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Pitt women’s soccer wins first ACC home game against North Carolina State 2-0

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Roosa Arvas became Pitt's points leader Saturday with an assist against North Carolina State.  Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

Roosa Arvas became Pitt's points leader Saturday with an assist against North Carolina State. Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

Roosa Arvas became Pitt's points leader Saturday with an assist against North Carolina State. Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

By Jasper Wilson / Senior Staff Writer

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Ambrose Urbanic Field is finally starting to feel like home to Pitt women’s soccer.

With a 2-0 victory on Sunday, the Panthers  (7-1-1, 1-0-0 ACC) tallied their first ACC home win against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The victory also extended the team’s winning streak to six games.

Pitt transferred to the ACC in 2013.

Both halves of the game started in the same fashion — each team willingly giving the opposition the ball.

But only Pitt made the peculiar strategy work. The Panthers won the possession battle and capitalized on the few good chances they put together in their first conference game.

While they did not manage any real scoring chances for most of the first half, freshman Jarena Harmon put the team ahead with a goal in the 30th minute — her team-leading fifth of the season.

The forward dribbled past two defenders in the box and beat the goalie near post in her team’s best offensive opportunity of the contest. Pitt had 10 shots overall.

“This season, we’ve played good, but not as good as this game.”

Harmon said her goal came from “being in the right place at the right time.”

Pitt head coach Greg Miller said getting the first goal of the game boosts the players psychologically.

“Any time your team can get on the board first, it gives your team an added lift,” Miller said. “To get that goal and get that lead really takes the pressure off a little bit, and then you can build from there.“

And Pitt built, taking the win to extend their winning streak to a program-record six games.

Senior midfielder Roosa Arvas called winning their first conference contest at home “a huge deal.”

“We played a good game,” Arvas said. “This season, we’ve played good, but not as good as this game.”

Arvas became the program leader in points when her 53rd-minute corner kick from the left side found freshman defender Seyla Perez, who redirected the ball into the goal. At Pitt, assists count as one point, while goals are worth two.

Arvas now has 52 points. Ashley Cuba, who graduated from Pitt in 2012, previously held the record with 51.

Miller brought in Finland-native Arvas as one of his first recruits since becoming coach in 2012. He said she has been the best player on the team every year.

Establishing the initial lead helped set the tone for the rest of play, as the Wolfpack (4-6-0, 0-1-0 ACC) presented a minimal offensive challenge throughout.

Junior goalie Taylor Francis needed to make just one save during the game to register her ACC-leading fifth shutout of the season. The visitors managed just seven shot attempts overall, never seriously threatening to score with attempts that went well high or wide of goal.

In the second half, Pitt maintained the offensive pressure it had drawn from after Harmon’s goal, rather than starting to play conservatively because of its lead.

“Being ahead, you want to constantly score and make the game more exciting,” Harmon said. “I think the team pushes harder after a goal.”

The Panthers host Wake Forest on Thursday with kickoff at 7 p.m.

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Pitt women’s soccer wins first ACC home game against North Carolina State 2-0