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FINAL: Pitt 0, Clemson 0 (Pitt clinches berth in ACC tournament)

ACC Women’s Soccer

FINAL: PItt 0, Clemson 0

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FINAL:  PITT 0, CLEMSON 0

It ends as a scoreless draw!

The good news for Pitt is that they’re in the ACC Women’s tournament for the first time ever.

They’ll be either a 5 or 6 seed (of 6 team tournament, and playing on the road on Sunday, October 30.

The Panthers end the regular season 12-4-2 overall and 5-3-2 in the ACC.

We’ll have more to follow!

70′ | Possession has swung in favor of the Panthers over the last 10 minutes. Shots are now 11-10 in favor of Clemson. Looking to break through for a goal!

60′ | Half hour to go and we’re still scoreless. Clemson’s got the advantage in shots (11-6) and shots on goal (5-2). Lazzarini has made five saves to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.

HALF — PITT 0, CLEMSON 0

28′ | Great save by Lazzarini off a tough shot to keep the Tigers off the board!

20′ | No score after 20 minutes of play. Shots are even (3-3).

7:02 p.m. — 1′ | they’ve kicked off

Preview / PSN Recent Pitt Coverage 

With a win or a tie the Pitt Panthers will clinch a spot in the six-team 2022 ACC Championship field.

It’s been a season of firsts for Pitt, but another, but a first ever win over the Tigers will clinch Pitt’s first-ever trip to the ACC tournament. The Panthers last appeared in postseason play in 2010 – a 1-0 loss at DePaul in the Big East Tournament First Round. Pitt has never qualified for the NCAA tournament.

The Panthers are coming off its first home loss of the 2022 season Sunday at Ambrose Urbanic Field, falling to then–No. 4-ranked Florida State, 1-0, in a hard-fought battle.

Pitt women fall in close match to Florida State; focus goes to Clemson for ACC berth

Immediately following the match, they quickly turned their attention to the showdown with Clemson.

The top six teams in the league will qualify for the 2022 ACC Women’s Soccer Championship. Notre Dame, North Carolina, Florida State, Duke and Virginia have all qualified for the tournament, with seeding to be determined by the results of Thursday’s regular season finales.

The top two seeds will receive a bye to the semifinals while the third and sixth seeds and fourth and fifth seeds will square off at the campus site of the higher seed on October 30. With a win or tie on Thursday, Pitt can qualify as either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed pending the result of Virginia’s game at Miami. Both the semifinals (November 3) and championship game (November 6) are slated to be contested at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

A win and a sixth place finish should really boost Pitt’s chances to earn an NCAA tournament berth. The Panthers currently occupy the No. 12 spot in the NCAA’s fourth Rating Percentage Index (RPI) report of the 2022 season after opening at No. 18 in the initial report, moving up to seventh four weeks ago, second three weeks ago and then ranking eighth two weeks ago and 10th last week.

Game Notes 

A WIN FOR THE RECORD BOOK
Pitt set new program standards for both wins and goals in a single season courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Syracuse last Thursday at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

The Panthers have captured a program-record 12 victories in 2022, surpassing the previous standard of 11 set by the 2020-21 and ’21 squads. Pitt’s five ACC wins this year are the most in a single season in program history since the Panthers joined the league prior to the 2013 campaign. Pitt also set a new program record for goals scored in a single season, raising its total to 43 on the year after potting a pair against the Orange.

Bri Hilsenteger found the back of the net in the 44th minute, then Sarah Schupansky added an insurance goal in the 86th minute to put the contest away.

LAZZ LANDS ALL-TIME WINS RECORD
In addition to the team records falling in the win over Syracuse, Caitlyn Lazzarini set a program record by earning her 20th career victory in goal, overtaking the previous record of 19 that was shared by Morie Kephart (2007-10) and Jamie Pelusi (2002-05). With 12 victories in goal this year, Lazzarini is also the program’s single season wins leader

NCAA DIVISION I COMMITTEE TABS PITT TOP TEN
As the 2022 regular season winds down, the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee has revealed its ranking of the top 10 teams. The Committee has ranked Pitt ninth in its midseason reveal.

IN THE RANKINGS FOR A FIFTH-STRAIGHT WEEK
Pitt moved up another spot in the United Soccer Coaches Rankings, coming in at No. 19 to mark the fifth week in a row the Panthers have been ranked in the national poll.

The Panthers entered the rankings at No. 14 four weeks ago, marking the third-straight year Pitt has appeared in the weekly poll. Pitt moved up one spot to No. 13 three weeks ago, then was ranked No. 21 two weeks ago and No. 20 last week. The Panthers reached as high as No. 19 in the poll last season and No. 12 in 2020. Pitt is also ranked ninth on the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee’s Top 10 list.

HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
Pitt is 7-1-0 at home so far in 2022. With one more victory at Ambrose Urbanic Field, the Panthers can break a tie with the 2021 squad for most home victories in a single season.

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 43-38-5 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 34-18-1 over the last two-plus seasons.

PILING UP POINTS
Pitt has already set a program record for points in a single season with 125 (43 goals, 39 assists). The previous high-water mark was shared by the 2020-21 and 1998 teams with 104. The Panthers’ 125 points are good for ninth in NCAA Division I while their 7.35 points per game rank 11th.

OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT
Pitt has outscored the opposition 43-16 so far in 2022. The Panthers’ 43 goals are a program record and are tied for the eighth-most in NCAA Division I this season. Pitt is tied for 11th in the nation in scoring offense with 2.53 goals per game.

FINDING BALANCE
The Panthers have seen 13 different players find the back of the net so far this season. Leah Pais is pacing Pitt, scoring a team-high seven goals. She is tied for ninth 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 and Sarah Schupansky with six goals. Mertz has compiled a team-high four game winners, which is tied for most among ACC players. Ellie Coffield (3) and Samiah Phiri (3) round out Pitt’s top six goal scorers. Fleming DeanBri HilsentegerEmily Yaple and Katie Zailski have each cashed in twice. Anna BoutMackenzie Evers and Ashton Gordon have each found the back of the net once.

HOW MAY WE ASSIST?
Eleven different Panthers have distributed assists this season, with Sarah Schupansky leading the way with seven, which is tied for 32nd in the country and ranks fifth among ACC players. Anna Bout ranks second on the team, tied for 61st in the country and tied for sixth in the ACC with six assists. Bout’s 15 career assists are good for the fifth-most in program history. Landy Mertz and Leah Pais are tied with four assists apiece. Ellie CoffieldAshton GordonKeera MelenhorstSamiah PhiriAmanda West and Emily Yaple have each dished out three assists while Ashley Moon has logged one helper. Pitt’s 39 assists rank as the second-most in program history behind the 2021 squad’s 47. The Panthers are currently ninth in the country in total assists with 39 and 14th in the nation in assists per game with 2.44.

PANTHERS FINISH NON-CONFERENCE PLAY STRONG
Pitt prevailed in seven of its first eight games for the second year in a row to finish non-conference play strong. The Panthers went a perfect 4-0 at home in non-conference action.

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 five 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, a 1-0 win over Louisville and a 2-0 victory over Syracuse. Pitt’s seven shutouts are tied for the second-most in a single season in program history.

ZAILSKI RECOGNIZED AMONG TOP FRESHMEN BY TOPDRAWERSOCCER

Katie Zailski has been named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshmen Top 100 list, coming in at No. 26.

A native of Summerville, S.C., Zailski has played in all 15 games for the Panthers this season, making 13 starts. She has registered four points off of two goals, including potting the game winner in a 4-1 victory at Virginia Tech last month. Zailski has been a key part of a back line that has registered six shutouts so far in 2022, which is tied for the third-most in a single season in program history.

SCOUTING CLEMSON
Pitt is set to take on Clemson for the eighth time in program history. The Panthers are 0-7-0 all-time against the Tigers, most recently falling on the road, 2-0, on Sept. 16, 2021.

Clemson is guided by 12th-year head coach Eddie Radwanski, who has led the Tigers to a 125-79-28 record during his tenure.

The Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the 2022 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll.

Clemson comes into the regular season finale carrying an 8-4-4 overall record with a 4-3-2 mark in ACC and received votes in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Rankings. The Tigers have gone 3-2-0 over their last five games, including a 1-1-0 mark last week, tying Duke (0-0) and defeating Boston College (3-0).

The Tigers have outscored the opposition by a 30-18 count this year. Caroline Conti leads Clemson with 13 points off four goals and a team-high five assists. Renee Lyles is tied with Conti for the team lead in goals with four. In goal, Halle Mackiewicz has started all 16 games and made 55 saves.

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).

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Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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