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Pitt men’s soccer hammers Howard in 6-0 rout

The lopsided result was Pitt’s fourth shutout of the season

Matt Hawley

The Pitt men’s soccer team faced Howard at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Monday night, and the result was the team’s most lopsided victory of the season, as the Panthers topped the Bison 6-0. The shutout was Pitt’s fourth of the season and its third at home.

On the night, the Panthers outshot the Bison 30-2, putting 17 on target. The visitors only managed to put one shot on goal, and that was saved by Pitt goalkeeper Arie Ammann, who contributed to his fourth clean sheet of the season. Ammann split time in goal with Johan Peñaranda in the Panthers' win.

Pitt midfielder Valentin Noel put the Panthers on the board in the 10th minute when he was awarded a free kick from the left of the penalty box. His long shot curled in over Howard goalkeeper Carlos Caro’s outstretched hands and into the side netting.

The next goal came in the 16th minute, when Pitt midfielder Veljko Petkovic lofted a cross into the box for Pitt forward Edward Kizza, who drove the ball into the back of the net with a diving header. That gave Pitt a 2-0 lead that the team would carry into halftime.

In the second half, Pitt’s scoring once again came in spurts, as its third and fourth goals were provided by Rodrigo Almeida and Kizza in the 61st and 62nd minutes. Almeida’s goal was a long-distance shot that sailed over the Howard goalkeeper’s head. Kizza’s second of the night was set up by Alexander Dexter, and it gave him his first brace since Aug. 30.

The Panthers’ last two goals came in the final 10 minutes of the game. Pitt defender Anthony Harding, in his collegiate debut, netted the first goal of his career in the 85th minute, and Pitt midfielder Alec Townsend provided his team with its sixth goal of the evening in the 88th minute. Up 6-0 with under three minutes remaining, Pitt would hold on for the win.

”I think it was a difficult first half, as I don’t think we found our rhythm of play,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said after the game. “The second half – just very happy. Some good play once again by some newcomers and guys like Alex Peperak did a good job; Chandler Vaughn showed his qualities out there, the goal by Rodrigo was fantastic.”

The outcome was especially positive for Kizza, who logged his third game in a row with at least one point, as he recorded assists against Syracuse and Denver and goals against Denver and Howard. Prior to this three-game stretch, he had been held to zero points for three straight games. Kizza was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2018, and he currently has seven goals and two assists this season.

With the win, Pitt improves to 5-4-2 on the season and remains at 1-2-1 in conference with its final five games — four of which are against ACC opponents — still on the horizon. The team’s next matchup will be with Virginia Tech, a team that has gone 6-0-0 out of conference but has struggled to a 0-2-2 record against ACC opposition. Kickoff from Ambrose Urbanic Field is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday.