Sept. 29, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—The Pitt women’s soccer team played its third consecutive top-10 ranked team Sunday as No. 5 Notre Dame handed the visiting Panthers a 3-0 loss at Alumni Stadium. Pitt drops to 4-7-1 overall and 0-6-0 in the ACC, while Notre Dame improves to 9-1-0 and 5-0-0 in ACC play.
No ACC team has played a more challenging three-match stretch than Pitt completed on Sunday. The three game stretch included matchups against No. 1 ranked Virginia, defending national champion and No. 6 ranked North Carolina and finally, No. 5 Notre Dame today. It also marked the most difficult three-game stretch in school history as the Pitt women’s soccer program had never played three consecutive nationally ranked teams, much less three top-10 opponents. What’s promising is that the Panthers were competitive in all three matches and trailed just 1-0 at halftime of today’s match.
“Today, we didn’t play with the same camaraderie, togetherness and spirit that we did the last two games,” Pitt head coach Greg Miller said. “It was uncharacteristic of how we’ve been playing the last few games. For as poorly as we played in the first half, we were only down a goal. And no way should we have given up that goal to be down 1-0. Their first goal was a scrum in the box and we couldn’t clear the ball. Once again, we’re giving up goals on little things; they get a second and third chance on that play. Our second half was better today, we changed our shape and I thought we should have scored a goal, but once again we defended too much and didn’t reward ourselves when we had a chance to score.”
“Give Notre Dame credit, they’re good, they come at you in waves, they’re very talented and played pretty similar to what we’ve seen in the last few games.”
Notre Dame went up 1-0 in the 19th minute when Lauren Bohaboy scored on a rebound shot from two yards out. She received the ball after Cari Roccaro’s shot. That was all Notre Dame could produce in the first half as the Fighting Irish finished the period with 16 shots.
The Fighting Irish took a 2-0 lead just 49 seconds into the second half when Roccaro’s shot from 20 yards sailed under the crossbar and into the net. Roccaro received the ball after Rebecca Twining’s throw-in.
Notre Dame added an insurance goal in the 64th minute when Mandy Laddish scored on a low drive from the top of the box that hit inside the left post. Rocarro assisted on the play.
Once again, Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino made 10 saves for the fourth consecutive match. She made seven saves in the first half alone when the Irish finished with 16 shots.
“Nicole played very well again,” Miller said. “She’s exhausted right now, she’s taking 25 goal kicks, making 10 saves per game. Fortunately she did what she’s been doing and came up big.”
Pitt takes a week off before getting back into action at Ambrose Urbanic Field against new ACC team and former Big East member Syracuse on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. The Panthers have just two more home games (vs. Syracuse) and vs. Virginia Tech for Senior Day on Sunday, Oct. 20.