Pitt men’s soccer team falters late in 2-1 loss at Temple


The Pitt men's soccer team fought to a 1-1 draw against the Duke Blue Devils on Friday night. Meghan Sunners | Senior Staff Photographer

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

The Pitt men’s soccer team traveled to Philadelphia searching for their first win of the season, but instead fell to Temple, 2-1, in the final moments of the game.

“It was another experience in our growth as a program and team,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said in a press release after the game. “We were able to get our first goal on the road and it was a fine one.”

The match started with a great show of defense from both teams, but the Panthers (0-1-1) were unable to keep the cunning Owls (3-0-0) offense away from their goal.

Last year, Temple only let eight goals soar past their goalkeepers –– and redshirt junior goalkeeper Alex Cagle entered the game without having allowed a goal this season.

On the pitch at picturesque Geasey Field overlooking the Philadelphia skyline, Pitt took the possession to start the game.

Less than a minute later, first-year Panthers forward Josh Coan was presented with a free kick opportunity. The kick was well defended by Temple, with the ball drifting wide of the net.

Pitt defenders booted the ball several times over the midfield line into Owls territory during the first half, but continued to be stifled by Temple’s determined defenders.

Owls senior Jorge Gomez Sanchez garnered a free kick opportunity in the sixth minute after being tripped, but sent the ball too high as it bounced off the top of the net. Since the ball was tipped by Pitt, Temple received a corner kick but couldn’t convert it into a goal.

After another unsuccessful corner attempt, Panthers junior forward Roosevelt Angulo took advantage of a empty Owls net in the 12th minute and scored the first goal of the game for Pitt.

Temple returned with a vengeance, taking over control of the game and possessing the ball deep into Panthers territory.

After several minutes of vigorous play, Pitt first-year midfielder Luca Mellor collided with Owls  Joonas Jokinen. Jokinen received a yellow card, and Mellor left the field –– providing both sides with a small break to strategize during the 25th minute.

The Panthers received their first corner kick in the 40th minute, but couldn’t turn it into a goal. The half continued with an undeterred Temple offense pursuing opportunities on the Panthers’ side of the field, as Pitt managed to escape the half with a 1-0 lead.

Both teams came back into the second half revitalized, with neither side allowing the ball to stray too far from midfield.

With just over 15 minutes of play left, the Owls started to put pressure on Pitt goalie Mikal Outcalt. With several attempts near the goal line, Temple defender Carlos Moros Garcia navigated his way around the Pitt defenders to score and tie the game, 1-1.

Play continued with strong showings of offensive strategy on both sides. Then, right under the five minute mark, Temple midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez was able to strike the ball right past the Pitt defenders and Outcalt.

Although Temple went on to win the game, 2-1, it was another promising effort from a young Panthers team in Vidovich’s first year as head coach.

“We were able to lead at the half, which was a goal that we set as a team. Going into the second half I thought we did a tremendous job, but we lost our focus and collective play,” Vidovich said in the release. “However, we made progress today by starting a match on the road with a goal and opening the second half in a positive way.”

The Panthers will remain in Philadelphia to play their next game on Sunday against St. Joseph’s at 7 p.m., which can be seen on A10 Network.

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