Panthers battle to scoreless draw on Senior Night vs. No. 16 Virginia


Roosevelt Angulo (17) had two of Pitt's five shots in a 0-0 draw against No. 16 Virginia on Friday night. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

By Molly Appezzato | For The Pitt News

The Pitt men’s soccer team hasn’t scored a goal since Sept. 26, against the Longwood Lancers –– and that streak didn’t come to an end on Friday.

But the Panthers did snap their six-game losing streak with a draw against the No. 16 team in the country.

Despite the pouring rain, 325 people turned out to see the Panthers (2-11-3, 0-5-2 ACC) do battle with the No. 16 Virginia Cavaliers (8-2-5, 2-2-3 ACC) on Senior Night at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Both Virginia and Pitt came out with stout and determined defenses, leaving very few scoring opportunities for either team as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

“I think that they battled together, they defended their rear-ends off for 110 minutes and they stayed together, which is a big step,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said about his team. “I was very happy with the team effort. They fought, they stayed organized, they stayed with the game plan, so I was very happy with their playing.”

It was an intense, back and forth game between the ACC rivals. Virginia outshot Pitt nine to five, mustering four shots on goal to zero for the Panthers.

Pitt goalie Mikal Outcalt seemed pleased with the outcome, saying there were several things the team did well in Friday night’s game.

“I think just the organization overall from the communication points, to the positioning, to everything,” Outcalt said. “We were all on the same page and we played as a unit and I think that is the most important thing that we wanted to do tonight and it showed with how we defended tonight.”

Midfielder Raj Kahlon was a standout player for Pitt in Friday night’s game, making many great plays on the defensive end to keep the game scoreless. Pitt forward Roosevelt Angulo, who took two out of the five shots for the Panthers, also played a key role.

Virginia sophomore forward Edward Opoku leads the team this season with 14 points –– six goals and two assists –– so it was a big accomplishment for Pitt to be able to keep the Cavaliers off the scoreboard.

Throughout the game, Virginia refused to let the Panthers set up anything on offense, and the Cavaliers were swarming defensively. Pitt had a difficult time getting the ball into Virginia’s side of the field, but overall scoring opportunities were tough to come by for both teams.

Outcalt made two of his four saves in the 88th minute as the Cavaliers made a push to end the game in regulation. Angulo sent a shot wide with 37 seconds left, and the teams went to overtime still tied, 0-0.

Although Virginia secured one corner kick in the first 10-minute overtime period and three corner kicks in the second, neither team got a shot off in either period and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Pitt captain Bryce Cregan, while proud of how the team performed, said there’s one thing the team needs to do if it wants to earn its first ACC win of 2016.

“Scoring that goal,” Cregan said. “It is was the biggest thing that we needed, putting that one away because it is pretty clear that we defend pretty well, but we just didn’t have a chance to put that ball in the net.”

The 0-0 draw was a tense, if not action-packed, way end to the Panthers’ home slate for the season.

Pitt will close out the regular season at Virginia Tech Friday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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