 23 pick in the second round (No. 50 overall) to Sporting KC. Defender Mark Salas went 22nd in the third round (No. 76 overall) to FC Dallas, and forward Giovanni Montesdeoca later joined him with FC Dallas as the 25th pick in the third-round pick (No. 79 overall).  Salas and Montesdeoca played in last week’s match as they’re still with the Tar Heels. Constant is with Sporting KC, so the Tar Heels are without their defensive leader from the Fall season.

The Panthers finished the Fall regular season in ACC play unbeaten (they also went 2-1 in the ACC Tournament).  The Panthers will now play a six-game ACC schedule against other Coastal Division teams.

The top seeds of each respective division will square off at a location to be determined, with the winner facing Clemson Sunday, April 18 (12 p.m.) for the ACC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. Clemson defeated Pitt in the ACC Championship Final in November, securing the right to play in the automatic qualifier game.

The NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament will begin with first round action Saturday, April 24 and run through May 17. The bracket will consist of 36 teams, 24 being automatic qualifiers.

Gameday Updates

Look for line-ups to be posted here at approximately 6:55 p.m. and we’ll provide key updates here during the match.

Recent PSN Pitt Coverage

Pitt’s Bryce Washington earns multiple Team of the Week accolades

City Game Takeaways: Panthers shake off the rust and those pesky Dukes

National Championship Aspirations: Pitt seniors excited to take care of ‘unfinished business’ this spring

Pitt Game Notes


–          The Panthers opened up spring play with a 1-0 shutout of Duquesne Saturday, Feb. 27 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

–          Senior defender Bryce Washington scored the lone goal via penalty kick in the 36th minute, his second goal of the season and fourth of his career. Washington’s performance (three shots, two shots on goal) earned him TopDrawerSoccer and College Soccer News Team of the Week accolades.

–          The shutout was the first of the season for Pitt, while the one goal scored offensively matched a season low (Clemson – Nov. 22).


–          The Panthers and Tar Heels meet for the eighth time in program history Friday.

–          The Tar Heels have won the previous seven meetings dating back to the first match played in 2013.

–          North Carolina and Wake Forest are the only conference teams Pitt has yet to defeat since joining the ACC in 2013.


–          North Carolina enters the contest 3-3-2 overall and 3-1-2 in conference play. The Tar Heels most recently fell to Liberty, 1-0, at home Feb. 25.

–          The Tar Heels faced Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Quarterfinal, falling 1-0 in overtime Pitt eventually defeated Notre Dame in the semifinal round to advance to the ACC Championship Final.

–          North Carolina enters the contest as one of the best defensive teams in the ACC. The Tar Heels rank second in the league in goals against average (.696), third in save percentage (.778) and tied for first in shutout percentage (.500).

–          The Tar Heels have allowed only six goals in eight contests all year, three of which came Oct. 27 at Clemson.

–          Junior goalkeeper Alec Smir currently ranks tied for first in the ACC in shutouts with four and is first with a .696 goals against average. He has played every minute inside the pipes for the Tar Heels.

–          Senior Santiago Herrera leads the team in goals with two off of six shots and four shots on goal. Senior Lucas del Rosario has one goal and one assist on the season with five shots to his credit.


–          Sophomore Valentin Noel finished the fall as one of the best goal scorers in the country, leading the Panther offense in goals, points, shots and shots on goal.

–          The Niort, France, native is one of the top offensive performers in the ACC currently, sitting first in goals per game (1.00), first in points per game (2.25), first in shot accuracy (.536), second in shots on goal per game (1.75), first in total goals (8) and second in total points (18).

–          On Nov. 15 vs. Duke, Noel set a school record for consecutive games played with a goal at four. The streak finished at six games, as he scored in the Panthers’ lone goal in the ACC Championship Final against Clemson Nov. 22.


–          Pitt enters the North Carolina match with the number one scoring offense in the conference, averaging 2.67 goals per game.

–          The Panthers have totaled 24 goals this season, which is tied for first in the nation (Georgia State). Pitt also leads the country in total points (74) and total assists (26).

–          Pitt has scored 12 more goals than its opposition, a mark that is first in the ACC and third in the country. Pitt also leads the conference shot accuracy (.545).


–          Senior Bryce Washington was recognized by for his performance against Duquesne Saturday, Feb. 27.

–          Washington totaled three shots, two shots on goal and scored via penalty kick while aiding a back line that shutout the Dukes, 1-0.

–          The Team of the Week nod is the second of the season for the Atlanta, Ga., native.


–          Pitt returns home and hosts Boston College Saturday, Mar. 13 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

–          Kick-off is set for 7 PM on the ACCNX.

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).

Glory on the Grass

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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