NCAA Men’s Soccer
FINAL: Marshall 2, Pitt 1
No. 2 Pitt men’s soccer team (2-1-0) dropped their first match of the season Friday night on the road to No. 11 Marshall, 2-1. Despite holding the 15-8 edge in shots and the 12-4 lead in corners the Panthers were defeated on the road as they took on their third straight nationally ranked opponent.
Marshall, the 2020-21 NCAA Men’s Division I National Champions, were on the front foot from the start, stunning the Panthers with two early first half goals from Matthew Bell.
“They (The fans) were definitely our 12th man,” Herd men’s soccer head coach Chris Grassie said about the crowd of 1,897 fans after the win. “It felt like a championship game.”
Marshall opened the scoring in the 14th minute of play as Matthew Bell raced down the left sideline and buried the left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the goal past a diving Joe van der Sar. Bell’s goal was assisted by Adam Aoumaich.
After a Jackson Gilman header off of a great corner nearly tied the match, the Herd made a quick counter and Bell looked to be offsides but was not whistled and he buried his second goal of the match into the left corner.
In the 37th minute, Bertin Jacquesson sent a corner just outside the eight and Gilman headed one towards the upper corner but the Marshall keeper poked the dangerous chance over the top of the net to keep the game 2-0 in favor of the home side.
With the time winding down in the first half, van der Sar made a huge stop to his left to keep the score 2-0 in favor of Marshall as he deflected away a shot that was bound for the corner.
Pitt had the first chance of the second half as Valentin Noel was dragged down just outside the box in the 57th minute. On the ensuing free kick, Rodrigo Almeida ripped a shot that just sailed high of the open left corner of the Herd goal.
The Panthers finally got on the board in the 71st minute as Noel beat the keeper to the left corner from just inside the box after a great feed by Luis Sahmkow. The goal marked Noel’s third of the season and cut the Pitt deficit to 2-1 with 19 minutes to play.
Lucas Rosa had a great chance to tie the match in the 79th minute but his hard shot was grabbed by the keeper to preserve the one-goal lead for the home side. Pitt nearly tied the match in the final minute as Mateo Maillefaud placed a perfect cross into the box where Henrique Gallina connected on a header that was just poked wide to the left of the open corner of the goal to preserve the win for Marshall.
The Panthers return home Monday night as they welcome Howard to Ambrose Urbanic Field for a non-conference match. Monday’s match will start at 7:00 pm and air on ACC Network Extra.
*** Noel has scored a goal in all three games this season.
*** Noel now has 27 career goals which ranks fifth in program history and 64 career points which ranks sixth in program history.
*** The assist for Sahmkow marked his first of the season and second of his career..
FINAL: Marshall 2, Pitt 1
Tough loss for the Panthers were pushing and looked more conditioned than the hosts, but the 2020 National Champions showed a lot of grit to hold on to the lead.
88′ — Pitt bringing all kinds of pressure, and 12th corner of the night comes up short.
71′ — GOAL – PITT
MARSHALL, 2, PITT 1
— Pitt Men's Soccer (@Pitt_MSOC) September 3, 2022
70′ — Three Marshall players down for cramps in the past few minutes.
Still 20 minutes to go.
Pitt maybe best chance of 2nd half half when Jacquesson holds ball up on end line, toys w/ defender, then sends perfect ball in for Noel who misses on his chance.
57′ — Pitt keeps bringing pressure, crosses and trying to work second and third passes into box but Marshall have been keeping numbers back. Up to 10-2 advantage in corners for Pitt, but nothing to show for it.
HALF – MARSHALL 2, PITT 0
Here are some of the stats from the first 45…
27′ – GOAL – MARSHALL 2, PITT 0
— Downtown Huntington™ (@DowntownHWV) September 2, 2022
15′ – GOAL – MARSHALL 2, PITT 0
Matthew Bell cuts behind the last defender on left side, and has room to slot in a shot inside the right post.
Pitt men’s soccer team (2-0-0), who are off to a strong start thanks to notching wins against then No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 West Virginia, now faces its first road test of the season on Friday night when they travel to No. 11 Marshall.
PSN’s Recent Coverage of Pitt men’s soccer
Preview & Game Notes
THE SERIES – MARSHALL
- This meeting marks the fifth game between the two programs in the all-time series with the Panthers owning the 2-0-2 record against the Herd.
- The two sides last met in 2005 with the Panthers earning the 5-4 road victory. That game marked the only road game for Pitt in the all-time series.
- The first game between the two programs came in 1991, a scoreless draw in Pittsburgh.
SCOUTING THE HERD
- Marshall comes into Friday’s match ranked No. 11 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll as they own a 1-1-0 record.
- The Herd opened the season with a 5-0 home victory over VCU before falling Monday night at Butler, 1-0.
- Marshall is being led offensively by Milo Yosef who netted a hat trick in the season opener and was named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. Yosef has 58 career points which is tied for seventh in Marshall program history.
- The Herd also return their starting goalkeeper, Oliver Semmle, from last years NCAA Tournament team. Semmle notched his 20th career clean sheet in the season opening win over VCU.
- The combination of midfielder Valentin Noel and forward Bertin Jacquesson has been deadly for the Panthers over the past three seasons.
- The two prolific scorers haven’t disappointed early on as they both have netted a goal in each of the first two games of the season.
- Noel opened the scoring last time out against No. 6 West Virginia as he buried a cross from Jacquesson into the left corner. Jacquesson then added his second of the season after a great run down the right sideline as he slotted one into the lower left corner.
- The two Frenchmen have combined to score 36 goals for Pitt over the last three seasons. The 36 goals are the most by any duo in the ACC over the last three seasons.
- Noel currently ranks fifth in program history in goals (26) and eighth in points (62).
- Jacquesson is currently third in program history in assists (20). He has also recorded 46 points in 40 career matches for the Panthers.
JACQUESSON EARNS A VARIETY OF WEEKLY AWARDS
- After compiling two goals, two assists and six points across a pair of ranked victories for the Panthers, junior forward Bertin Jacquesson earned multiple weekly awards.
- On Tuesday, Jacquesson was named ACC Co-Offensive Player of the Week. It marked his second time earning the conference weekly recognition. He is one of two Panthers in program history to earn the ACC honor twice (Valentin Noel).
- Jacquesson also earned recognition by three other publications as he was named to TopDrawerSoccer Men’s Team of the Week, College Soccer News Men’s National Team of the Week and was one of Soccer America’s Three Stars of the Week.
FACING RANKED OPPONENTS
- The Panthers are no stranger to nationally ranked opponents and they will face their third straight nationally ranked foe Friday night in Huntington, WV as they take on No. 11 Marshall.
- Pitt opened the season with back-to-back wins over top-10 programs for the first time in program history as they downed No. 2 Georgetown 2-1 and No. 6 West Virginia 3-0.
- Pitt is now 4-0-1 against top-5 opponents over the last two seasons as they downed Georgeotwn (No. 2), Clemson (No. 2), Duke (No. 3) and North Carolina (No. 4) during the regular season and tied Notre Dame (No. 4) in the Elite Eight last season.
- Overall, Pitt is 6-0-1 against nationally ranked foes over the last two seasons.
- Over the last three seasons, Pitt owns a 10-3-1 record against ranked opponents.
EXPERIENCED IN THE MIDFIELD
- Graduate student Jackson Walti has been a stalwart in the central midfield for the Panthers since stepping foot on campus in 2018.
- Walti currently leads all NCAA Division I soccer player in minutes played with 7,243 career minutes for Pitt. His 81 games played also the most by any Division I player.
- A native of Switzerland, Walti has appeared in 81 matches and started 78 across his career while adding four goals, five assists and 36 shots.
- Junior Filip Mirkovic also brings loads of experience to the field for the Panthers as he has appeared in 40 matches and started 36 across his young career.
- Mirkovic has posted six goals, seven assists and 19 points to go along with 43 shots in three years of action.
- No. 2 Pitt returns home Monday night as they welcome Howard to Ambrose Urbanic Field for a 7:00 pm first kick. Monday’s match will air live on ACC Network Extra.