In the first of a four-game stretch on the road, the Panthers lost in the 89th minute to the Kent State Golden Flashes on Thursday night in Kent, Ohio.
Pitt came out firing with three shots in the first 10 minutes. Sophomore forward Christiana Davey hit a saved shot on goal, and redshirt junior forward Taylor Pryce had two shots within two minutes, but both missed the mark and went wide.
Kent State had multiple chances in the first half as well. They appeared to have a good chance in the 21st minute when redshirt senior midfielder Donavan Capehart headed a shot. Pitt redshirt first-year goalie Katelyn McEachern saved it.
The Panthers relied on first-years such as forward Juelle Love and midfielder Kendall Higgs, along with some upperclassmen such as senior midfielder Hanna Hannesdottir and junior forward Mikayla Schmidt. Senior midfielder Ashley Moreira anchored the Panthers during the end of the half with two shots.
Neither team shied away from taking shots. Kent State ended up with 16 shots, nine of which were on goal, and Pitt had 11, with four on goal. Fouls were almost even for both teams, with the Panthers at six and the Golden Flashes at five.
The second half started out slow, but the Golden Flashes came out hotter than the Panthers. They had three shots within eight minutes, two of which had to be saved by McEachern. Kent State first-year midfielder Vital Kats put up two of the shots and senior forward Karli Paracca shot one.
Kent St. kept up the pace for a good chunk of the second half, getting three more shots on goal. McEachern stood her ground and kept the Panthers in position to potentially take the lead.
Pitt picked up the pace with about ten minutes to go with four great chances to break the deadlock.
The first was a great pass to junior forward Sarah Krause in the 80th minute. She looked to be in position to score, but when she drilled the ball in it was blocked by a Kent State defender.
The next scoring chance from first-year midfielder Vildan Kardesler. She dribbled around a few defenders, cut back in and sent a pass straight across the goal, but no Panther was able to get a foot on it. Pryce and Krause followed with shots in the 85th and 88th minutes, respectively, but neither scored.
Following a corner from Pryce, the Golden Flashes got the ball up and drove right up the field. The weak Panther defense gave Kent State a scoring opportunity. Senior forward Hayden Pascoe passed to first-year forward Isabelle Mihail, who chipped the ball over McEachern and gave the Golden Flashes the lead and the win, 1-0.
The Panthers travel to Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 10., to play the Nebraska Corn Huskers. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.