The Pitt women’s soccer team got its season started on the right foot with a 2-1 win over Ohio on a rainy Friday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The matchup marked Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum’s debut with the team, and the win was the 400th of his career.
”Anytime you get a win, you’re excited about it,” Waldrum said in a postgame interview. “We’ve got a long way to go and a lot of work to do. ... I think we can certainly perform a lot better, but I think that the one thing we are happy about in trying to change the culture here is that the girls found a way to fight back after going down to get the win. That’s really all that you can ask.”
As Waldrum alluded to, the Panthers fell behind early in the game, as Bobcats forward Abby Townsend notched her first career goal at the expense of Panthers goalkeeper Amaia Pena in the 21st minute. However, Pitt was able to turn things around 21 minutes later, as Panthers forward Anna Rico answered in turn, slotting her first career goal past Ohio’s Erin Beurket.
Pitt then took the lead less than 10 minutes into the second half, as Panthers forward Mikayla Schmidt connected with midfielder Ashley Moreira on a well-placed cross, and Moreira was able to beat Beurket once more. Conversely, Pena was able to come up with a few late saves to stave off an Ohio comeback and finished the game with six total saves after facing seven shots.
While Friday’s win certainly signified an impressive start to the Waldrum era, it’s worth noting that the team still has much to prove, as it went 3-12-3 last season, opening the campaign with a five-game unbeaten streak before closing out the season on a 13-game winless streak.
Pitt’s next matchup will get underway Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ambrose Urbanic Field, where the Panthers will take on the Morehead State Eagles.