Pitt men’s soccer continues search for first ACC win at Boston College


Patrick Dixon had Pitt's only shot on goal in their latest game, a loss to Wake Forest. They will need more offense to get over the hump of an ACC win. | Jeff Ahearn / Assistant Visual Editor

By Joe Rokicki / Staff Writer

Pitt men’s soccer hasn’t won a conference game since 2011.

Four years and a conference change later, the struggles continued against Wake Forest, and now Pitt will travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, on Saturday to take on Boston College in search of its first ACC win since joining in 2013.

The Panthers ran into a gauntlet last weekend against the No. 14 Demon Deacons. Pitt managed only a single shot on goal against Wake Forest, recorded by senior forward Patrick Dixon. Pitt was unsurprisingly shut out 4-0.

Boston College, however, poses less of a threat. The Eagles currently hold a 3-2 (0-1 ACC) record after losing their last two games, including the conference opener in Raleigh last Friday. That game was a loss to North Carolina State 2-1 in double overtime.

That doesn’t mean the game will be easy. Boston College defeated Pitt 2-1 when the both clubs last played each other on Sept. 14, 2013 at Ambrose Urbanic Center.

Pitt head coach Joe Luxbacher knows the history.

“They are a good team, a talented team. We’ll watch the film really and see where we think we can attack them and see how we have to defend them, and then we’ll make our plan,” Luxbacher said in a postgame video.

The recent struggles followed a strong non-conference start by the Eagles. They went 3-0, highlighted by a 4-2 victory over Southern Methodist University, which ranked No. 23 at the time.

As a team, Boston College has shown great ability late in games. It has collected nine goals so far on the season — five of which have come in the second half. The Eagles have also registered 62 total shots on goal, 37 of which have come in the second half. Freshman midfielder Simon Enstrom leads the Eagles with three.

Offensively, the Panthers have collected six goals on the season. Dixon leads the team with two. Freshmen Tobias Marshall-Heyman and Matt Nozedar have each earned a goal through early non-conference play. Dixon will be paramount to the Panthers’ offensive chances on Saturday, but the depth that Marshall-Heyman and Nozedar provide is essential to the Panthers’ ability to sustain a consistent offensive presence.

Boston College keeper Cedric Saladin has surrendered seven goals and collected 14 saves through 470 total minutes this season and possesses a goals against average of 1.34.

Meanwhile, Pitt senior goalkeeper and team captain Dan Lynd saw his shutout streak come to an end last weekend against Wake Forest, but he still recorded four saves in the process. Lynd has 14 total saves on the season and a goals against average of .770.

The Panthers have allowed only four goals this season, all against Wake Forest. Offensively, they have tallied 49 total shots on goal while surrendering only 36 to their opponents.

Pitt will match up against Boston College’s offense without senior defenseman Stephane Pierre, who suffered an ankle injury during a match against St. Peter’s on Sept. 6.

Luxbacher made no excuses for the team’s defensive struggles against Wake Forest, but he did acknowledge Pierre’s absence as an issue.

“We’re trying to reassemble our backline, but again, that’s part of the game. You have injuries, and guys got to step in and do their job,” Luxbacher said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Newton Field.

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