The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Pitt men’s soccer falls to James Madison 3-2 in NCAA Tournament first round

A+play+during+the+match+against+JMU+at+Ambrose+Urbanic+Field+on+Thursday+night.
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
A play during the match against JMU at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday night.

The air was filled with disappointment as the Pitt men’s soccer team fell to James Madison, 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

The Panthers were unable to replicate the heights of last year’s season,where the Panthers made it all the way to the semifinals of the College Cup.

“A snapshot of our season, very, very, close but just not enough,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said.

The Panthers displayed flashes of dominance early on, followed by flashes of complete inferiority against a tough James Madison side.

Pitt got off to a slow start, allowing an early shot wide right by Dukes’ junior forward Evan Southern in the first minute. Pitt was quickly able to regain possession of the ball, but the momentum stopped quickly.

In the second-minute, Pitt first-year forward Albert Thorsen collided with James Madison sophomore goaltender Sebastian Conlon, which knocked both athletes to the ground. Both were shaken up but would ultimately continue to play.

Pitt’s mistakes would start to pile up in the 11th minute, as James Madison junior midfielder Alex Krakowiak intercepted a quick pass from Pitt sophomore goalkeeper Cabral Carter out of the box and put James Madison up one. 

James Madison thoroughly dominated the first 15 minutes of the match, but that would all change in the 16th minute. Off of an incredible cross by fifth-year midfielder Joao Souza, junior midfielder Michael Sullivan headed the ball mid-jump to tie the game for Pitt. 

The Dukes, however, would cap off the first 20 minutes of play with yet another goal, as senior forward Rodrigo Robles got one past Carter to put James Madison back in the lead in the 18th minute. 

The first half would continue to get even more intense as Thorsen fired one past Conlon in the 23rd to tie the game again.

Both teams would then calm down, with no real chances from either side following the equalizer. 

Going into the half, both teams looked great on the offensive side of the ball. On the other hand, neither looked all that strong on the defensive side. Both teams were prone to careless errors, which led to the opposing team capitalizing. 

The second half started off a bit slower than the first, with the first exciting play coming three minutes in on a diving save by Carter. The Pitt goalkeeper did the same thing just two minutes later off of a similar shot. 

The half would continue to move slowly until the 57th minute when Robles scored his second goal of the game to give James Madison the 3-2 lead once again. Robles was assisted on both goals by Dukes’ sophomore midfielder Kevin Larsson.

Pitt’s offense continued to run stagnant as the nightmare kept getting worse. Southern had a clear chance at the goal, but sophomore defender Jackson Gilman tackled him. Gilman was quickly shown the red card and dismissed. Immediately following that, Sullivan performed a slide tackle that missed the ball and was shown a yellow card. The game would end slowly from there, with neither team producing any sort of big plays.

The match progressively got worse for the Panthers following the tying goal early on. Pitt played well early on when they were trading goals, but were unable to compose themselves and produce. 

On the other hand, James Madison stuck to their game plan and executed. Pitt continued to show no flashes of offense in a trend that had continued since the 23rd minute of the game.

The Dukes will continue on in the tournament, facing Georgetown on Nov. 19 at noon.

About the Contributor
Ari Meyer, Staff Writer