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No. 4 Pitt men’s soccer team falls 3-0 to North Carolina

The fourth-ranked Pitt men’s soccer team traveled to Chapel Hill on Friday night to face North Carolina in its first ACC matchup of the spring, and the Panthers were dealt a stunning 3-0 loss by the unranked Tar Heels.

North Carolina forward Jonathan Jimenez opened up the scoring in the 11th minute with an unassisted shot from 10 yards out. The Tar Heels would get off four more shots before halftime and prevent the Panthers from recording even one during that span.

In the second half, Jimenez had a hand in the Tar Heels’ second goal of the game, as he centered a pass for North Carolina forward Giovanni Montesdeoca that he slotted past Pitt goalkeeper Nico Campuzano in the 54th minute. And the third and final goal came 13 minutes later off the foot of the same man.

Montesdeoca scored on a 67th-minute penalty kick awarded to North Carolina after Campuzano took down Akeim Clarke, a freshman forward, in the box and was shown a yellow card. The kick proved to be the nail in Pitt’s coffin, as the goal would go unanswered in the final 33 minutes of the game.

The loss dropped Pitt to 8-2 on the season and improved North Carolina to 4-3-2. It was the first defeat the team suffered since losing 2-1 to Clemson in the ACC championship game in November. However, Pitt is officially listed as 4-1 in ACC, as the postseason defeat does not count against its regular-season record. North Carolina is now 4-1-2 in conference.

The pairing of Pitt’s narrow 1-0 win over Duquesne last week and the one-sided defeat this week suggests the team might be dealing with some rust from its three months off. Whatever the case may be, the loss could see Pitt take a tumble in the rankings, and the team will have to make a statement against its next opponent to regain some momentum.

That opponent will be Boston College, a team that may be knocking off some rust of its own after declining to play in 2020. The last time the two teams faced off, Pitt won 2-0 on the road on Sept. 20, 2019. The team will look to replicate that success on March 13 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.