The Pitt men’s soccer team hosted Clemson on Friday night for its fifth conference matchup of the 2018 season, and thanks to the late heroics of sophomore forward Edward Kizza, the Panthers were able to notch a 2-1 win over a Tigers team that handed them a 3-0 loss last year.
The Panthers, who donned royal blue and athletic gold uniforms for Pitt’s Retro Weekend, found their way onto the board first, as Kizza opened the scoring by launching a scorcher over the outstretched hands of Clemson goalkeeper George Marks in the 10th minute of play for a 1-0 lead.
Clemson midfielder Quinn McNeill would respond with a goal of his own in the 38th minute, evening the score at 1-1, where it would stay until the end of regulation. However, after playing out a stalemate in the first overtime period, Kizza re-emerged for his second goal of the game and his eighth this season less than two minutes into the second overtime period for a 2-1 win.
Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich praised Kizza’s performance in a postgame interview.
”He’s been a difference in a lot of games,” Vidovich said of Kizza. “He’s a beast. He played full time, didn’t come off the pitch and handled himself against two very good center backs. He’s just doing his job. Trying to keep the pressure on their backs at all times and to get in a chance like that, I’m just happy with his improvement and what he is doing for our team.”
With Friday’s win, the Panthers are now 3-1 in their last four games, with their only loss coming to a formidable Virginia team that was ranked 11th in the country at the time. However, they held on for big wins against a perennially relevant Columbia team and ranked ACC rival NC State.
Pitt, which is now 6-5 overall on the season and 2-3 in conference, will hit the pitch again on Monday, when Cleveland State heads to Ambrose Urbanic Field for a 7 p.m. tilt.