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Pitt women’s soccer stymied by Notre Dame in 4-0 shutout

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The game was Randy Waldrum’s first back in South Bend as Pitt’s coach

Matt Hawley

The Pitt women’s soccer team traveled to South Bend, Indiana, on Thursday to face Notre Dame at Alumni Stadium. It was Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum’s first time returning to South Bend, where he won a national title in 2010, since taking over as Pitt’s coach in 2017. However, the Panthers were unable to defeat the Fighting Irish in Waldum's return and instead suffered a 4-0 shutout.

Pitt was on its heels early in the game and was overwhelmed by the Notre Dame offense in the first half, during which the Irish reeled off 12 shots to the Panthers’ one. Two of those found the back of the net, as Irish defender Jenna Winebrenner opened up the scoring in the 10th minute and Irish forward Kiki Van Zanten followed suit with a goal of her own in the 39th minute. As a result, Pitt was down 2-0 at the half, and Panthers goalkeeper Amaia Peña was benched in favor of Katherine Robinson.

The second half was a less extreme version of the first half, as Notre Dame outshot Pitt by a smaller margin, 8-0. However, the result was the same. Irish forward Eva Hurm, who was credited with an assist on the game’s first goal, scored to give her team a 3-0 advantage in the 55th minute. Then, in the 61st minute, Van Zanten beat Robinson for her second goal of the night, putting Notre Dame up 4-0.

”I felt tonight we ran into a team that was simply better than us in all phases,” Waldrum said in a postgame interview. “It’s a great lesson for our young players as we continue to build this foundation. Now, the job is to recover and move on to the Miami game.”

The loss was largely devoid of silver linings, as the team was almost completely shut down by Notre Dame. However, Peña managed to come up with three saves in the first half, while Robinson had four in the second. And on the offensive side of the pitch, Pitt’s lone shot came off the foot of Athalie Palomo after she forced a Notre Dame turnover.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 3-5-2 on the season and 0-1-1 in conference. Meanwhile, Notre Dame improves to 7-3-0 overall with an ACC record of 1-1-0. Next up for Pitt is a trip to Coral Gables, Florida, where the team will face Miami, which is 3-4-1 and winless in conference so far this season. Kickoff from Cobb Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, and the game will air on the ACC Network.