No. 7 Panthers fend off No. 6 Mountaineers in battle between top-10 teams


Hannah Wilson | Senior Staff Photographer

Graduate student Jackson Walti (24) celebrates with Pitt men’s soccer team after winning the game vs. West Virginia Monday night.

By Dalton Coppola, Sports Editor

While the highly anticipated football edition of the Backyard Brawl is getting a lot of the attention this week, Pitt men’s soccer also had a fairly pivotal game against the Mountaineers. The No. 7 Panthers (1-0, 0-0 ACC) brawled with the No. 6 Mountaineers (1-1, 0-0 Big-12) at Ambrose Urbanic Field in Pittsburgh Monday night and won 3-0 in dominating fashion.

The Panthers seized another win over a ranked opponent behind a strong offensive performance and another solid showing from senior goalkeeper Joe van der Sar, who had five saves on the night.

Pitt also had to adapt at the last minute, as the program announced just an hour before kickoff that head coach Jay Vidovich couldn’t coach the game due to COVID-19 protocols.

Despite not having their head coach, the Panthers dominated the Mountaineers in the first half. Senior midfielder Valentin Noel, graduate-student midfielder Lucas Rosa and junior forward Bertin Jacquesson all notched goals in the first half to give Pitt a 3-0 lead.

But the difference maker in this one was the performance from van der Sar. Despite having 10 shots, the Mountaineers could not sneak anything past the Dutch goalkeeper. Pitt had 13 shots in the contest.

The Panthers will travel to Huntington, West Virginia on Friday and take on Marshall at 7 p.m. Fans cannot stream the match against Marshall.