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Amanda West, Landy Mertz second half goals push Pitt to 2-1 road win at Buffalo

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

It was a positive return to the pitch for Pitt’s Amanda West, as the program’s all-time leading scorer notched her fifth straight season opening goal, plus Landy Mertz added a needed second goal and 12th as a Panther to lead No. 14 Pitt to the 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Bulls Thursday night.

The Panthers controlled much of the first half action, as they led in shots (5-1) and corner kicks (3-1). Ellie CoffieldSamiah Phiri and Ashton Gordon each had dangerous attempts aimed at the Buffalo net, but could not find the back. The Pitt starting defense of Mackenzie EversKatie Zailski, Gordon and Lainie Fuchs, along with goalkeeper Ellie Breech, stood strong in the first 45 preventing most opportunities from materializing for the Bulls.

The second half started off back and forth with both sides putting crosses into the opposing boxes. Breech made her lone save of the night early in the second and the Pitt back line thwarted several other Bulls’ chances.

West, Pitt’s all-time leader in points and goals, struck first in the 66th minute to break the deadlock. This was her first match action after missing much of 2022 to injury, scoring goal number 40 in the blue and gold. The goal came off of a deep ball sent in by Ashley Moon, also returning from injury, that snuck through Phiri and a couple Buffalo defenders to find West’s foot.

Just over four minutes later, Mertz made it two for Pitt, thanks to a great run down the right side of the pitch by Phiri. Phiri beat her defender to play the ball back towards Mertz, who buried her strike into the upper left hand corner of the goal.

Buffalo had the majority of looks at goal after going down 2-0 and converted one of their own after a defensive miscue by the Panthers in the 86th minute. However, Pitt was able to see the match out for the win to open their 2023 campaign.

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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