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Late goal propels BC to 1-0 win over Pitt men’s soccer

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Pitt's men's soccer team suffered its third straight loss Friday night against the Boston College Eagles. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Pitt's men's soccer team suffered its third straight loss Friday night against the Boston College Eagles. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Pitt's men's soccer team suffered its third straight loss Friday night against the Boston College Eagles. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

By Ryan Zimba | Staff Writer

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After back-to-back home losses, the Pitt men’s soccer team again came up on the wrong end of a shutout after a late goal by the Boston College Eagles at Ambrose Urbanic Field Friday night.

Boston College (6-3-1 overall, 2-2-1 ACC) prevailed over the Panthers (2-8-2 overall, 0-4-1 ACC), 1-0, after a goal in the 89th minute left broke a scoreless tie and sent Pitt to its third consecutive loss.

Physical play was the story from start to finish, with neither team willing to give up anything to their opponent. There were constant stoppages for fouls, injuries, and bookings throughout the game. Combined, the teams had 27 fouls and 6 yellow cards for the match.

“It was one, sloppy conditions, two, teams that needed a result,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said . “I don’t think there were many dirty plays … I think it was just kids were playing hard.”

The first half was heavily dominated by both defenses. Pitt was held shotless by the Eagles, who only managed two shots on goal.

As a result, Pitt goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt had a relatively easy half in goal. He only had to come up with two saves, one of which came off a hard shot in the 33rd minute. On that play, Pitt defender Tom Moxham turned the ball over, leading to a short-angle shot by the Eagles and an impressive save by Outcalt.

“We did exactly what we wanted to,” Outcalt said. “We contained them, limited their chances, and any chances they did get were well-contested.”

The Panthers countered with their own opportunity in the 36th minute but failed to get a shot off as a cross into the box barely missed connecting with an attacker.

The teams went into the locker room locked in a scoreless tie, and both came out with a more offensive-minded approach in the second half.

“We wanted to go down the left-hand side, find a couple of switches to the right,” Vidovich said. “We were trying to get in behind their wing-backs, so I think at the end that’s where we had a couple chances.”

After halftime, BC quickly earned three consecutive corner kicks. On the second chance, the ball deflected off the crossbar and sailed out of bounds.

Pitt responded by generating a few opportunities of its own.

In the 56th minute, the Panthers crossed the ball in from the wing and deflected it on goal. A few minutes later, they received a free kick deep in BC territory. Both times, the Eagles’ defense to clear the ball out of the zone.

As time was winding down with the score still tied, BC decided to make one final push up the field.

With less than two minutes to go, Eagles forward Maximilian Schulze-Geisthovel found midfielder Callum Johnson on the left wing. Johnson took the ball into the box and blasted a shot into the far corner of the net to give his team the lead 1-0 win. The goal was the first of Johnson’s collegiate career.

The Eagles celebrated on the field, mobbing Johnson while the Pitt defense walked around with their heads down. Outcalt, visibly upset, threw the ball towards midfield in frustration.

Despite the loss, the players stressed after the game that there were aspects of their play they could build on.

“We need to take away all the positives from it,” Pitt defender Bryce Cregan said. “The fact that we worked hard for 89 minutes and were all over them for the most part of that too. We’re getting better each and every day.”

The Panthers must put this loss behind them quickly, as they will travel to State College, Pennsylvania, to battle rival Penn State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We’re excited to have [Penn State] on the schedule again. To play a quality team like that, an in-state rival, is tremendous for college soccer that we can be in-state and play in mid-week,” Vidovich.

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Late goal propels BC to 1-0 win over Pitt men’s soccer