The Pitt men’s soccer team had a mid-week game tonight against Penn State and managed to come away with a 3-2 win. If you watched the game, you know how ugly things nearly got.
Still, the victory is yet another one of the program who is red hot with four wins in their past five games. Two of those, of course, were the ranked wins over No. 14 Columbia and No. 21 Syracuse. Pitt continues to play well, winning for the fourth time in their last five games.
The Panthers dominated the game but looked like they might end up with a tie or even a loss. They struck first with freshman Marcony Pimentel scoring on a deflected ball at 29’. Penn State later tied it up before halftime and it remained 1-1 until the 76th minute when Alexander Dexter scored what should have been the game winner. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they nearly blew the game after a disaster of an end to regulation.
With seconds ticking off the clock, Pitt tried to dribble the ball out and burn time. The player (missed who it was) ended up in the corner, lost the ball and Penn State scored with less than 30 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. The good news is the Panthers managed to win with a goal a few minutes in by Javi Perez to avoid a disaster.
A loss or even a tie here would have been pretty ugly given how well Pitt has played lately. Penn State is a pretty bad team at only 2-7-2 on the season and the Panthers dominated the contest.
Pitt had a lot in its favor. First, the Nittany Lions simply don’t score very much. They’ve been shut out in six of their 12 games and had only scored two goals in one other game this year. They’re routinely outshot by significant margins and Pitt outshot them 27-6. The Panthers also were at home and even played much of the game with a man advantage after Penn State picked up a red card. If you can’t win under those circumstances, that would have been tough to handle for those guys.
It still feels weird expecting Pitt to come out on top against anyone since the program has been down for so long. But the Panthers are turning a corner under head coach Jay Vidovich and you would have hated to see them not close this one with everything they had in their favor.
All’s well that ends well, though. Pitt avoided a collapse and moves to 7-6 on the season.