Pitt women’s soccer beats Wake Forest in OT 2-1, extends win streak to seven games


Taylor Pryce drives towards the goal against Wake Forest Thursday evening. Wenhao Wu | Staff Photographer

By Jeff Carpenter / Staff Writer

“This was a monumental win for our program.”

That’s how head coach Greg Miller responded to Pitt women’s soccer’s 2-1 overtime win against Wake Forest at Ambrose Urbanic Field Thursday night.

“This is the biggest win, certainly since I’ve been here,” Miller said. “For the team, who have just bought in, believed, and to just get a win like this to validate that is really special.”

The Panthers (8-1-1, 2-0-0 ACC) buried a goal in the 100th minute of the game to defeat the Demon Deacons (4-4-2, 1-1-0) and bring their winning streak total to seven games.

The Panthers utilized some lineup changes heading into tonight’s game. Junior defender Emily Pietrangelo played at right back for junior defender Siobhan McDonough. Pietrangelo filled in admirably for the captain in her second start of the season.

“I was really excited, getting called up from the bench is a big step and a big opportunity … it was fun out there,” Pietrangelo said.

After missing her second straight game from an undisclosed injury, McDonough expects to be back soon, although a return this weekend at Louisville might be out of the question.

The first half saw the two clubs exchange chances throughout, with no result. The closest opportunity came off the foot of freshman forward Jarena Harmon. The team’s leading goal scorer found herself behind the Wake Forest defense and shot the ball just wide of the left post.

Harmon made her next chance count in the 67th minute. A solid run culminated in the first goal of the game when senior forward Roosa Arvas split the defense on a nice pass to the sprinting Harmon.

Harmon powered the ball past Wake Forest sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Preston for her sixth goal of the season.

Arvas’ helper put her into first place all-time in the program for assists with 19, passing Katelyn Ruhe — who graduated in 2011 — for the lead.

Wake Forest tied the game up in the 81st minute, as midfielder Katie Dry lofted a shot from outside the box on the left flank over the head of junior Pitt goalie Taylor Francis. It was a well-placed shot that led to a momentum shift to close out the second half.

Wake Forest had a final opportunity late in the box, but Pietrangelo and redshirt freshman defender Seyla Perez broke it up. The two formed a wall to block a prime scoring opportunity with just 25 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

“As Yogi Berra once said, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, you take it,’ so I think we just overcame our obstacles and fought to the end.”

The overtime period saw both sides exchange blows. After capitalizing on its late momentum to close the second half, Wake Forest applied constant pressure to the Panthers’ backline.

The Demon Deacons finished with nine shots, while the Panthers tallied 10. One of those overtime shots came off of Pietrangelo’s foot, who set up a nice give-and-go with Harmon.

Pietrangelo took a shot in the box that glanced off the right post. From that moment on, the Panthers took control of the game.

As overtime was winding down, Pitt picked up the ball in the midfield and took off. Pietrangelo found sophomore forward Taylor Pryce with a through ball, clearing the Wake Forest defense. Although Preston turned away Pryce’s initial shot, Pryce corralled the rebound and found the back of the net on her second shot of the sequence.

“Credit to [Pryce] for really running and sprinting in the 100th minute, and although she didn’t connect on the first one, she persevered,” Miller said. “She collected her own rebound and finished it off.”

Pitt continues to acquire victories in a variety of ways, and in doing so is enhancing its reputation in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

For Pietrangelo, the win was about the team proving itself to any doubters.

“Everyone has placed us in 14th [in the ACC], and tonight was a challenge,” Pietrangelo said. “As Yogi Berra once said, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, you take it,’ so I think we just overcame our obstacles and fought to the end.”

It was a big moment for the team, as it also picked up its second straight conference win in its current win streak. The Panthers’ overtime victory on the road against Colorado College kicked off the winning streak back on Aug. 30, when sophomore midfielder Ashley Moreira produced the lone goal.

“We’re really pleased … because we kept grinding, fighting and finding a way to make it happen,” Miller said.

Pitt plays next on the road against Louisville (4-4-1, 1-1-0 ACC) on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Leave a comment.