ACC Women’s Soccer
FINAL: Pitt 4, Syracuse 2
Pitt women’s soccer showed its attacking strength in defeating Syracuse, 4-2, in a match that was finally played in update New York after Saturday’s postponement due to poor weather.
Scoring goals for the Panthers were Sarah Schupansky, Leah Pais and Anna Bout, plus they also benefited from an own goal. Caitlyn Lazzarini made two saves, as the Panthers outshot the Orange 27-12 (15-4).
The Panthers produced two goals in each half for their second road ACC victory this year, tied for the most with the 2014 squad in a single-season in program history.
“The trip was not easy,” said Pitt associate head coach Ben Waldrum. “The uncertainty surrounding the game with the postponement, delays and field conditions made the whole trip a challenge. We got off to a slow and shaky start to the game. I’m proud of the group for digging themselves out of that hole. They showed some resiliency today and had some spells of playing good attacking soccer. We created some great chances and scored some nice goals.”
The game-winning goal was an own goal by the Orange in the 49th minute. Sarah Schupansky made a move past several defenders into the left side of the box and sent a dangerous cross far post that bounced off a Syracuse defender’s chest and in.
Schupansky had Pitt’s first goal in the 21st minute, her team-leading seventh of the season. Anna Bout slipped by two defenders with the ball into the right side of the box and sent a pass over to the left side, where Schupansky made a slick move to get past another pair of defenders and placed a shot in the net near post.
Leah Pais gave the Panthers the lead for good in the 33rd minute, redirecting a cross from Landy Mertz near post on a sliding attempt for her fourth goal of the year. Emily Yaplesent a diagonal ball from the midfield to the right corner to Mertz to set up the goal.
Bout notched the final Pitt goal, her second of the fall, in the 65th minute on a give-and-go with Mertz.
The Orange produced the game’s first goal in the ninth minute, capitalizing off a collision with Pitt goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini following a corner kick for a shot into an open net from three yards out.
The other Syracuse goal also came off a set piece from a free kick in the midfield in the 52nd minute that momentarily cut the Pitt lead to one.
NEWS AND NOTES
- The game was originally slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. but was pushed to Monday at noon due to inclement weather in Syracuse.
- Pitt is undefeated in their last three games against Syracuse with a 2-0 win last year and a 1-1 tie in 2019.
- Schupansky tied Ashley Cuba (2009) for the seventh-most points (18) and several others for goals in a single season in program history.
- Pais became the third Panther to reach double-digit in points (11) this season.
- Mertz recorded her first multi-assist game in her collegiate career.
- Pitt had the decisive advantage in shots (27-12) and shots in goals (15-4) while corner kicks were tied 5-5.
- The 15 shots on goal were a program record for ACC contests, while the 27 shots tied the record set from last year on Sept. 17 at Ambrose Urbanic Field, also a victory over Syracuse.
- Lazzarini (3-0) made two saves.
- Mertz had a game and career-high seven shots.
- Five Panthers had three shots: Ashley Moon, Schupansky, Mertz, Pais, Yaple and Bout.
- All five of them and Mertz put two shots on goal.
The Panthers have improved its ACC record to 2-5-0 (overall mark stands at 9-6-0) as they’ll now embark on a three-game homestand on Thursday when they host Boston College.
Look for updates including scores, highlights (as made available) and recap here.
Taking an important road @theACC W with us home, where we begin a 3-game homestand Thursday vs BC!
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 18, 2021
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 18, 2021
Players making moves in tight quarters in the box leads to @sarahschupansky team-best 7️⃣th goal!
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 18, 2021
Monday, Oct 18 — the match has been pushed back to a Noon (EST) start.
Sunday, Oct. 17 (2:30 p.m.) — Game has been rescheduled for Monday morning, 11 a.m.
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 17, 2021
Saturday — Game Postponed!
🚨 𝗚𝗔𝗠𝗘 𝗔𝗟𝗘𝗥𝗧
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 16, 2021
Following a challenging weekend losses to No. 4 North Carolina and No. 3 Duke, Pitt will have a chance to rebound and when they visit Syracuse on Saturday night.
The Panthers are hoping that a strong finish to the season in ACC play could help build momentum and they can still make a case for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. All of Pitt’s losses have come to RPI Top 50 teams (they’re currently ranked 78th in RPI).
The Panthers have struggled to find more answers in its attack with the absence of Amanda West, the program’s all-time leading scorer, who’s struggled with an injury this season, hasn’t played since September 26.
Last year, Pitt defeated Syracuse, 2-0, at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Pitt Game Notes
- Syracuse leads 12-6-4 in the all-time series due to winning the first six games (1996-2002).
- The Panthers have faced the Orange more than any other opponent and all but the first game came as conference foes.
- Since 2002, the two schools have faced each other every season except 2018.
- Since the two schools joined the ACC in 2013, each team has won three times with a 1-1 tie in 2019.
- The Orange are winless in its last eight games (0-7-1), all shutouts, and own just seven ACC points in the last four seasons.
- Graduate student Lysianne Proulx has played every second in goal and has 69 saves, four shutouts and a 2.12 goals against average.
- Senior midfielder Telly Vunipola leads the team in points (six) with two goals and two assists, but hasn’t played since Sept. 18 against Notre Dame.
- Senior midfielder Meghan Root and freshman midfielder Pauline Machtens share the team lead in goals with Vunipola.
LAST TIME AGAINST SYRACUSE
- Pitt shut out Syracuse 2-0 at home on Sept. 17 last year.
- Emily Yaple scored the game-winning and first goal of her collegiate career in the 58th minute, collecting and pushing in a rebound off the left post from Amanda West’s shot.
- West recorded her own goal in the 76th minute, converting a penalty kick.
- The Panthers had a dominate advantage in shots (27-4) and shots on goals (12-1).
- The Panthers had an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks and possessed the ball for 63% of the game.
- Pitt is currently slotted at No. 78 in the RPI rankings (.564 value).
- Down 12 spots from last week, the Panthers debuted at 71 in the first release of the rankings on Sept. 27.
- All of the Panthers’ six losses have come to top-50 opponents: at No. 1 Florida State, No. 6 Duke and No. 42 Clemson and home to No. 2 North Carolina, No. 13 TCU and No. 32 Virginia Tech.
- Pitt owns a top-75 win at No. 74 Oklahoma State.
- With four ACC contests left, the Panthers have plenty of top-ranked opponents to bump up its RPI ranking with top-50 games against No. 37 Wake Forest and No. 38 NC State and top-100 contests versus No. 60 Boston College and No. 98 Syracuse.
- The Panthers have displayed a high-powered offense this season with 3+ goals scored in six wins.
- Entering the week, Pitt ranked in the nation 20th in assists per game (2.64), 30th in points per game (7.07), 43rd in scoring offense (2.21 goals per game) and 49th in shots per game (16.21).
- Almost halfway through the regular season, the team already ranks among the best ever in program history for single-season stats:
o First in total assists (37).
o Third in points (99).
o Third in goals (31).
- While getting attention for its offense, Pitt has featured an impressive defense.
- The Panthers have allowed 18 goals in 14 games this season with an average of 12.6 shots and 5.5 shots on goal allowed per game.
- Entering the week, Pitt ranked in the nation 37th in shutout percentage (.500).
- The squad is tied for the second-most shutouts (seven) in a single-season.
THE PROGRAM’S GOAT, AMANDA WEST
- In just a little over two years, Amanda West has proven to be the best player in the program’s history.
- This preseason West became the first Panther to be selected the All-ACC Preseason Team.
- To start the season, she earned the first ACC Offensive Player of the Week award.
- She scored a goal to break the school record in goals along with an assist in the win over Tulsa and then notched the tying goal in the 3-2 overtime win of then-No. 16 Oklahoma State.
- She has been selected for the weekly award in each of three seasons.
- She has scored in each of the first four games in all three years and in the first five games the last two seasons.
- In season-openers, she has averaged four points per game (seven against Loyola Marymount in 2019, two at App State and three against Tulsa).
- She scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in the 2-0 win at Miami.
SINGLE-SEASON RECORD WATCH
- With one of the highest scoring totals as a team with four games left in the regular season, Pitt has several individuals etching their names in the school’s record book.
- Sarah Schupansky is tied for ninth place for most points in a season (16) with Taylor Pryce (2015) and Ashley Cuba (2011) and has the fifth-most points by a freshman.
- Amanda West is tied for sixth for game-winning goals (three) with four in each of the previous two seasons.
HOMETOWN HEROES DEBUT
- Freshmen and Pittsburgh locals Ellie Coffield and Sarah Schupansky have made instant impacts to start their careers.
- In TopDrawerSoccer’s Top-100 Freshman Rankings released this week, Schupansky is ranked at No. 59 while Coffield is slotted at No. 78.
- Schupansky became the second Panther to reach double-digit points and now leads the team in points (16) while being tied for goals (six) with West.
- She is also third in assists (four).
- Coffield is tied for the team lead in assists (five) with Anna Bout and is also third in points (nine) with two goals.
- In the first game of the season, Coffield scored the game-winning goal over Tulsa on her first career shot in the 17th minute with Schupansky getting her first point with the primary assist.
- Coffield finished with another assist on the final goal against the Golden Hurricane.
- Schupansky has two braces already (Cleveland State and Towson).
- Coffield scored her first goal at Ambrose Urbanic Field against NJIT.
- Coffield assisted on the game-winning goal at Miami.
- Schupansky scored the golden goal at Oklahoma State for her first collegiate goal, notching the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime, and also assisted on the tying goal in the second half to send the game into overtime.
- She was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week, and is just the third Panther to earn the award (Amanda West and Leah Pais).
- Schupansky recorded her first brace against Cleveland State in just 31 minutes played.