Men’s soccer: After blowing lead, Pitt loses to No. 16 USCB in overtime

By Kyle Craig

Two days after losing a close matchup with the Buffalo Bulls 1-0, the Pitt men’s soccer team… Two days after losing a close matchup with the Buffalo Bulls 1-0, the Pitt men’s soccer team dropped another tight game — this time to the No. 16 University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos 4-3.

The loss was the Panthers’ second during the West Virginia Nike Classic Tournament and is the last action they will see until their home opener Friday against Green Bay.

Pitt (1-2-0) held the lead three times against the ranked Gauchos (3-0-0) but was unable to stop UC Santa Barbara’s comeback effort that culminated in a goal by Martin Hedevag during overtime.

The Panthers started quickly when a seventh-minute header from junior forward Terry Boland found the back of the net. Gauchos forward David Walker responded with a far-post equalizer moments later.

Senior midfielder Mike McDade came off the bench to score two goals for the Panthers in 48 minutes. McDade now has three goals through three games this season, a mark that ties his goal total from last year.

McDade’s second goal gave the Panthers the lead in the 81st minute, but UC Santa Barbara’s Walker answered with his own second goal, striking a shot from the top of the circle six minutes later.

The Gauchos dictated the game in the second half, pressing forward for 11 shots, while Pitt managed just three shots after tallying six in the first half. UC Santa Barbara also tried seven more corner kicks during the contest.

Defenders Orane Gordon, Andy Kalas, midfielder Alex Betancourt and goalkeeper Zack Matthews played the entire 100 minutes for the Panthers. Redshirt sophomore defender Sam Luffy received a yellow card in the 54th minute.

Pitt will take on Green Bay and La Salle this weekend before beginning its conference schedule with Cincinnati on Friday, Sept. 18.