The Pitt men’s soccer team opened up its ACC schedule and faced its second ranked opponent of the season on Friday night, as it hosted No. 1 Wake Forest at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The result was the Panthers’ first home loss of the season, as the Demon Deacons defeated them 2-0 in their ACC opener.
Wake Forest defender Michael DeShields opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a header off of a cross from Wake Forest’s Isaiah Parente. That gave the Demon Deacons a 1-0 lead they would carry into halftime. Then, in the 53rd minute, Wake Forest forward Machop Chol eluded two defenders and beat Pitt goalkeeper Arie Ammann to put the Deacons up 2-0. The goal would go unanswered.
Although the game ended in a shutout, Pitt was not completely outclassed on the field, as both teams applied a fair amount of offensive pressure. Wake Forest led the way with 12 shots to Pitt’s nine, but both teams put four on goal. It was also a chippy affair, with 20 fouls evenly divided between the two teams.
”I think it was a bit of a boxing match in the beginning,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said in a postgame interview. “It was absorbing blows and trying to get what we could. I thought we started finding our way in the game and then were punished for a mistake. We couldn’t handle the overload off a quick corner, and they found the open man with a good goal there.”
”We rebounded a little bit into the half and then just had a poor start to the second half,” Vidovich continued. “Wake Forest put us on our heels really quickly and came out with a goal. After that that we did a tremendous job. It’s always easier to play when you’re down, but I thought we did a good job with possession.”
With the loss, Pitt falls to 1-3-1 on the season and 0-1-0 in conference. Meanwhile, Wake Forest improves to 5-0-0 on the season and 1-0-0 in the ACC. Up next for Pitt is a matchup with Akron, a team that was considered one of the top five in the nation heading into the 2019 season but has since gone 0-4-0 and is now unranked. Kickoff from is scheduled for 7.p.m. ET on Monday at Ambrose Urbanic Field.