Sept. 26, 2013
PITTSBURGH—A goal in the ninth minute proved to be the difference for No. 6 North Carolina as it handed the Pitt women’s soccer team a hard-fought 1-0 loss Thursday evening at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Pitt set an all-time single-game women’s soccer attendance record as 1,419 fans watched the Panthers take on the 2012 defending national champion Tar Heels. The loss drops Pitt to 4-6-1 overall and 0-5-0 in ACC play, while North Carolina improves to 9-2-0 overall and 3-2-0 in the ACC.
Pitt head coach Greg Miller was pleased with his team’s effort as the Panthers were in the match for the entire 90 minutes and played North Carolina closer than the visitors’ would have liked.
“It was a great effort from our team,” Pitt head coach Greg Miller said. “I felt we were more prepared for this game than we were against Virginia on Sunday. We had a great warmup tonight, our best of the year and it showed in how we played on the field. We also had a great spirit about ourselves. We had a lot of luck in the first half, they could’ve scored on a few of their opportunities, including the shot off the post. In the second half, we did a great job of limiting their chances. It just goes to show that we’ve been improving every game. In a game like today, when we play as hard as we did, it validates what we’re doing.”
“We just have to do better when we get the ball. We give up way too much possession and it makes it hard when we can’t reward ourselves after we win the ball.”
North Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when Paige Neilsen received a forward pass from Katie Bowen and tapped it past Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino for her fourth goal of the year. The score turned out to be all North Carolina needed as it was held scoreless for the match’s final 81 minutes. UNC’s Summer Green finished with nine shots, Neilsen tallied seven and Kealia Ohai added five. Green’s shot in the 21st minute hit off the post.
Once again, Pitt junior goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino finished with a career-high tying 10 saves in the contest. She has tallied 10 saves in each of the last three matches including games at Clemson and vs. No. 1 Virginia.
The defending national champion Tar Heels outshot Pitt 34-4 and finished with 10 corner kicks to the Panthers’ one. All four Pitt shots were placed on the UNC goal, including three from sophomore Roosa Arvas. Arvas’ shot from 30-yards out in the first half almost caught North Carolina goalkeeper Anna Sieloff off her line.
Miller was appreciative of the school-record crowd of 1,419 on Dollar Dog Night.
“I really appreciate the fan support,” Miller said. “Hopefully they were entertained and they keep coming back. The crowd definitely helped.”
Pitt plays its third consecutive top-10 ranked team when it travels to No. 5 Notre Dame for a Sunday, Sept. 29 match. Kickoff for that match is at 1 p.m.