Friday night’s men’s soccer game looked as though it would end in a 0-0 draw for the Panthers and Longwood Lancers. But Pitt junior Javi Perez scored with a penalty kick in the 76th minute, followed shortly by a goal from first-year Colin Brezniak to give the Panthers the 2-0 win.
With the home victory, the Panthers (1-2) secured their first win of the season. It also marked the team’s first win since it knocked off the Lancers last season (0-1-1). Pitt led with 23 shots, nine of which were on goal, while Longwood had a mere six shots with four on goal.
“I liked that we attacked the goal tonight,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said in a press release after the game. “We were between corners quite a bit and we created a lot of opportunities by turning the corner today.However, an unbelievable amount of improvement needs to go on inside the box…but I am very happy for the boys.”
Even though they couldn’t manage to make a goal, the Panthers executed their first half with precision and smooth technique. Longwood’s repeated fouling only gave Pitt more offensive opportunities.
Pitt senior Robby Dambrot wasted no time, taking the first shot six minutes into the game. His teammate, first-year Macony Pimentel rallied the crowd after executing a nearly perfect bicycle kick saved by Lancers sophomore goalie Lance Da Silva.
After Pimentel’s shot, the Lancers accrued their second yellow card. The first was given to senior Sherif Maalouf in the 26th minute and the second to senior Alex Waite in the 29th minute. Following three shots from the Panthers, senior Marten Pajunurm received the Lancers’ third and final yellow card of the half.
The half ended tied at 0-0 with the Panthers leading at 10 shots to the Lancers’ five. Longwood racked up five fouls, while Pitt received two.
“The biggest thing was to keep them patient,” Vidovich said in regards to ending the first half with a score of 0-0. “What can happen with a young team is that they start to panic and rush for their goals and cause problems for themselves.”
The Lancers started the second half with a series of negatives. First, Waite received a red card because NCAA regulations dictate that a player cannot receive a second yellow card. This offense took hi out of the game entirely. Longwood head coach name also received a red card in the 52nd minute and was ejected from the game.
With the Lancers down a player, the Panthers used this to their advantage and spent most of the remaining half by Longwood’s goal. The Lancers’ final yellow card of the game was given to first-year Sam Behan in the 60th minute.
Following a Longwood foul, Perez took a penalty kick for his team, eradicating the tie in the 76th minute. This was his first goal of the season.
“I am not going to say it was a normal thing for me [kicking a penalty kick],” Perez said. “But this is what I play for, this is why we train every day.”
Brezniak crossed a shot to the lower right corner of Longwood’s goal in the 88th minute. His goal helped clinch the team’s win, 2-0.
The Panthers return to the road for a match-up with Loyola in Maryland. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.