Panthers stampede, hit kills, save goals in weekend sports


Though the Panthers lost to Wake Forest this weekend, goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt had ten saves. (Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

By Brandon Glass | For The Pitt News

It was a busy weekend in Pitt sports, as varsity teams traveled near and far to take on fearsome foes in competition.

Though it was a rough trip to North Carolina for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, the men’s cross country team trampled over the competition and women’s volleyball aced three different teams.

Men’s Cross Country

The men’s cross country team opened the weekend’s action early Friday as they traveled to Amherst, New York, for the University of Buffalo Stampede Invitational 8k.

Making their 2017 season debut, Pitt’s junior Ryan Hughes, senior Aaron Lauer and junior Matt McGoey finished second (24:43), third (25:01) and seventh (25:14), respectively. Senior Billy Caldwell, freshman Zach Lefever, and sophomore Jackson Morton also cracked the top 20.

As a team, the Panthers took home first place overall, defeating eight other teams.

Up next the Panthers will travel to Notre Dame, Indiana, Sept. 29, to race in the Notre Dame/Joe Paine Invitational.

Women’s Soccer

Later in the day on Friday, the Pitt women’s soccer team rode the bus down to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to take on Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons scored two goals in the second period to shut the Panthers out, 2-0.

In the first half, Wake Forest kept the ball on Pitt’s side of the field with a myriad of corner kicks and physical offense. Even with nine total shots and six corner kicks, neither team could put the ball in the net before the end of the half.

Wake Forest’s opportunistic offense carried over to the second half. The Demon Deacons scored their first goal in the 55th minute on a shot to the far post. The last score of the game, a set piece from 25 yards out, fell through the box to the far post for Wake Forest in the 69th minute.

The Panthers offense was lackadaisical, getting off three shots and managing just one corner kick to the Demon Deacons’ 21 shots and 14 corner kicks.

Pitt will come home to Ambrose Urbanic Field to face Virginia Tech in ACC play Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team continued ACC play on the road against No. 4 Wake Forest on Saturday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The action didn’t start until midway through the second half when Wake Forest scored the first goal of the game on a header off a corner kick in the 63rd minute.

Wake Forest put the game out of reach in the 84th minute when a rebound bounced back to a Demon Deacon who beat redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt for the goal.

Despite the 2-0 loss to the Demon Deacons, Outcalt had a solid day, saving 10 potential goal-scoring shots.

Pitt was soundly outshot 21 to three by Wake Forest and couldn’t muster up a single shot on goal, while the Demon Deacons dominated with 12.

The Panthers next game is Tuesday, Sept. 19, back home at the Ambrose Urbanic Field against Robert Morris in a short one-game reprieve from ACC play.

Women’s Volleyball

The volleyball team opened their home season at the Fitzgerald Field House this weekend to compete in the Panther Challenge.

In their first match of the weekend on Friday, the Panthers breezed through UC Santa Barbara, winning 3-0.

Pitt started its strong play this weekend with a respectable 41 kills and capitalized on the Gauchos’ 17 errors to control the match. Sophomore Layne Van Buskirk and redshirt sophomore Stephanie Williams led the Panthers with 10 kills each.

Buskirk and Williams continued their strong play on Saturday leading the Panthers in their 3-0 win over Eastern Kentucky. Williams lead the team with 13 kills, and Buskirk came in a close second with 11. Pitt took advantage of sloppy play by the Eastern Kentucky team, which coughed up 18 errors.

Later in the day, the Panthers continued their dominance on the court, putting away the Cleveland State Vikings in another 3-0 sweep. The first set was close with a final score of 25-22. After that, the Panthers took control and didn’t relent.

Pitt’s offense was slightly less effective in the third match of the weekend, where the Panthers hit 39 kills to Cleveland State’s 34. Pitt efficiently limited errors for match, though, ending with nine — half as many as the Vikings.

Freshman Kayla Lund had an all-around solid match for the Panthers, finishing with 12 kills and three aces.

The Panthers are staying home for their first match of ACC play against Syracuse on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.


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