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Pitt women’s soccer forces a 3-3 tie with Miami

Matt Hawley

The Pitt women’s soccer team faced Miami at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Florida, in its third ACC matchup of the season on Sunday night, and the result was a 3-3 draw that Pitt earned despite some mistakes early on that led to a two-goal deficit.

Miami defender Bayleigh Chaviers opened the scoring in the third minute by maneuvering around Pitt defender Athalie Palomo and lofting up a shot from beyond the right boundary of the penalty box that banked off the left post and caught Pitt goalkeeper Amaia Peña off guard. Prior to that, the Hurricanes had not scored a goal since Sept. 12.

After going down 1-0, the Panthers remained aggressive on the offensive end of the pitch, as Pitt forward Anna Rico got a shot past Miami goalkeeper Tyler Speaks in the 10th minute. However, no goal was awarded, as Rico was flagged as offside. Pitt went on to log five shots in the first half, matching Miami in that category, but the team failed to get on the board in the first 45 minutes.

In the second half, Miami forward Michelle Giamportone put the Hurricanes up 2-0 with a hard shot that slipped out of the hands of Pitt goalkeeper Katherine Robinson, who came on in relief of Peña.

Unfazed by the miscue, the Panthers capitalized on a chance created by Rico in the 54th minute. From the corner, Rico found Pitt forward Amanda West, who headed the ball to the feet of Pitt forward Sydney Marasco as she crashed the box. Marasco then knocked the ball in to put Pitt on the board. Nine minutes later, an aggressive Pitt attack led by West and Rico led to a Hurricanes own goal, as Miami defender Sierra Frey deflected a Rico cross into the back of her own net.

In spite of the demoralizing blow, the Hurricanes regained the lead with less than 20 minutes left in the game, as Robinson misplayed a free kick by Miami midfielder Ine Ostmo that Miami defender Selena Fortich slotted home. The goal would not go unanswered, though, as a West cross found Pitt midfielder Anna Bout in the box in the 86th minute. Bout poked the ball to Marasco, who knocked in her second goal of the night to tie the game at three.

Marasco’s second goal forced overtime, but Pitt and Miami went the distance and remained locked in a 3-3 tie after 110 minutes.

”I thought the team showed great character in the way they fought back after going down two goals,” Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum said during a postgame interview. “Then to do it again after tying up the game late was a great effort. The disappointment is we continue to make simple mistakes which has forced us to play from behind in many of our games.”

During the matchup with Miami, West recorded her fifth and sixth assists of the season, bringing her point total for 2019 to 20. That total ranks as the fourth highest in program history for Pitt. The only players with higher point totals since the program’s inception in 1996 are Roosa Arvas, who had 21 in 2014; Charity McClure, who had 23 in 1998; and Cande Ruiz, who had 26 in 1998.

With Sunday’s draw, Pitt is now 3-5-3 on the season and 0-1-2 in conference. Meanwhile, Miami is now 3-4-2 overall and 0-2-1 in the ACC. Pitt will continue its tour of the Sunshine State on Saturday, when the team returns to face No. 6 Florida State in Tallahassee. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.