Pitt women’s soccer defeats Louisville 1-0, extends winning streak to eight games


Sophomore Taylor Pryce dribbles the ball down the field. Wenhao Wu | Staff Photographer

By Jeff Carpenter / Staff Writer

Pitt women’s soccer has never had more than eight wins in a season.

Now, it has an eight-game winning streak.

Coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against Wake Forest, which Pitt head coach Greg Miller described as “the biggest win since I’ve been here,” the Panthers (9-1-1, 3-0-0 ACC) traveled to Kentucky on Sunday to take down another ACC opponent. The Louisville Cardinals (4-5-1, 1-2-0 ACC) played victim this time to the Panther’s sturdy defense and late goals.

“I feel really happy and proud for the team … they’re doing a great job,” Miller said. “All I’m doing is trying to steer the ship in the right direction, and these kids are the ones rowing the boat.”

The 1-0 victory on the road against the Cardinals gave Pitt nine wins on the year, a program record. The Panthers have seven games remaining on their conference schedule.

With the win, Pitt also now has more ACC victories than it did all of last year. It finished with two wins over Syracuse and North Carolina State last season, and it has tallied three so far this year.

Traveling for just the second time in seven games, the Panthers traded scoring opportunities with the Cardinals throughout the match. It was an evenly played game that saw both teams finish with 12 shots.

Senior forward Roosa Arvas led the Panthers with three shots, and each team also took four corner kicks.

“All I’m doing is trying to steer the ship in the right direction, and these kids are the ones rowing the boat.” – PITT HEAD COACH GREG MILLER

The lone goal of the match came off the foot of sophomore forward Taylor Pryce. Junior defender Emily Pietrangelo set up Pryce with a through ball and finished on the opportunity past Louisville goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin. Bucklin would finish the game with six saves.

The goal came in the 70th minute and is Pryce’s fifth goal of the season. Pryce has also registered the game-winning goal in back-to-back victories, as she scored the overtime winner against Wake Forest on Thursday, which Pietrangelo set up.

“This year the connection between the front three [Pryce, Arvas and Jarena Harmon] is a lot stronger than in the past,” Pryce said. “We play in similar ways. We’re very mobile and connect really well.”

No matter the obstacles thrown its way, this team doesn’t allow excuses.

“The biggest thing for me today about this team was the gut check,” Miller said. “We’re traveling, we’re tired from Thursday, it’s alumni day, a Sunday — a lot of factors where we could make excuses. Today was one of those days where they had to find a way.”

A solid backfield performance protected junior goalkeeper and captain Taylor Francis and helped the team grab the win.

“The defense was really good today,” Miller said. “They took a lot of pressure off Taylor Francis and played together as a unit. That was a huge reason why we won the game.” 

Francis tallied four saves in the win, which stands as her sixth clean sheet of the season. The Panthers have now allowed just five goals in 11 games this year, a goals against average of .44 — good enough for top 20 in the country.

Pitt and the University of North Carolina are now the only undefeated and tieless ACC teams in conference. The Panthers’ record will be put to the test when they travel to Tallahassee to take on the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (9-1-1, 2-0-1 ACC) Saturday, Oct. 3.

The road game begins a stretch that sees four of Pitt’s final seven road games — five of which are against teams that sit top 20 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Poll.

“Right now we’re on a high, but we have Florida State coming up,” Pryce said. “We need to stay focused and not get ahead of ourselves because it only gets tougher from here.”

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