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Pitt women’s soccer falls to Clemson 3-2 in overtime

The Panthers have been eliminated from ACC tournament contention

Matt Hawley

The Pitt women’s soccer team traveled to Riggs Field in Clemson, South Carolina, to take on No. 15 Clemson on Sunday, and although the Panthers fought hard against the Tigers and forced overtime after overcoming a two-goal deficit, they ultimately fell 3-2 in extra time for their ninth loss of the season.

Clemson forward Julie Mackin was responsible for the home team’s first two goals. She opened the scoring in the 27th minute by curling a shot past Pitt goalkeeper Amaia Peña into the top right corner of the net, giving her team a 1-0 lead it would take into halftime. Thirty-two minutes later, Mackin scored from 25 yards out to put Clemson up 2-0.

The Panthers would respond in the 65th minute, as Pitt defender Vildan Kardesler headed in a cross from Amanda West to put her team on the board. Then, in the 69th minute, Pitt midfielder Krystyna Rytel put away a rebound to even the score after a shot from Kardesler hit off the crossbar.

The two late goals went unanswered in the final 21 minutes of regulation, forcing overtime. However, in the 92nd minute, Clemson midfielder Hal Hershfelt scored the game-winning goal from the top of the box, giving the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Panthers.

”They’ve been resilient all year,” Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum said of his team after the game. “I can’t count the number of times we’ve come back. To do it again against the No. 15 ranked team in the country and take it to overtime, it just says a lot for us.”

”The hard part is the players and staff were so close this year, and we wanted to be the finished product now,” Waldrum continued. “The reality is it’s a building process, and couldn’t be more proud to go from no wins last year and only scoring two goals in conference play to having two wins and two ties already and two more games on top of it that we’ve gone into overtime. It’s been a vast improvement. We couldn’t have done these things last year. I’m really proud of the improvement these players have made.”

With the loss, Pitt falls to 5-9-3 on the season and 2-5-2 in conference. The team is also a long shot for the ACC tournament now, as the best it can do is tie the conference record of eighth-place Notre Dame, a team Pitt lost to on Sept. 26. With that said, Pitt has one game remaining on its schedule, as it will host No. 25 Virginia Tech at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Halloween. The Hokies are tied with the Irish and may need a win to earn a tournament berth. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. ET.