Women’s soccer prevails against Miami in double overtime, 1-0


Hanna Hannesdottir (14) secured the Panthers’ only goal in double overtime against Miami Sunday afternoon. Li Yi | Staff Photographer

In an upset victory, the Pitt women’s soccer team ended its nine-game winless streak with a wild win over conference opponent Miami Hurricanes Sunday afternoon at home.

Coming from a 6-0 loss on the road to the No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers, the resolute Panthers (2-11-1 overall, 1-5-0 ACC) snatched a 1-0 victory over the Hurricanes (8-6-0 overall, 3-3-0 ACC) after midfielder Hanna Hannesdottir slotted a penalty kick past Miami’s goalkeeper in the second overtime period.

“Miami is a much-improved team and we knew that they had some weapons,” Pitt head coach Greg Miller said, “We tried to address that and put a game plan together that was going to give us a chance.”

Miami threatened to take an early lead when forward Ronnie Johnson stole the ball from Pitt’s defense in the second minute, dribbled into the box and shot it barely wide of the net. The Panthers responded with a dangerous counterattack that was extinguished by Hurricanes keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce.

After this, Pitt began taking control of the game. Through remarkable dribbles and probing passes, Panthers forward Sarah Krause orchestrated play through the midfield while also providing important defensive support.

“Being in my second year I feel a lot more confident playing in the ACC,” Krause said, “Since we’ve had a tough season so far I really knew this was our chance to step up and get the win.”  

Pitt came close to scoring in the 22nd minute after a through ball from Hannesdottir barely evaded Krause, who would have been there to score the goal.

Krause’s strong passing ability shone again in the 24th minute as she combined with teammates Christiana Davey and Cheyenne Hudson in a brilliant play on the right wing, earning another corner for the Panthers.

As the first half waned, Miami started creating more opportunities on the windy pitch. In a succession of scoring chances at about the 30-minute mark, Pitt goalkeeper Taylor Francis came up big, miraculously parrying away a driving shot to the near post.

The Panthers narrowly missed connecting on a long through ball with six minutes left in the first half, which ended shortly after with both teams tied at 0-0.

“At times, some of our game plan was working, and at other times I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit,” Miller said.

The second half started with the same high tempo as the first. Krause was on the move again as she evaded two defenders and shot wide in the 49th minute.

In the 74th minute, Miami’s Gracie Lachowecki had a golden opportunity and placed a shot on goal with Francis going the wrong way, but Pitt defender Seyla Perez came up with the block.

With overtime looming, Davey unleashed a thunderous strike from 30 yards out in the 81st minute, but Tullis-Joyce swatted it out in full extension.

In the final minute of regulation time, Pitt defender Arielle Fernandez turned in a cross-shot from close range, but Tullis-Joyce made the save to send the game to overtime.

Players from both sides started committing mistakes as overtime began. In the first minute, Johnson missed an opportunity for the Hurricanes after receiving a cross from a teammate in front of goal.

“Overtime is a nervous time for anyone no matter if you’re a freshman or a senior,” Krause said.

With two minutes left in the first period of overtime, a low drive from the Hurricanes’ Shannon McCarthy ricocheted off the Panthers’ post and rolled across the face of goal.

On the subsequent play, Krause received a perfect lob from defender Siobhan McDonough on the edge of the box, turned, and shot –– barely missing the top left corner.

The most dramatic play came in the 105th minute as a Hurricanes defender blatantly pushed Pitt forward Alex Wright in their box — a clear penalty. Hannesdottir determinedly stepped up to the spot and drilled the ball into the bottom right corner, winning the first ACC game for the Panthers and ending a five-game scoring drought for the team.

“It was an absolutely amazing feeling,” Hannesdottir said. “I was just ready to get [the ball] in the back of the net.”

Miller was visibly satisfied with the win and applauded his team’s effort and character.

“Just like with any game you are fortunate in some situations and unfortunate in others, and fortunately we just persevered and were able to grind out a penalty and capitalize on it,” Miller said.

The Panthers will resume play against Syracuse Sunday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. in Syracuse, New York.