Pitt women’s soccer outclassed in Tallahassee, fall to No. 1 Seminoles 5-0


TPN File Photo

Pitt women’s soccer lost 5-0 against the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles Thursday night in Tallahassee. In this file photo, second year midfielder Emily Yaple (10) watches FSU’s players celebrate after scoring their third goal on Pitt last year.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

Pitt women’s soccer fell to the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles in the middle leg of their three-game road trip, by a score of 5-0. The Panthers came into Tallahassee unranked after their loss to Clemson the previous week. They were ranked in the top 20 for three of the first four weeks of the season.

The Panthers were without junior forward Landy Mertz for the second straight game, after injuring her ankle on Sept. 12.

The Seminoles put their foot on the gas immediately and didn’t let up. Florida State junior forward Jenna Nighswonger shot the ball from just outside the 18-yard box in only the second minute of play for a scoring chance, but Pitt senior goalkeeper Katherine Robinson made a jumping save to prevent an early goal.

Robinson tried to make another jumping save two minutes later, but this time the FSU shot went past her. Seminole sophomore forward Jody Brown found first-year midfielder Maria Alagoa in the box, who switched the ball to her left foot and chipped it past her defender and the goal line for Florida State’s first goal.

Florida State dominated the time of possession in the first half and Pitt had few chances to get on the board. First-year midfielder Ellie Coffield collected a deflected pass from her teammate in the eleventh minute, but shanked the opportunity wide of the net. That would be the Panther’s only shot of the half — every other opportunity for Pitt either ended in an intercepted pass or an offsides call.

One of those offsides came in the 19th minute and Florida State took advantage of the turnover. Seminole redshirt senior midfielder Clara Robins took the ball down the right side of the field, wound up from 20 yards out and buried the shot for the 2-0 lead. 

FSU tacked on a third goal before the half ended. Robins got two Pitt defenders to bite on a fake, then sent the ball over to redshirt senior defender Gianna Mitchell who had more than enough space to take advantage. 

The first-half horn sounded with the Seminoles leading the Panthers 3-0.

The Panthers couldn’t get anything going offensively, with only one shot to FSU’s 11 in the first 45 minutes. The Seminoles also earned eight corner kicks, where Pitt didn’t earn any.

The second half started just how the first half ended, with a Florida State goal. Nighswonger took a free kick after Pitt junior defender Mackenzie Edwards committed a foul in the 47th minute. The initial kick deflected off Robinson who overplayed the inswinger and could only spectate as Seminole senior forward Kristina Lynch cleaned up the loose ball to give her squad a 4-0 lead.

Pitt did not register a corner kick until the 56th minute, but they couldn’t muster any chances with it, especially after first-year forward Sarah Schupansky committed a foul with the ball in the attacking zone. That was one of 13 fouls the Panthers committed in the match, seven more than Florida State.

One of the bright spots for the Panthers came on the defensive side of the ball in the 67th minute. On a Florida State free kick, junior goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini left her line to corral the ball, but couldn’t get a clean hand on it. FSU junior forward LeiLanni Nesbeth tried to take advantage of the misplaced keeper but senior defender Kate McKay deflected the ball away on the line.

But McKay’s heroics would not stop the bleeding. Florida State would put the game to bed with one last goal. Nighswonger found Mitchell driving up the middle into the 18, and swung the ball her way. Mitchell headed the ball past Lazzarini for her second goal of the match and the match’s final goal.

The Panthers managed just two shots in the entire game, only one of which were on goal. Meanwhile, the Seminoles registered 11 more shots in the second half alone, bringing their game total up to 22. FSU also earned a total of 14 free kicks, while the Panthers could only muster one.

Pitt will stay in Florida to complete their road trip, where they’ll travel to Coral Gables to face the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday. The game starts at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.