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FINAL: Pitt 1, North Carolina 0

Photo courtesy University of North Carolina Athletics
ACC Men’s Soccer 

FINAL: Pitt 1, North Carolina 0

Match Stats HERE.

Match Summary

In a tightly contested match between two sides picked to finish at the top of the ACC Men’s Socce Coastal Division at season’s end, the Pitt Panthers controlled possession, created more chances and made the most of a golden opportunity in the second half to defeat North Carolina, 1-0, at Dorrance Field on Friday night in Chapel Hill, NC.

It’s the third straight season the Panthers have begun the ACC schedule with a win and the first time they’ve ever won at North Carolina.

The Panthers converted the game’s lone goal in the 63rd minute when Bertin Jacquesson delivered a well-placed, looping cross from the right side over to the back post area behind UNC’s last defender.  Sitting there waiting for Jacquesson’s cross was freshman sub Mateo Maillefaud, who redirected a one-time low bouncing volley past North Carolina’s goalkeeper Andrew Cordes.

In the first half, the Panthers, led by central midfield combo of Jackson Walti and Filip Mirkovic, controlled the ball and kept stretching UNC’s shape by alternating between playing it through the middle, and also at times looking to use the width, and sending more direct, wide balls toward Jacquesson.  The Panthers held a 5-3 shots edge (3-1 on frame) in the first 45 minutes.

Jacquesson had another chance in the 20th minute but his left-footed boot sailed just over the cross bar and out of play. In the 33rd minute, Gilman had a diving header attempt that was bound for the back of the net but a North Carolina defender blocked the shot on the goal line and cleared it away.

The Tar Heels had their first shot of the match in the 39th minute but Joe van der Sar came up with a huge kick save to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime.

Filip Mirkovic had the first shot of the second half for either team in the 60th minute as he ripped a shot from distance that was saved by the diving keeper.

Late in the match, after the Panthers took the lead, they continued to frustrate the Tar Heels by pressing forward for additional chances, finishing with 14 total shots (7 on frame).  The home side could only muster one shot on frame in the second half, and no shots in the final 20 minutes of the match.

It was three minutes later when Jacquesson found Maillefaud at the back post.

The goal marked Maillefaud’s first career goal and Jacquesson’s 21st career assist which ranks third in program history.  Jacquesson now has 49 career points(combined goals and assists) in 43 games.

The Tar Heels tried to counter in the 74th minute as Akeim Clarke had a nice scoring chance but van der Sar made the stop to keep the home team off the board.

In the 77th minute, Mohammad Abualnadi had a golden opportunity from the top of the box but his right-footed blast sailed just over the cross bar and out of play. Michael Sullivan brought some good energy off the bench and nearly doubled the Pitt lead in the 86th minute but his shot skipped just wide right of the UNC goal.

The Pitt defense held tough across the final couple minutes of action and didn’t allow the Tar Heels any chances as they secured their second straight clean sheet and first road win of the year.

van der Sar notched his second straight clean sheet as he made two stops in the win. The senior now has three clean sheets on the year and has a shutout streak of 243 minutes.

The Panthers (4-1, 1-0 in ACC) return to action next Friday when they host North Carolina State at Ambrose Urbanic Field (7 p.m. kickoff)

Look for a more detailed recap to follow here. 

Team Totals
TEAM Shots SOG Saves Fouls Corners OffSides
14 7 2 12 3 5
6 2 4 12 3 3

Match Day Updates 

Look for updates from Chapel Hill including starting lineups, scoring updates and more here.


FINAL — PITT 1, UNC 0

Pitt closes out the match with an impressive run of possession — totally dictating the terms of the match at the end when they were holding a 1-0 lead on the road.

90′ — RED CARD – UNC’s Juan Caffaro

63′ – GOAL – PITT 1, UNC 0

Mateo Maillefaud with the volley — delivered from Bertin Jacquesson cross.

HALF – PITT 0, NORTH CAROLINA 0

Shots on frame edge (3-1) and possesion edges to Pitt, as Waltri and Mirkovic are in control of central MF

20′ | Bertin Jacquesson is inches from giving Pitt the lead but his hard shot sails just over the bar. Pitt maintaining control but still scoreless here in Chapel Hill.

PSN’s Pitt MSOC Coverage

Back on Track: Second half scoring surge sends Pitt to 5-0 win

Preview / Game Notes 

THE SERIES – NORTH CAROLINA

  • This meeting marks the 10th all-time between the two programs with the Tar Heels owning the 8-1 record against the Panthers.
  • Pitt won last seasons meeting 4-0 at Ambrose Urbanic Field as Rodrigo Almeida netted two goals and Valentin Noel added a goal of his own in the victory.
  • The Tar Heels are 4-0 all-time against Pitt in games played in Chapel Hill.
  • The first meeting between the two teams came in 2013 in Pittsburgh, a game that was won 1-0 by UNC.

SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS

  • North Carolina enters Friday’s match with a 2-1 overall record after falling at home to Florida International Saturday, 2-1.
  • With the loss, the Tar Heels dropped out of the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 Poll. They are receiving nine votes in this week’s poll.
  • Milo Garvanian is leading the UNC offensive attack so far this season as he has two goals, one assist and five points while Hilli Goldhar and Key White have each netted a goal on the year.
  • UNC was picked to finish second in the Coastal Division behind Pitt in the preseason coaches poll. Midfielder Sebastian Schacht was tabbed to the ACC Preseason Watch List.
  • Defender Til Zinnhardt was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List after spending three successful seasons at Tulsa, earning 44 starts for the Golden Hurricanes.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

  • 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 have combined for six goals and 15 points through four games.
  • Jacquesson collected the game-winning goal in the 5-0 win over Howard while Noel collected an assist.
  • The two Frenchmen have combined to score 38 goals for Pitt over the last three seasons. The 38 goals are the most by any duo in the ACC over the last three seasons.
  • Noel currently ranks fifth in program history in goals (27) and sixth in points (65). He is one point shy of fifth place (Alexander Dexter) and two points shy of fourth place (Robert Cuthbert) on the all-time list.
  • Jacquesson is currently third in program history in assists (20). He currently leads all active players in the NCAA in assists per game (.48).
  • Noel has racked up 65 points in 60 career games while Jacquesson has 48 points in 42 career games.

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 7,410 career minutes for Pitt. His 83 games played also the most by any Division I player.
  • A native of Switzerland, Walti has appeared in 83 matches and started 80 across his career while adding four goals, five assists and 37 shots.
  • Junior Filip Mirkovic also brings loads of experience to the field for the Panthers as he has appeared in 41 matches and started 37 across his young career.
  • Mirkovic returned to the lineup Monday night and responded with a goal and assist. It marked his sixth multi-point game of his career.
  • The junior has posted seven goals, eight assists and 22 points to go along with 46 shots in three years of action.

VAN DER SAR SOLID BETWEEN THE PIPES FOR PITT

  • After serving as the backup goalkeeper for the Panthers last season, senior goalkeeper Joe van der Sar had made a nice transition into the starting role for Pitt.
  • The talented keeper has started all four games for the Panthers this season as he owns a 3-1 record and a 0.75 goals against average with two shutouts.
  • After making his first career start in the win over No. 2 Georgetown, van der Sar notched his first career clean sheet in the Panthers’ 3-0 victory over No. 6 West Virginia last week at home. He then collected his second shutout of the season against Howard Monday.
  • He is the son of former professional goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar who is considered by many as one of the best goalkeepers of all-time. Edwin is currently the Chief Executive of AFC Ajax, a team who plays in the top division in the Netherlands.
  • Edwin made 605 appearances in goal for Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United across his professional career. He also made 130 appearances for the Netherlands National Team.

UP NEXT

  • No. 10 Pitt returns home Friday, Sept. 16 as they play host to NC State at 7:00 pm at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Friday’s match will air live on ACC Network.

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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