The Pitt women’s soccer team has lost its most experienced defender to a transfer, according to John Krysinsky of Pittsburgh Soccer Now, as Aideen O’Donoghue entered the NCAA transfer portal after the conclusion of Pitt’s 2019 season and has since committed to play at South Florida. The native of Canonsburg would have been the only senior defender on Pitt’s roster in 2020.
With the move, O’Donoghue joins a team that finished 2019 ranked 16th in the United Soccer Coaches poll. The Bulls also finished 16-5-0 and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. They will enter the 2020 season as back-to-back AAC champions and have posted 10 or more wins every year since 2012.
O’Donoghue leaves behind a Pitt team in rougher shape, as its last 10-win season came in 2015. Since then, the Panthers posted a two-win campaign in 2016 and have improved every year since, with the hiring of new head coach Randy Waldrum coinciding with a spike in the program landing more talented recruits. However, Pitt is still a long way from the level of South Florida, as its best campaign since 2015 was its five-win result in 2019.
The defensive specialist started 31 of 33 career games heading into 2019 but saw her starting role diminished last season. In addition to taking part in 14 of 18 games, she started only seven of those 14 games. She finishes her Pitt career with two goals and one assist. And at South Florida, she will join a more experienced back line as one of five senior Bulls defenders.