The Pitt men’s soccer team headed to Akron, Ohio, for its second away match of the season, and it went decidedly worse than the first. Coming off a 6-1 rout of Delaware on the road, the Panthers faced the No. 4 Akron Zips at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field and lost 1-0.
Although Pitt got the lion’s share of the shots, leading 9-1 in the first half and 13-9 by the end of the game, Akron had the advantage in shots on goal, leading 4-2 at full time. The Zips also managed to get off the only shot that mattered, as Akron defender Daniel Strachan set up forward David Egbo for what proved to be the game-winning goal in the fifth minute.
The Panthers threatened to even the game in the 19th minute, but Pitt forward Alexander Dexter was denied by Akron goalkeeper Ben Lundt. Pitt would only put one other shot on goal, and that was a meek chip shot from Javi Perez that was effortlessly scooped up by Lundt.
Pitt goalkeeper Johan Penaranda managed to fend off a few attempts by the Zips later in the game, and he ultimately ended up with three saves on Saturday. However, his efforts to keep the match within reach were ultimately in vain, as Akron’s defense proved too much for Pitt.
With the loss, Pitt is now 0-2 against ranked teams, as the Panthers’ first loss of the season came against No. 25 Colgate on Aug. 24. The Panthers were also shut out 1-0 in that matchup. Pitt is now 1-2-0 on the season and will face another stiff test on Saturday, when they face No. 12 North Carolina in Chapel Hill in their ACC season opener.
The Tar Heels are 2-1-0 this season and will be Pitt’s third ranked opponent in four games. Their only loss thus far was to No. 6 Indiana. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7 p.m.