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Pitt men’s soccer team tops Virginia Tech 2-1 in ACC tournament quarterfinals

Valentin Noel led the Panthers to victory with his second brace of the season

The top-seeded Pitt men’s soccer team took on eighth-seeded Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament quarterfinals at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Sunday and emerged victorious from a hard-fought contest, notching a 2-1 double-overtime win over the visiting Hokies.

Pitt midfielder Valentin Noel struck first, slotting a shot past Virginia Tech goalkeeper Ben Martino in the fifth minute. However, four minutes later, Virginia Tech midfielder Kyle McDowell evened the score at one apiece, and that score would remain at halftime.

The second half was full of tense moments, as both sides tried to pull ahead. Notably, Virginia Tech forward Pol Monells blasted a shot off the Pitt crossbar in the 78th minute. And things really heated up in the final 10 minutes of regulation, which saw five fouls called and a yellow card issued to a Hokie.

During that stretch, Virginia Tech midfielder Danny Flores played a game of keepaway with Noel after a foul and got thrown to the ground by Noel in response. Virginia Tech defender Welnilton Da Silva Jr. then fouled Noel minutes later, prompting Noel to leave the field with the assistance of trainers. And in the last second of the half, Pitt midfielder Jackson Walti put a gem of a shot on target, but it bounced off the hand of Martino, setting up overtime.

The first overtime period came and went with the score unchanged. However, two minutes and 18 seconds into the second overtime period, Pitt forward Bertin Jacquesson centered a pass in front of Noel, and Noel would drive the ball into the back of the net to seal a 2-1 victory for the Panthers.

With the win, the Panthers advance to the semifinals of the ACC tournament, where they will play the winner of the matchup between fifth-seeded Notre Dame and fourth-seeded Louisville on Nov. 10. That game will also be played at Ambrose Urbanic Field, and the winner will advance to the ACC title game.