For the second time in a week, the Pitt men's soccer team has taken down a ranked opponent, as the Panthers blanked No. 14 Columbia 1-0 in New York on Tuesday night after defeating No. 21 Syracuse 2-1 on Friday.
As the scoreline suggests, it wasn't a particularly action-packed affair, but the outcome was still quite a surprise despite the limited offense on display, as the Lions brought a 12-game unbeaten streak with them into the game that stretched back to Oct. 25, 2016.
Freshman forward Alexander Dexter put Pitt ahead in the 41st minute, dribbling past Columbia defender Brendan Dennis and chipping a shot over the head of goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira for his third goal of the season. Freshman standout Edward Kizza got involved as well, reeling off two shots, one of which was on target, and assisting on Dexter's goal along with junior midfielder Javi Perez.
Pitt and Columbia both posted five shots in the first half, and the Lions amped up the offensive pressure after the Panthers got on the board, adding 10 more shots in the second half. However, both teams only managed to put three shots on goal all game, and Pitt goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt was able to keep a clean sheet.
With the win, Pitt improved to 6-5 on the season and guaranteed it will finish with its highest win total since the program posted a 6-9-2 record in 2012. It's also something of a historic win for the Panthers, as it's just their fourth over a Top 25 team since 2002 as well as their second in a row.
Pitt will have a chance to extend that streak on Friday, when it heads home to take on No. 19 Duke at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Since joining the ACC, Pitt has gone 0-3-1 against Duke. But this year’s squad, which is 4-1 at home, looks capable of putting up a fight against a Blue Devils team that hasn’t posted a winning away record since 2013.