The Pitt men’s soccer team made a statement with its 3-1 win over Notre Dame over the weekend, earning the No. 2 spot in the national rankings and knocking the Fighting Irish out of the national top five with the victory.
The win was due in part to big performances on the offensive end of the pitch by Alexander Dexter and Bertin Jacquesson as well as a solid showing in between the pipes by Nico Campuzano. As a result of their standout play, all three players were honored with spots on the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
Dexter was always expected to play a key role for Pitt, as he complemented Edward Kizza in the Panthers attack in 2019 and seemed likely to reprise that role this year. However, with Kizza suddenly departing the team prior to the Notre Dame matchup, Dexter moved up in the pecking order as the team’s top returning goal-scorer, and he served his purpose well, opening the scoring for Pitt in the 11th minute and then assisting on the team’s second goal.
Jacquesson, a freshman playing in his first collegiate game, was the player on the receiving end of Dexter’s assist, and his 73rd-minute goal secured the win for Pitt. The Frenchman also set up Dexter’s early goal and put on an unexpected breakout performance in the statement victory. The only score that Jacquesson did not have a hand in was the Irish own goal that put Pitt up 2-1. That was a result of a poor defense of a Dexter shot.
As for Pitt’s defense, it was stout from wire to wire, with the only breakdown coming in the chaotic wake of an Irish corner kick. That left Michael Pellegrino open when the ball landed at his feet, and he provided the Irish with their only goal of the night. However, aside from that snafu, the Pitt defense was solid, and it was confidently backed up by Campuzano in his first start with the Panthers. Campuzano recorded one save late in the game and also logged his first win as a Pitt goalkeeper.
The trio will be counted on to put on similar performances next Tuesday, when Pitt heads to Syracuse to face the Orange.