ACC Women’s Soccer
FINAL: North Carolina 4, Pitt 0
The No. 13-ranked Pitt women’s soccer team (11-2-0, 4-1-0 ACC) saw its five-game winning streak snapped with a 4-0 loss on the road to No. 5-ranked North Carolina (10-3, 3-2 ACC) Thursday at Dorrance Field. The setback marked the first for the Panthers in ACC play in 2022.
Pitt’s four goals conceded marked a season high. The Tar Heels outshot the Panthers, 22-5, and held the advantage in shots on goal (10-4) and corners (9-5). Pitt was shutout for the first time this season.
North Carolina struck on a goal by Sam Meza in the 12th minute. A goal by Tori Hansen made it a 2-0 advantage for the Tar Heels in the 33rd minute. Talia Dellaperuta extended UNC’s advantage with a goal in the 38th minute, sending the hosts into the half up 3-0.
Maddie Dahlien netted the fourth and final goal of the game in the 60th minute.
Mackenzie Evers accounted for two of Pitt’s five shots, both of which were on goal. Caitlyn Lazzarini played the first 75 minutes in goal, making a game-high five saves. She gave way to Ellie Breech, who played the final 15 minutes.
Avery Patterson, who assisted on the goal by Dahlien along with Emily Colton, totaled a game-high five shots. In addition to scoring the game’s third goal, Dellaperuta assisted on the goal by Hansen along with Paige Tolentino and accounted for a game-high three shots on goal.
Pitt makes the short trip from Chapel Hill to Durham to take on No. 7-ranked Duke on Sunday. First touch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the matchup streamed live on ACC Network Extra.
Key Final Stats
Look for starting lineups and game highlights/updates to be posted here.
FINAL: UNC 4, Pitt 0
Dahlien uses her speed and toughness to net her first career goal. pic.twitter.com/Vzdf8OWFNO
— UNC Women's Soccer (@uncwomenssoccer) October 7, 2022
— GoHeelsGameDay (@GoHeelsGameDay) October 6, 2022
Preview / PSN Pitt women’s soccer coverage
It will be a battle of the last two remaining unbeaten ACC women’s soccer teams and it begins a stretch of three-straight road games when the No. 13 ranked Pitt Panthers pay a visit to Chapel Hill, N.C. to clash with No. 5-ranked North Carolinahursday at Dorrance Field.
Pitt has already made a statement win this season by beating then 15-ranked Notre Dame at South Bend, but they can further cement their status as an ACC and National contender if they can get a result in Chapel Hill.
The Panthers take their second five-game winning streak of the 2022 season into Thursday’s contest. Pitt opened the year with six-straight victories, which matched its best start to a season in program history.
Pitt remained unbeaten in ACC competition after last week’s win at home against Louisville. PSN’s Rachael Kriger was at the match, and filed this game report.
Match Notes – Pitt vs North Carolina
Pitt moved up one spot to No. 13 in the country in the latest United Soccer Coaches Rankings.
The Panthers entered the rankings at No. 14 a week ago, marking the third-straight year Pitt has appeared in the weekly poll. Pitt reached as high as No. 19 in the poll last season and No. 12 in 2020.
BATTLE OF RANKED TEAMS
Pitt’s matchup against No. 5-ranked North Carolina on Thursday marks the program’s third showdown as a ranked team against a ranked opponent. Last season, then-No. 20-ranked Pitt hosted then-No. 6-ranked TCU and fell by a 1-0 score. In 2020, the then-No. 14-ranked Panthers suffered a 2-1 overtime setback to then-No. 10-ranked Virginia.
The Panthers have climbed all the way to No. 2 in the NCAA’s third Rating Percentage Index (RPI) report of the 2022 season after opening at No. 18 in the initial report and then moving up to seventh last week.
With 11 wins in 12 attempts, Pitt is off to its best start in program history. With their next victory, the Panthers will set the program standard for the most victories in a single season.
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
Pitt and Florida State are only remaining unbeatens in the ACC in conference play and are tied atop the standings with 12 points apiece. The Panthers have opened ACC play with four wins in four tries for the first time in program history. Pitt earned its fourth ACC victory last Saturday at Ambrose Urbanic Field courtesy of Samiah Phiri’s game winner in the 79th minute, securing a 1-0 victory over Louisville.
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
ACC play has seen Pitt record its first-ever wins over Virginia Tech (4-1) and Notre Dame (3-1). The Panthers were previously 0-7-1 against the Hokies and 0-15-1 against the Fighting Irish.
BUILDING THE PROGRAM
The Panthers are now 42-35-4 under the leadership of fifth-year head coach Randy Waldrum. After going 9-22-4 in the first two years of a massive rebuild, Pitt has gone 33-15 over the last two-plus seasons.
PILING UP POINTS
With six games still to play in the 2022 regular season, Pitt has already set a program record for points in a single season with 117 (40 goals, 37 assists). The previous high-water mark was shared by the 2020-21 and 1998 teams with 104. The Panthers’ 117 points are good for second in NCAA Division I behind Gardner-Webb’s 132 while their 9.75 points per game ranks third behind Gardner-Webb (10.15) and Florida State (9.75).
Pitt has outscored the opposition 40-9 so far in 2022. The Panthers’ 40 goals rank as the second most in a single season in program history behind the 2021 team’s 41 and are tied for the second-most in NCAA Division I this season with Saint Louis behind Gardner-Webb (44). Pitt ranks third in the country in scoring offense with 3.33 goals per game, sixth in shots on goal per game (9.67) and is tied for seventh in shots per game (20.00).
The Panthers have seen 13 different players find the back of the net so far this season. Leah Pais is pacing Pitt, scoring all seven of her team-leading goals in the last seven games. She is tied for 31st in the country and third among ACC players in goals. Amanda West, who is out for the rest of the season following an injury in the win over Cincinnati, is tied for second on the team with Landy Mertz with six goals. Mertz has compiled a team-high four game winners, which is tied for fourth in the country and tied for most among ACC players. Sarah Schupansky (5) and Ellie Coffield (3) round out Pitt’s top five goal scorers. Fleming Dean, Samiah Phiri, Emily Yaple and Katie Zailski have each cashed in twice. Anna Bout, Mackenzie Evers, Ashton Gordon and Bri Hilsenteger have each found the back of the net once.
HOW MAY WE ASSIST?
Eleven different Panthers have distributed assists this season, with Anna Bout and Sarah Schupansky leading the way with six apiece, which is tied for 18th in the country and third among ACC players. Bout’s 15 career assists are good for the fifth-most in program history. Landy Mertz and Leah Pais are tied with four apiece. Ellie Coffield, Ashton Gordon, Samiah Phiri, Amanda West and Emily Yaple have each dished out three assists while Keera Melenhorst and Ashley Moon have all logged one helper. Pitt’s 37 assists rank as the second-most in program history behind the 2021 squad’s 47. The Panthers are currently tied for second in the country in total assists with Alabama, trailing only Gardner-Webb (44). Pitt ranks third in the nation and second in the ACC in assists per game with 3.08.
SHUT IT DOWN
The Panthers opened the 2022 season by earning a pair of shutout victories at the Rumble in the Rockies in Missoula, Mont. Pitt blanked Gonzaga, 1-0, in the season opener, then stifled host Montana, 2-0, three days later. The Panthers started a new season with back-to-back shutout victories for the first time since 2017. Pitt has added four more shutouts to its total courtesy of a 6-0 rout of Cleveland State, a 7-0 romp over Kent State, a 2-0 blanking of Cincinnati and a 1-0 win over Louisville. Pitt’s six shutouts are already tied for the third-most in a single season in program history. The Panthers had not allowed a goal over 315 minutes of play until VCU broke through for the first goal of the match in the sixth minute.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
Pitt is set to take on North Carolina for the seventh time and is in search of its first win over the Tar Heels. The Panthers suffered a 1-0 setback to North Carolina in the last meeting between the two teams on Oct. 7, 2021. Pitt’s last trip to Chapel Hill resulted in a 3-0 loss on Sept. 20, 2018.
North Carolina is guided by the longest active head coach across all NCAA divisions in Anson Dorrance, who is the sport’s all-time wins leader with 910 victories against just 84 losses and 44 ties.
The Tar Heels were tabbed to finish third in the 2022 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll and received a league-high tying four first-place votes. North Carolina has started 2-2-0 in conference play, most recently falling to Virginia Tech on the road last Saturday, 2-1.
Avery Patterson is North Carolina’s leading point scorer with 16 thanks to a team-high seven goals. Sam Meza leads the Tar Heels with four assists. Emmie Allen has started all 12 games in goal, going 8-2-0 with 23 saves while giving up six goals.
Pitt makes the short trip from Chapel Hill to Durham to take on Duke on Sunday. First touch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the matchup streamed live on ACC Network Extra.