Looking to add reinforcements to a team on the rise, Pitt women’s soccer coach Randy Waldrum brought in a proven talent as a transfer from Dayton on Thursday, as the team announced the addition of Landy Mertz, a Pittsburgh native who played at Upper St. Clair High School. Mertz played as a midfielder for the Flyers but will move to forward at Pitt.
“We are very excited to get Landy back to Pittsburgh,” Waldrum said. “Landy was one of the first players we saw in the recruiting process here when we took on the Pitt job. Unfortunately, at that time she had already committed to Dayton, but our staff felt like she was special and one of the top players coming out of western Pennsylvania.”
“Her ability to be dynamic in front of goal is what stands out the most. She can score goals and create goal-scoring opportunities. [That] coupled with her tireless work ethic and understanding of the game will be what makes her successful in our program. She’ll a big part of our attack heading into the spring season.”
As noted by Waldrum, the move will bolster the Panthers attack, which is currently led by Amanda West. West has become a star at Pitt after a breakout freshman season, and she currently leads the nation in goals, with 13. However, aside from West, few others have emerged as threats in the Pitt attack.
At Dayton, Mertz proved she can contribute to the attack, as she scored three goals while putting 22 of her 43 shots on goal. She also had two assists during her freshman season and was honored with a spot on the Atlantic 10’s all-rookie team. That was an extension of her success at the high school level, as she scored 20 goals and posted 15 assists as a senior at Upper St. Clair High School and won All-American honors as well as a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year nod.
“Being a Pittsburgh native, I am excited to come back to my hometown university,” Mertz said of her decision to transfer. “Pitt provides excellent academic and athletic opportunities, and I am excited for the challenge to study and compete at Pitt. Hail to Pitt!”
During her high school career, Mertz scored a total of 56 goals and had 30 assists. Given that, she may have only scratched the surface of what she is able to achieve at the college level with her three-goal freshman season at Dayton. And with Waldrum committed to placing her alongside West in the team’s front line, the Pitt attack should be made more formidable by her presence in the spring.