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Pitt women’s soccer shut out in ACC opener vs. Louisville, 1-0

Pitt+fell+to+Louisville+in+its+ACC+season+opener.++Jeff+Ahearn+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
Pitt fell to Louisville in its ACC season opener.  Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt fell to Louisville in its ACC season opener. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt fell to Louisville in its ACC season opener. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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Pitt’s women’s soccer team opened conference play at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Saturday night with a 1-0 loss to the Louisville Cardinals.

The struggling Panthers (1-7-1 overall, 0-1-0 ACC) dropped their fifth consecutive game and failed to score a goal for the third time in that stretch. Louisville (6-2-1 overall, 1-0-0 ACC) jumped out to an early lead and never gave Pitt a chance to even things up.

“We have to create more dangerous opportunities and take shots when we have them,” Pitt head coach Greg Miller said in a press release. “We’re still passing up some of those chances when we have them. In the ACC, sometimes it can come down to one moment like it did for Louisville, and they capitalized on it tonight.”

In the 16th minute, Cardinals first-year forward Allison Whitfield tucked an inconspicuous corner kick past Panthers goalkeeper Taylor Francis and into the far corner of the net for an early 1-0 lead.

After the goal, Francis came up with a couple of big saves for Pitt, allowing the Panthers to seize momentum and move the ball into Louisville’s side of the pitch. But when they got there, Cardinals senior goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin wouldn’t let anything past her.

Louisville outshot Pitt in the first half, 7-4, to take a 1-0 lead into halftime. All of the Panthers’ shots made it on goal, but Bucklin turned away all four.

Francis denied all three shots on goal after halftime to keep it close, but Bucklin remained perfect in goal for the Cardinals with four more second-half saves. Whitfield’s early corner kick goal turned out to be the difference in Louisville’s 1-0 victory.

“From a physical, hard-working standpoint, I thought we were much better,” Miller said in the release. “I thought we were much more organized defensively, much more on the same page. We’ll have to take those two things going forward and continue to work on our offense.”

Pitt continues ACC play with a trip to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to take on the Boston College Eagles on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

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Pitt women’s soccer shut out in ACC opener vs. Louisville, 1-0