The No. 16 Pitt men’s soccer team faced Syracuse at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Friday night, and while the Panthers were able to pull out a 3-2 win over the Orange, it took them two overtime periods to get the job done.
Pitt midfielder Rodrigo Almeida opened up the scoring in the sixth minute, using a botched clearance by Syracuse defender Max Kent as a setup for a one-timer and blasting a shot past Syracuse goalkeeper Lucas Daunhauer.
The goal was the sixth of the season for Almeida, and not only did it put the Panthers up 1-0 over the Orange, but it also made the senior Pitt's top scorer of the 2021 season thus far.
Twenty-three minutes later, the Orange would tie it up when Syracuse forward Noah Singelmann headed in a cross sent in by Syracuse midfielder Hilli Goldar to make it 1-1. And that would remain the score at halftime.
Most of the second half would pass by quietly, but the action picked up in the final five minutes, when Pitt defender Arturo Ordoñez headed in a corner kick to give the Panthers a 2-1 advantage. However, that advantage would be short-lived, as Syracuse forward Manel Busquets converted a penalty kick in the final minute to force overtime.
The first 10 minutes of extra time would pass with neither side gaining the edge. But in the 109th minute of the second overtime period, Pitt midfielder Bertin Jacquesson would send a corner kick into the box, and Pitt midfielder Guilherme Feitosa would head in the game-winner. That goal also happened to be the first of the Pitt freshman's college career.
"I am very happy with the effort,” said Pitt coach Jay Vidovich. “Particularly in the last five minutes of double-overtime where everyone pushed and showed they wanted to win the game. We found a way to win when we weren’t playing well at times, but I am glad we were able to push toward the end and find our way into the back of the net.”
The game played out similarly to the last tilt between Pitt and Syracuse, which was played on Oct. 6, 2020, and also ended in a 3-2 Pitt victory in double-overtime. That game was also decided by a Pitt freshman, as Jacquesson — then in his first year at Pitt — scored the golden goal rather than providing the assist.
With the win, Pitt improved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play. As for Syracuse, it fell to 5-5-1 overall and 1-3 against ACC competition. Pitt’s next test will come on Tuesday, when Cleveland State comes to town. The Vikings are 5-3 overall but have been shut out by major-conference opponents Michigan State and Ohio State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.