VT washes Pitt away in season finale, 1-0

First-year+goalkeeper+Caitlyn+Lazzarini+%2825%29+dives+on+the+ball+during+Thursday+evening%E2%80%99s+1-0+loss+to+Virginia+Tech.

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

First-year goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini (25) dives on the ball during Thursday evening’s 1-0 loss to Virginia Tech.

By Dominic Campbell, Senior Staff Writer

In a game played in awful weather conditions with heavy winds and rain, the Pitt women’s soccer team dropped its final game of the season, 1-0, against Virginia Tech at Ambrose Urbanic Field Thursday night. 

The Panthers (5-10-3 overall, 2-6-2 ACC) had a small chance to make it into the ACC tournament as the eighth and final team had they beaten the Hokies (12-4-2 overall, 4-4-2 ACC), but instead will finish the season in 10th place. Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum said that the conditions hurt the performance of both teams, but was proud of his team’s fight in this game and throughout the season.

“I thought we were good enough to get something out of it, but I felt like we weren’t as sharp in our attacking phase,” he said. “I thought we gave the ball away too easily tonight and didn’t create enough chances.”

The first shot of the game came on a corner kick from Virginia Tech in the seventh minute. Sophomore midfielder EmmaLee McCarter sent forth a looping kick that sailed up and over Pitt first-year goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini, as she could only hit it back into her own net for the lone goal of the contest.

The Hokies threatened on another corner in the 23rd minute as redshirt senior defender Kelsey Irwin headed the entry kick toward goal, but senior defender Cheyenne Hudson was there to keep the ball off the line and out of the net. 

Pitt’s first shot came from sophomore forward Anna Rico on a header in the 28th minute, though it was a soft attempt and never threatened. Prolific first-year forward Amanda West also sent a header in the 32nd minute that, like Rico’s shot, wasn’t a problem for senior goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn.

The first half ended with Virginia Tech up 1-0, dominating offensively despite the unfavorable conditions. The Hokies had six shots in the period compared to two for Pitt, and had three shots on goal to Pitt’s one. They also led 7-1 in corner kicks.

The second half started with the Hokies getting a header from senior midfielder Jordan Hemmen in the 47th minute that was scooped up by Lazzarini. West retaliated with a shot less than a minute later that was easily saved by McGlynn. 

VT senior midfielder Lily Weber had a great chance near the goal in the 54th minute with the wind pushing a pass right to her in the middle of the box, but her shot went right at Lazzarini, who caught it for the save. 

The next shot didn’t come until the 77th minute, as Pitt first-year forward Rachel Rasins volleyed a ball off the right post, unable to tie the game.

It appeared that the Panthers scored a dramatic, tying goal in the 90th minute, as Hudson found the back of the net off a free kick — but she was called offsides, all but sealing the loss for Pitt. 

In her final game as a Panther, redshirt senior midfielder and captain Juliana Vasquez said she was impressed by her teammates’ ability to put up a tough fight in sloppy conditions.

“I’m really proud of this team and the fight we put in,” Vasquez said. “We got some good possession, even considering the conditions. The team is really moving forward and I’m excited to see where this program goes in the next several years.”

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