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Pitt women’s soccer team dispatches Kentucky 4-1

The Panthers made history in their regular-season finale, notching their 11th win against the visiting Wildcats

The Pitt women’s soccer team ended the regular season with a dominant 4-1 win over Kentucky on a cool, clear day at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Monday afternoon. The Panthers also made history, as the lopsided victory was their 11th of the season. It was the first time Pitt had exceeded 10 wins in a season in the program's 25-year history.

Pitt opened up the scoring in the 33rd minute, when Amanda West found Emily Yaple at the top of the box. Yaple weaved between two Kentucky defenders to slot a shot past Wildcats goalkeeper Brooke Littman and give Pitt a 1-0 lead. West’s contributions would become a common refrain in the game, as she tied a career high, with three assists.

The Panthers would add one more goal before the halftime break, as West set up Celia Lopez to score in the 42nd minute. After collecting West’s pass, the midfielder lofted a shot across the box and into the back left corner of the net to put Pitt up 2-0. The goal was Lopez's first this season and the second of her career.

After the break, Kate McKay headed an Athalie Palomo cross over to Leah Pais in the 59th minute, and Pais tapped a shot past Littman for Pitt’s third goal. The fourth would come in the 85th minute, when West sent a cross into the box that made its way to Landy Mertz, who then banked in a shot off the crossbar to provide the Panthers with a 4-0 advantage.

Kentucky would answer with two minutes and 20 seconds left in the contest, when Julia Grosso sent a high pass into the box that Jordyn Rhodes headed in for her 11th goal of the season. The goal ruined what would have been Pitt goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini’s third full-game shutout of the season. But Pitt still finished the day with a 4-1 victory.

The win improved Pitt’s record to 11-5 on the season and dropped Kentucky to 1-6-3. In addition to setting a program record for wins in a season, Pitt also made quite the turnaround from 2019, when the team went 5-10-3. And on an individual basis, West finished the season with 13 goals and seven assists for a Pitt-record 33 points. West’s 13 goals also ranked second in the nation, and with her and Mertz leading the Panthers attack, the future looks bright for Randy Waldrum’s program.