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Panthers cannot find first conference win at Boston College

By Kevin Wheeler / Staff Writer

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Lately, the issues facing the Pitt women’s soccer team have to do with the team’s inability to give a full effort on defense. This was evident Thursday night as the Panthers allowed three goals to Boston College. 

The Panthers went down early in their first ACC matchup of the season last week against Duke, after a lack of defensive execution allowed the Blue Devils to score three goals in the first 20 minutes of play. 

While Pitt was able to fend off the Eagles for most of the first half on Thursday, the team fell behind in the second half and ultimately lost the game 3-1.

In the 26th minute, Boston College’s sophomore forward Hayley Dowd scored the first goal of the contest for the Eagles, putting them up 1-0 midway through the first half. The goal was Dowd’s seventh this season.

Pitt kept battling, but the Eagles eventually gained the advantage in offensive chances over the Panthers, recording nine shots, compared to Pitt’s five.

Pitt went into the halftime break down by only one score. The team created a fair amount of chances for themselves, and was on the brink of scoring, but never capitalized on those chances in the first half.

The Panthers’ optimism didn’t last long, however, as the Eagles came into the second half on a mission. In the 51st minute, Boston College took control of the game. Once again, it was Dowd who scored for the Eagles off a pass from sophomore midfielder Rosie DiMartino. The goal gave the Eagles a 2-0 advantage over Pitt.

Dowd still wasn’t done with Pitt.

Less than two minutes later, she got by the Panthers’ defensive line and sent a pass to midfielder Jana Jeffrey, who booted the rock into the twine for the Eagles, putting them up 3-0.

Senior defender Jackie Poucel said the team was frustrated that the goals didn’t reflect the team’s play.

“Those [goals] were just disappointing because we had been shutting them down on the attack the whole time, then we have two little slips that cost us goals,” she said. “It’s upsetting knowing they didn’t deserve [the goals]. We were outplaying them.”

Despite giving up two quick scores, Pitt didn’t lie down in the second half. The Panthers fought to earn 10 shots in the second period, as opposed to BC’s three, giving Pitt the advantage in total shots for the game, 15-12.

“We were having fun and possessing the ball really well,“ Poucel said. “This is the team I know we are. This is how Pitt can play.”

Pitt wasn’t afraid to be physical, either, and committed seven fouls in the second half. Head coach Greg Miller wanted effort from his team, and he finally saw it on Thursday.

“We played absolutely unbelievable and the scoreline doesn’t dictate how the game went,” he said. “We were just really resilient, and I’m definitely proud of the effort.” 

Junior midfielder Roosa Arvas put the Panthers on the board off of an assist from Taylor Pryce, shortly after Jeffrey’s goal, with a score of her own, narrowing the deficit to two for Pitt.

But the Panthers were unable to overcome their shortcoming. The team put up a fight but did not capitalize on offensive chances on its way to the 3-1 loss, dropping them to 0-2 in ACC play in 2014.

Pitt will move on to face the Syracuse Orange on Sunday to complete the two-game road trip.

Freshman midfielder Hanna Hannesdottir said she is still feels encouraged despite the result.

“I am very proud of my team tonight,” Hannesdottir said. “We might not have gotten the results we wanted, but I think we proved ourselves that we can compete and we deserve to. It’s a matter of us just growing from here on out.”

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Panthers cannot find first conference win at Boston College