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Pitt women’s soccer team falls to No. 3 Clemson 2-1 in OT

The Panthers are now 0-3 against ranked teams in 2020 and have been outshot in those three games 74-15

After an extended break, the Pitt women’s soccer team returned to action in a matchup with No. 3 Clemson at Historic Riggs Field on Thursday night. However, after a close battle, Pitt fell to Clemson 2-1 in overtime.

The first 45 minutes saw nothing resolved, but Clemson took a lead in shots, reeling off 10 to Pitt’s two. However, the Panthers got a solid performance out of Caitlyn Lazzarini in goal, as she came up with three saves in the first half. She would go on to accrue 10 in the game.

Both teams upped their offensive efforts in the second half, and in the 49th minute, Amanda West put Pitt on the board after she weaved past a Clemson defender and banked a shot into the back of the net off the right post.

Pitt’s 1-0 advantage would be short-lived, though, as Clemson’s Megan Bornkamp headed a ball in after a Tigers corner kick to even the score at one goal apiece. That score would hold for the remaining 39 minutes, during which Clemson once again outshot Pitt. This time the Tigers doubled up on the Panthers, getting off 12 shots to their six.

Just over a minute into overtime, the game was decided when a familiar scene played out, as Bornkamp once again scored on a post-corner-kick header to give Clemson a 2-1 victory.

With Thursday’s result in, Pitt has now faced three ranked opponents this season and lost to them all. Its most recent was a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of No. 2 Florida State, and before that, Pitt fell to No. 10 Virginia 2-1 in overtime. A pattern has also emerged in those games, as Pitt has played on its heels and has been outgunned in each of those matchups.

The matchups with Virginia and Florida State highlighted that issue, as Pitt was outshot 51-7 in those two games. And on Thursday, a scenario in which Pitt got three shots and two on goal each from Amanda West and Leah Pais played out. But that was still not enough, as West and Pais had little help, and Clemson had seven players with multiple shots.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 9-4-0 on the season, and Clemson improves to 6-2-0. West also scored her 13th goal of the year, maintaining her status as the nation’s top goalscorer. The goal also gave West 30 points in 2020, which broke her own program record for points in a season, as she had 29 as a freshman in 2019.

This coming Sunday, Pitt will head to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest in its final regular-season game. The Demon Deacons fell to 2-5-1 after losing 4-3 to Virginia Tech at home on Thursday. The matchup between the Panthers and Demon Deacons will get underway from Spry Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.