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Pitt women’s soccer ties Syracuse 1-1 in ACC opener

The Panthers got big performances from Rachel Rasins and Amanda West

Matt Hawley

The Pitt women’s soccer team hosted Syracuse at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Friday night in its ACC opener, but despite pulling out to a 1-0 lead late in the first half, the Panthers allowed the Orange to pull even in the second half and force a 1-1 draw.

Pitt forward Rachel Rasins opened up the scoring in the 38th minute by poking a shot past Syracuse defender Shannon Aviza in the penalty box. That shot skidded past Syracuse goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx and into the bottom left corner of the net. Pitt freshman Amanda West, who had been quiet in the Panthers’ previous two games, re-emerged on the stat sheet, as she was credited with an assist on Rasins’ goal.

However, despite outshooting Syracuse 20-8 and putting eight shots on goal to the opposition’s one, Pitt failed to convert on any of its 19 other chances, which left the door open for an Orange comeback. Syracuse defender Taylor Bennett was awarded a penalty kick after Syracuse midfielder Kailey Brenner was taken down in front of the Pitt goal. Bennett then beat Pitt goalkeeper Amaia Peña to tie the game 1-1. Bennett's penalty kick was Syracuse’s only shot on goal.

”Certainly we’re disappointed with the result because I felt like we should’ve left here with three points,” Pitt associate head coach Ben Waldrum said during a postgame interview. “Looking back, the one real big positive takeaway is we’re creating chances. We had multiple opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, but at least we’re creating those chances. We just have to now tuck away those opportunities.”

One silver lining for Pitt is that it avoided an ACC loss and was easily the more productive team in the draw. Another is that West reawakened after being held to zero points in her previous two outings. With the assist, her 2019 point total rose to 18, which is tied for the fifth-highest total posted by a Pitt player in a single season. West has seven goals and four assists through nine games and is tied with Ashley Cuba, who posted the same totals over a period of 18 games in the 2009 season.

After Friday’s result, Pitt sits at 3-4-2 on the season and 0-0-1 in conference, while Syracuse is 2-4-2 and 0-0-1 in the ACC. Pitt's next scheduled opponent is Notre Dame. The Panthers will head to South Bend, Indiana, to face the Fighting Irish on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.