Mixed results on road trip for Pitt men’s soccer


By Mark Powell / Staff Writer

The Pitt men’s soccer team split two games on its road trip to Virginia this weekend, falling to the College of William and Mary, while defeating Longwood University on a late goal.

The Panthers disappointed in their first road contest of the year against William and Mary. They lost 4-0 and were never able to establish an offensive identity because of the increased defensive pressure by the Tribe.

Both senior Chris Albiston and sophomore Reilly Maw scored two goals for the Tribe in their blowout win. Pitt goalkeeper Dan Lynd made four saves in an attempt to limit the damage but could not overcome several defensive miscues in front of him, as well as impressive individual efforts from the two William and Mary standouts.

While the score-line indicates a one-sided affair, the Panthers were only outshot 11-9 and played their possession-based style for much of the game. Pitt’s midfield became complacent and slow late in the second half, however, as the team realized the game was out of reach.

With another game in just a few days, the Panthers (2-1) had to focus on the positives of their offensive attack in the outing, rather than the negative score-line, as they traveled cross-state to take on Longwood.

After a physically draining game against William and Mary, the Panthers bounced back against Longwood as freshman Hamish Law scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute.

“The team rebounded well. We talked a lot yesterday and made a good plan for this game,” head coach Joe Luxbacher said Sunday in a press release. “[Despite] playing two days after a bad result for us, it’s a good day for the team.”

Pitt thought they had scored earlier in the game, when in the 10th minute, sophomore Stephane Pierre headed home a free kick. But the play was called back, as he was offsides.

Despite being outshot 10-8, Pitt stole the win, using 17 players in the process. The Panthers were forced to use nearly their entire roster on the road trip due to the close proximity of the games over the weekend.

Sophomore Braden Horton got his first start of the season in goal, in place of Lynd, making three saves for his second career shutout.

With the win, the Panthers have already surpassed their win total from last year’s campaign.

The victory was Pitt’s first on the road since 2011 and should be a confidence boost before the first conference game of the season at the University of North Carolina, which is ranked 13th in the country.

The Tar Heels will pose a more difficult challenge than the Panthers have had all year. Pitt will have to increase discipline in the midfield by making precise passes and avoiding unnecessary turnovers. If they do not, UNC has the offensive talent and firepower to take quick advantage on the counter-attack.

The Panthers will take the field in Chapel Hill at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game will be televised live on ESPN3.