ACC Women’s Soccer
FINAL: Wake Forest 2, Pitt 1
PSN Coverage: Mark Goodman (Reporting/Photography)
Final Score / Highlights
In an exciting, see-saw battle, Pitt women’s soccer came up short in its bid to make a move higher up in the ACC standings, falling to Wake Forest, 2-1, at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers took the early lead in the 15th minute when the program’s all-time leading scorer, Amanda West knocked in a rebound after a Sarah Schupansky shot bounced off the crossbar.
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 24, 2021
Wake Forest turned up the pressure on the Panthers early in the second half, setting up a pair of penalty kicks within a couple minutes of each other.
Pitt’s Katherine Robinson stopped the first kick from the spot, but wasn’t able to stop the second one from Hulda Arnarsdottir in the 51st minute.
What a save from @katrenrobinson off a PK attempt from Wake Forest!
— Pitt Women's Soccer (@Pitt_WSOC) October 24, 2021
Less than a minute later, WF’s Shayla Smart gave the Deacons the lead for good on a blazing, quick counter-attack that caught the reeling Panthers off guard.
— Wake Women's Soccer (@WakeWSoccer) October 24, 2021
Look for a more detailed recap and reaction from Mark Goodman later.
Preview / Key Storylines
Pitt women’s soccer team will have a winning overall record this Fall for the second consecutive season, but they’re still trying to knock a couple more important doors down, namely to make it to the NCAA tournament and strive for its highest ever finish in the talent-laden ACC standings.
On Sunday, the Panthers who have won two straight ACC matches, have a chance to close out the season strong as they host Wake Forest, then could potentially be playing for a .500 record when they face N.C. State in the regular season finale on Thursday evening.
Looking at the ACC Women’s Standings, the Panthers are likely not going to make it into the cruel six-team ACC tournament field (currently 9th out of 14 teams), however, winning the next two matches could give them a fighting chance for an at-large NCAA tournament bid.
Here’s a closer look at their NCAA tournament chances:
- Pitt is currently slotted at No. 74 in the RPI rankings (.563 value), which is up four spots from last week, the Panthers debuted at 71 in the first release of the rankings on Sept. 27.
- The ranking came out before Pitt picked up a win at No. 99 Syracuse Monday afternoon and also Thursday’s win over No. 54 Boston College.
- All of the Panthers’ six losses have come to top-50 opponents: at No. 1 Florida State, No. 3 Duke and No. 43 Clemson and home to No. 7 North Carolina, No. 9 TCU and No. 31 Virginia Tech.
- Pitt owns top-75 wins versus Boston College and at No. 63 Oklahoma State.
- With two ACC contests left, the Panthers still have plenty of top-ranked opponents to bump up its RPI ranking with a game each against the top-25 (No. 24 NC State) and top-50 (No. 40 Wake Forest).
There are 333 women’s soccer teams in Division I that are eligible for competition in the tournament.
Of those 333, 64 will make the championship’s tournament field. The teams that qualify for the tournament field are split into two categories:
- 31 conference champions automatically receive invites to the tournament.
- 33 at-large teams are selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee.
The tournament field and bracket will be announced on Monday, Nov. 8 during the selection show at 4:30 p.m. ET.
ACC Women’s Soccer Standings
PSN’s Pitt women’s soccer coverage
Look for coverage from Mark Goodman today from Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Pitt Game Notes
SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
- The Demon Deacons got off to their best start in program history through 14 games with a 12-2-0 record, and defeated (RV) NC State 1-0 at home Thursday.
- Redshirt-sophomore Kaitlyn Parks ranks in the nation 10th in shutouts (eight) and 14th in goals against average (.584).
- Leading goal scorer senior forward Shayla Smart ranks sixth in the nation in game-winning goals (five) and is in the ACC tied for fifth in goals (nine) and tied for eighth in points (19).
- Redshirt-senior forward Sofia Rossi (six goals and 16 points) and graduate student forward Jenna Menta (five goals and 15 points) are the two other Demon Deacons with double-digit point totals.
- Wake Forest leads 4-1-0 in the all-time series.
- Pitt has won the lone matchup in Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 24, 2015.
- The Demon Deacons have won the last two matchups by one goal, 3-2 in overtime in 2019 and 1-0 in 2020.
THIRD ACC WIN
- Pitt notched its third ACC victory of the season Thursday, Oct. 21 with a 3-0 home shutout of Boston College.
- The three ACC wins are tied for the most with last year’s squad (3-5-0) since joining the league in 2013.
- Pitt has its first ACC winning streak since winning its first three games of ACC play against NC State (2-0), Wake Forest (2-1, overtime) and at Louisville (1-0) to start conference play in 2015.
- It’s the third winning streak in ACC action (2014, at Syracuse and NC State).
- The Panthers scored all three goals in the second half.
- Back after missing the last four games, Amanda West drew a penalty kick in the 60th minute and converted it for the game-winning goal.
- West scored the next goal, her team-leading eighth of the year, in the 74th minute, deflecting in a sliding shot right in front on the goal line on a cross from Landy Mertz.
- Emily Yaple added a highlight reel goal with less than four minutes left, scoring on a bicycle kick for her fourth of the season. Off a corner kick, Chloe Minas collected a loose ball and sent a ball into the middle of the box for Yaple.
- Katherine Robinson made four saves for her fourth shutout of the season.
- Mertz became the fourth Panther to reach double-digits in points (10) this season.
- Pitt had the decisive advantage in shots (27-12), shots in goals (9-4) and corner kicks (7-3).
- The 27 shots tied a program record for ACC contests, match last game’s total at Syracuse Monday and last year on Sept. 17, also a victory over Syracuse.
- West had a game-high seven shots, and Sarah Schupansky and Mertz had six each.
- All three tied for a game-high two shots on goal.
- The game had two delays, one before the game pushing the start time to 6:38 and then later in the second half for almost an hour of idle time.
- Pitt is tied for the second-most wins (10) in a single-season in school history.
- In its 26th season for the program, Pitt clinched its fourth season of a winning record: 11-5-0 last year, 10-7-1 in 2015 and 8-5-5 in 2009.
- Pitt needs just one more win or two ties to secure the fourth winning season in program history.
- The Panthers have displayed a high-powered offense to start the season with 3+ goals scored in eight wins.
- Entering the weekend, Pitt ranked in the nation 16th in assists per game (2.62), 25th in points per game (7.38), 29th in scoring offense (2.38 goals per game), 35th in shots per game (17.56) and 44th in shots on goal per game (7.81).
- With two games left in the season, the team already ranks among the best ever in program history for single-season stats:
- First in points (118), goals (38) and assists (42).
- While getting attention for its offense, Pitt has featured an impressive defense.
- The Panthers have allowed 20 goals in 16 games this season with an average of 12.5 shots and 5.3 shots on goal allowed per game.
- Entering the weekend, Pitt ranked in the nation 38th in shutout percentage (.500).
- The squad has the second-most shutouts (eight) in a single-season, two behind the 2009 team.
HOMETOWN HEROES DEBUT
- Freshmen and Pittsburgh locals Ellie Coffield and Sarah Schupansky have made instant impacts in starting in their collegiate careers.
- In TopDrawerSoccer’s Top-100 Freshman Rankings released last 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 is second in points (18) and goals (seven) while she’s two off for the team-best in assists (four).
- Coffield is tied for second in assists (five) and is also tied for fifth 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.
SINGLE-SEASON RECORD WATCH
- With the highest team-scoring total as a team with two games left in the regular season, Pitt has several individuals etching their names in the school’s record book.
- Amanda West is tied for third in game-winning goals (three) with four in each of the previous two seasons and tied for sixth in points (19) with Netta Agredano (2001) and goals (eight) with Ashley Cuba (2011).
- Sarah Schupansky is tied for eighth place for most points (18) with Ashley Cuba (2009) and several others for goals (seven) and has the fifth-most points by a freshman.
- Landy Mertz is tied with four others for the seventh-most assists (six).
A NEWCOMER’S HOMETOWN ARRIVAL
- Hometown native Landy Mertz has produced a point in eight of her first 15 games as a Panther with five goals and six assists.
- A transfer from Dayton joining Pitt for the spring portion of the 2020-21 season, Mertz made quite the impact in her Panthers’ debut with two goals in the team’s 3-0 shutout victory in the City Game.
- Mertz was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week.
- She then followed up with a goal in the 4-1 win over Kentucky in the season-finale.
- This season, she scored in consecutive wins over NJIT and at Saint Joseph’s, assisted on the game-tying goal in the road win at then-No. 16 Oklahoma State and recorded two assists twice in wins at Syracuse and at home over Saint Francis.
- In the two exhibition games this season, she produced a goal in the 2-0 win at Youngstown State and had assists on both goals in a 2-0 victory at RV Ohio State.