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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

No. 7 Pitt women’s soccer shuts out Ohio State 6-0 in first round of the NCAA tournament

Fifth+year+midfielder+Landy+Mertz+%286%29+and+senior+midfielder+Chloe+Minas+%2815%29+celebrate+together+during+Saturday+nights+game+against+Ohio+State+in+the+first+round+of+the+NCAA+tournament+at+the+Petersen+Sports+Complex.
Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer
Fifth year midfielder Landy Mertz (6) and senior midfielder Chloe Minas (15) celebrate together during Saturday night’s game against Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Petersen Sports Complex.

For the second consecutive year, Pitt hosted the first round of the NCAA College Cup tournament at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Saturday night. No. 7 seeded Pitt (15-5-1, 6-2-1 ACC) shut out Ohio State (9-8-2, 5-4-1 Big 10) 6-0. This match was Pitt’s second appearance in the tournament in program history. 

Head coach Randy Waldrum said his team’s approach was different coming into the NCAA tournament this year.

“This year, our approach is different,” Waldrum said. “[the team] expects to win now. I think last year there were still sometimes some games where we were just hoping to win.”

The third minute of the match marked Pitt’s first shot. Pitt junior forward Sarah Shapansky made a corner kick, but nothing came of it thanks to the Buckeyes’ defense. Pitt junior midfielder Ellie Coffield regained possession and took her shot at the bottom center of the net. Ohio State first-year goalkeeper Maya Naimolie made the save. 

Ohio State returned the favor in the sixth minute when Buckeye senior forward Emma Sears beat all of Pitt’s defenders and took her shot on an open net. Sears just missed outside the left post.

Overall, Pitt won possession in the first half of the match. Despite this fact, the Buckeyes’ defense only allowed two shots from the Panther’s offense by the 27th minute. Ohio State would swarm Pitt’s midfielders every chance they got and left little room for offensive errors. With their defense seemingly impenetrable, the match looked like it was heading for a scoreless tie going into the second half.

That all changed after the 28th minute. The Panthers broke down Ohio State’s defense and earned three consecutive goals in the span of six minutes. 

The first goal happened in the 28th minute after Pitt first-year midfielder Deborah Aboidun found a gap in the Buckeyes’ defense. Pitt fifth-year forward Landy Mertz launched a shot from the right wing. The ball bounced off of a Buckeye and redirected toward Abiodun. With her back to the net, Abiodun spun around and scored the goal.

The second goal was in the 29th minute. Mertz took another shot, but an Ohio State defender blocked it by attempting to clear the ball. Instead, the ball launched up and behind the Buckeye where it ricocheted off of the crossbar. Pitt junior forward Sarah Shapansky swiftly stepped in for the rebound and scored on an open net.

In the 34th minute, Mertz made the most impressive goal of the match. Mertz kicked the ball from the bottom right corner of the field in what was intended as a corner kick. Instead, the ball sailed over defenders and bounced off the left post and into the net, extending their lead, 3-0. 

The Panthers picked up where they left off in the second half. In the 46th minute, Samiah Phiri earned a free kick after a Buckeye tripped her. Phiri won the face-off between her and Naimoli and scored in the back left corner of the net, increasing their lead, 4-0.

Despite their deficit, Ohio State created more opportunities offensively in the second half. In the first 12 minutes of the second half, Ohio State more than doubled their shots from the first half. They had seven shots to Pitt’s 10 by the 60th minute.

But after the 62nd minute, anytime the Panthers got possession of the ball, they blazed through Ohio State’s defense. Pitt fifth-year forward Amanda West and junior midfielder Ellie Coffield scored the fifth and sixth goals of the match and made it a 6-0 game. 

Out of the six shots scored in the match, Mertz had a hand in four of them. The fifth-year earned three assists total, as well as a shot herself. Mertz did not expect her performance to go the way it did.

“This season I struggled to get points in games,” Mertz said. “So tonight, to obviously to help win in any way I can in a game like this is important to me.”

Mertz, along with every single one of the Panther’s starters were substituted out of the game for the last twenty minutes of the match. 

The Panthers will play in the second round of the NCAA tournament against No. 2 Arkansas.

About the Contributor
Sara Meyer, Staff Writer
Sara Meyer is a staff writer for the sports desk at The Pitt News. She is a part of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences class of 2026 and is double majoring in LCJS and politics and philosophy with a minor in economics. This is her second year writing for the sports desk as a staff writer.