ACC Men’s Soccer
FINAL: Pitt 5, Virginia 0
Summary: Pitt wins ACC Coastal Division with dominant victory
It was a dominant effort from start to finish for the top-ranked Pitt Panthers in beating Virginia, 5-0 on Thursday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field as they captured the ACC’s Coastal Division title, finishing atop the standings with the best record (5-1) in the Spring season.
Pitt scored in the third minute following its first corner kick attempt and never looked back.
“What this team has done to get into this position, with consistency and the resiliency of COVID and all those factors and to stand ground here at Pitt, undefeated at home and road warriors as well to see the team play like this means the team is getting stronger and stronger,” Pitt’s Head Coach Jay Vidovich said after the match.
Alexander Dexter scored the opener, as Veljko Petkovic’s corner kick was played to Raphael Crivello on the far post side. Crivello redirected the ball to the center of the box for Dexter, who headed it home.
Despite dominating possession and forcing the Cavs into turnovers, the Panthers couldn’t build on the lead until late in the half, when Alexander found former Connellsville High School and Riverhounds Academy standout Luke Peperak in the box for another headed goal.
The Panthers dominated the second half with three goals.
Pitt outshot the Cavaliers, 9-1, in the first half and led corner kicks 4-1.
The Panthers added to their lead in the 68th minute, as freshman Bertin Jacquesson scored on a free kick from 23 yards out, his third of the season. Just two minutes later, freshman Filip Mirkovic scored to make it a 4-0 game, as he took a pass from Dexter and connected with the upper left portion of the net for the goal.
With time winding down in the game, senior Bryce Washington scored the fifth and final goal of the match with a header inside the six yard box. Petkovic totaled his second assist of the game on the goal and the Panthers ended the contest with 15 total points.
Pitt ended the match with a 15-7 advantage in shots, with most of Virginia’s shots coming after the game was well in hand. The Panthers also finished the game with six corner kicks, compared to Virginia’s two.
Graduate student Nico Campuzano earned the win, his 13th of the year. He is now tied for second in Pitt history for wins in a single season, matching Justin Gaul’s record of 13 set in 2000. The goalkeeper finished with two saves for the evening.
With the victory, No. 1 Pitt will travel to Clemson and play for the ACC automatic qualifier Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The game will be a rematch of the ACC Championship final and the winner earns the ACC’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championship.
2021 SPRING COASTAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS!!! 🏆
— Pitt Men's Soccer (@Pitt_MSOC) April 9, 2021
FINAL: PITT 5, UVA 0
83′ – PITT SUBS
Petkovic in for Mirkovic
Brandon Clagette in for Jacquessen
75′ – Seto Sena and Matt Bailey are in for Dexter & Crivello
69′ – GOAL – PITT 4, UVA 0
The Panthers are pouring it on now. Picking apart a stretched out Virginia squad.
This time it’s Filip Mirkovic with a rocket clinical finish from 14 yards. Dexter with another assist.
69′ – PITT SUB
Rodrigo Almeida comes in for Velkjo Petkovic
Bertin with the FREE. KICK. STUNNER. 😱🇫🇷
— Pitt Men's Soccer (@Pitt_MSOC) April 9, 2021
68′ – GOAL – PITT 3, UVA 0
Jacquessen buries a free kick from 21 yards!!
62′ – PITT SUBS
Bertin Jacquessen and Filip Mirkovic back in for Peperak and Mort Pitt leads UVA 2-0
52′ – Bryce Washington the guilty party on hard challenge on right side of UVA attack. Free kick for Cavs — a hard-driven low ball that’s headed to near post but Pitt GK Nico Campuzano makes his first save of match.
46′ – Second half is underway.
Peperak starts alongside Petkovic in the high line. Mort still out there too.
Luke Peperak’s first-ever collegiate goal…
Peperak with his first collegiate goal!
— Pitt Men's Soccer (@Pitt_MSOC) April 9, 2021
Here’s a look at the first goal …
Veljko ➡️ Raphael ➡️ DEX ⚽
Panthers up 1-0!
— Pitt Men's Soccer (@Pitt_MSOC) April 8, 2021
HALF: PITT 2, UVA 0
some halftime stats:
Shots 9-1 (5-1 on target) Pitt
Corners 4-1 Pitt
45′ – GOAL – PITT 2, UVA 0
Luke Peperak’s first-ever goal at Pitt. The former Connellsville and Hounds Academy standout converts a header as the Panthers get forward quickly in transition. Cross came from Alexander Dexter.
Dexter with an assist and a goal in this game.
37′ – SUBS for Pitt: The local connection.. Luke Mort & Luke Perperak are in for Jacquessen and Mirkovic. Noel drops to holding mid
31′ – UVA first real chance in box, but run into wall of Pitt defenders.
26′ – After a throw-in, Petkovic tries to bend one in from right side, but it sails over the post.
24′ – Valentin Noel with great chance from right edge of box — but shot goes just wide.
22′ – As well as Pitt has played in knocking it around, they’ve been most dangerous forcing UVA into mistakes.
Early observation: Finally watching this Pitt team in person. And boy, they’re clicking on all cylinders right now. Winds whipping around, but they’re keeping it on the ground. Dominating possession. What a treat to watch (so far).
11′ – UVA’s first corner — goes to far post and Pitt’s Raphael Crivello has to save a weak shot while protecting the post area.
7′ – FREE KICK PITT
3′ – GOAL – PITT 1, UVA 0
Alexander Dexter with the header — coming from second ball after corner.
Starting XI for no. 1 Pitt:
GK – Nico Campuzano
D – Bryce Washington, Arturo Ordonez, Jasper Loeffelsend, Raphaël Crivello
MF – Jackson Walti, Valentin Noel, Filip Mirkovic, Veljko Petkovic
F – Alexander Dexter, Bertin Jacquessen pic.twitter.com/1KIY8TEi9O
— John Krysinsky (@JohnKrysinsky) April 8, 2021
The starting XI for tonight's match against No. 1 Pitt!
— Virginia Men's Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) April 8, 2021
While Pitt needs to simply take care of business, we’ll still be watching how things go in Durham too…
— UNC Asheville Men's Soccer (@UNCAvlMSoccer) April 8, 2021
Regardless of what happens from this point forward, it’s been another remarkable season of progress for Pitt men’s soccer program under the direction of Head Coach Jay Vidovich, in his fifth campaign at the helm. The Panthers landed in the top spot in the United Soccer Coaches poll once again this week, as the regular season comes to a close.
For the Panthers, there’s a lot of unfinished business. First and foremost, they head into tonight’s tough match vs UVA seeking to win its first-ever ACC regular season division crown, as they lead North Carolina by two points with both teams playing at 7 p.m. tonight. (UNC faces Duke in Durham) A win will clinch the Coastal Division crown, and with a draw or a loss, they’ll need help from Duke to beat or draw their rivals.
The Panthers may have played their best half of the season in the final 45 minutes in beating Notre Dame, 2-0, on Saturday. Alexander Dexter and Arturo Ordonez both scored for Pitt in the victory and the defensive effort was solid, allowing just one four shots and only one on frame.
Pitt’s roster appears to be healthy, as there are no injuries to report at this time and they’re hoping to keep the momentum going against Virginia, who’ve always been a tough opponent. Most recently, the two have played overtime games in Charlottesville, including an exciting 3-2 Pitt overtime win in October which catapulted the Panthers into the top spot in the National Rankings at that time. It was the first of three overtime wins on the road for the Panthers this season.
Pitt Game Notes
PANTHERS RECLAIM NO. 1 RANKING
- For the first time this spring and sixth time this season, the Pitt Panthers were named the No. 1 team in the country according to the United Soccer Coaches Poll April 6, 2021.
- Pitt earned the number one ranking for five weeks straight in the fall from Oct. 20 to Nov. 17.
- The Panthers reclaimed the No. 1 spot after spending the first five weeks in the top-10 during the spring campaign.
THE SERIES – VIRGINIA
- Virginia leads the all-time series 7-3-1.
- The Panthers are winners of three-straight against the Cavaliers, most recently Oct. 18, 2020 during the fall season. Pitt won, 3-2, in overtime in Charlottesville off a game-winning header by Arturo Ordoñez.
- Head Coach Jay Vidovich is 12-25-6 all-time against Virginia.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS
- Virginia enters the contest 7-7-1 overall and 4-6-1 in ACC play. They hold a 1-3-1 ledger away from Chartlottesville.
- The Cavaliers are led offensively by sophomore Kevin Ogudugu, who has three goals and one assist on the year. Ogudugu has 18 shots, 12 shots on goal and a .667 shot on goal percentage.
- Virginia’s midfield presence is led by senior Irakoze Donasiyano, who leads the team in minutes played with 1,407. He has eight shots and three shots on goal for the year.
- The Cavaliers enter the match third in the ACC in shot accuracy (.479) and fourth in total goals (19) and total points (53).
- Thursday’s night match against Virginia holds significant implications for Pitt, including a coastal division championship and a postseason matchup with Clemson.
- A win against the Cavaliers clinches the Coastal Division Championship and will be the first ACC division championship in program history.
- A victory also sets up a date with Clemson April 17 for the automatic qualifying bid out of the ACC. Clemson, who narrowly beat Pitt in the ACC Championship Final in November (2-1), earned the right to the automatic qualifying game with the tournament final victory.
DEFENDING HOME TURF
- The Panthers are 4-0 at home this season, including 3-0 record during the spring season.
- All three home games during the spring season have been shutouts. Graduate student goalkeeper Nico Campuzano has six saves in those three games.
- Pitt has had four home games this year – between the fall and spring seasons – canceled or postponed.
ACC’S NO. 1 SCORING OFFENSE
- Pitt enters the Virginia match with the number one scoring offense in the conference with a 2.36 goals per game mark, a number also good for 14th in the nation.
- The Panthers have totaled 33 goals this season, which leads the nation. Pitt also leads the country in total points (98) and is second in total assists (32).
- Pitt’s 7.00 points per game mark and .554 shot accuracy rank first in the conference.
- The Panthers have had nine different goal scorers this season and have had 11 different players assist a goal this year.
TOPDRAWERSOCCER HONORS WASHINGTON
- Senior Bryce Washington was recognized by TopDrawerSoccer.com April 6 for his performance in Pitt’s 2-0 victory vs. Notre Dame at home.
- Washington tallied an assist on the Panthers first goal of the game in the 48th minute. The assist was the first of his career.
- The Team of the Week nod is the third of the season for the Atlanta, Ga., native.
- The Panthers await the final results from this weekend’s ACC action for their next game.
- A win for Pitt Thursday night automatically qualifies them for the ACC AQ match Saturday, April 17 at Clemson at 7 PM.