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Pitt men’s soccer downs Denver 3-2 in 2OT thriller

The Panthers extended their unbeaten streak to four games with the win

Matt Hawley

The Pitt men’s soccer team returned to Ambrose Urbanic Field after two straight games on the road to host Denver on Monday night, and despite falling behind by a goal in the first half, the team rallied back to secure a 3-2 win in double-overtime.

Denver midfielder Kengo Ohira was credited with the first goal of the night, as he tipped in a ball lofted into the box by Denver midfielder Destan Norman in the 42nd minute.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Panthers responded, as Pitt midfielder Sito Sena dropped a long pass into the box for Pitt midfielder Valentin Noel. The pass found Noel, who knocked a shot past Denver goalkeeper Will Palmquist. Four minutes later, Pitt forward Edward Kizza found Sena at the top of the penalty box, and the Spaniard launched a one-timer into the back of the net to put Pitt up 2-1.

In the 70th minute, Denver midfielder Stefan DeLeone evened the score once more, and with neither team able to pull ahead in the final 20 minutes, the game went into overtime.

The first 10-minute period passed without resolution, but Pitt was able to punctuate the game with a goal in double-overtime. Pitt defender Arturo Ordoñez found Noel with a long pass. Noel then headed the ball to Kizza who beat Denver defender Bailey Heller and tapped a chip shot over Palmquist’s head to give Pitt the 3-2 victory in the 108th minute.

”Certainly a game-winner is something you strive for,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said after the game. “I think the big thing as his reward is that he picked up his work load at a time when he was very fatigued, so hopefully he learned from that and he will continue pushing his game a little bit.”

With the win, Pitt improved to 4-3-2 on the season, and Denver fell to 1-6-2. The victory also extended Pitt’s unbeaten streak to four games. The Panthers will look to maintain their momentum on Friday, when they host North Carolina at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.