PITTSBURGH—A Jaclyn Softli goal in the 25th minute proved to be the difference as Washington handed the Pitt women’s soccer team a 1-0 decision Sunday at Ambrose Urbanic Field. With the loss, Pitt drops to 3-2-0, while Washington, listed among teams receiving votes in the top-25 polls, improves to 3-0-0.
“We knew Washington was going to give us everything we could handle athletically and from a talent perspective,” Pitt coach Greg Miller said. “Hats off to them, they were the better team today, but I thought our team did a great job of working through some of the difficult moments of the game. From a defensive and physical standpoint, for a young team to face a quality side like that and for the most part go toe-to-toe with them, I was pleased. Hopefully, we can learn from playing a team like Washington. It should pay dividends for us down the road.”
The closely contested game was played at a high level throughout. Softli registered her goal at the 24:25 mark when she one-timed a shot past Pitt goalkeeper Taylor Francis after receiving a crossing pass from Kimberly Keever. Washington outshot Pitt 12-4, although all four Pitt shots were on goal. The Panthers had multiple opportunities to even the score.
Pitt goalkeeper Taylor Francis finished the match with five saves, including a key play in the game’s eighth minute when she blocked a shot and smothered the ball on a one-on-one against Washington’s Shannon Simon.
Even though the Panthers lost the match, Miller was pleased with his team’s intense and physical play.
“Washington gave us everything that most teams in the ACC will show,” Miller said. “Teams will be more athletic, more physical and be able to move the ball around the field in a variety of ways. It was great for our young team to get exposed to that and realize that we can’t do some things against teams of that quality. Now we have to tweak some things and really hone in on some areas where we are falling short. The physical piece and the intensity level that we brought today needs to be maintained. We need to continue to bring the level of intensity that we did today and realize that we can do it.”
Next weekend, Pitt hits the road for two matches in Philadelphia: at Villanova (Friday, Sept. 5) and at LaSalle (Sunday, Sept. 7).