Men’s Soccer: Early Pitt deficit leads to another shutout

By Lauren Kirschman

The Pitt men’s soccer team gave up two goals within the first 15 minutes of a 3-0 loss to… The Pitt men’s soccer team gave up two goals within the first 15 minutes of a 3-0 loss to Providence at Founders Field Saturday.

Coach Joe Luxbacher called the early scores against the Panthers (1-9-0, 0-5-0) inexcusable. Despite the improved level of play after the opening minutes, Pitt couldn’t mount a comeback against the Friars (5-3-1, 2-2-1).

“Our guys have to listen to what we’re trying to do, and we have to get consistent,” Luxbacher said. “They need to not look at the big picture, but worry about what they’re responsible for and do that well.”

Luxbacher said consistency has eluded the Panthers all season, not only as a team, but also when it comes to individual players.

“It’s hard to get into a lineup because you don’t see the same guys two games in a row,” Luxbacher said. “One game they play well, the next game they don’t.”

Despite the troubles, Luxbacher said the team played well as time went on, particularly in the last 20 minutes of the first half and most of the second half.

However, the Panthers are still having difficulty capitalizing on the opportunities they generate.

“We created some good chances in front of their goal, but we shot them over and we shot them wide,” Luxbacher said. “We didn’t even require their goalkeeper to make a save.”

Providence’s goalie had to make only three saves the entire game.

The stat sheet and the actual game on the field told two different stories, Luxbacher said. Pitt out-shot Providence 13-11 and out-corner kicked them 4-3. On the field, however, the Friars played defensively for most of the game because of their early lead.

“You cannot make mistakes at this level like we did,” Luxbacher said.

Providence’s Andrew Sousa scored the first goal in the fourth minute from 10 yards out, and Daniel Fabian followed with a header goal in the 13th minute. Fabian scored again in the 81st minute off a rebound.

Justin Boehm and Alex Betancourt led the Panthers with two shots and one shot on goal each.

The loss was the fifth straight Big East Conference defeat for the Panthers and their ninth straight loss. In those nine losses the team has been shut out seven times.

Pitt will try to end the skid on Oct. 6, against rival West Virginia at Founders Field. The game starts at 7 p.m.