The No. 3 Pitt men’s soccer team hosted Notre Dame at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Saturday night for the third and final matchup between the two teams this season, and the Panthers came up with a crucial 2-0 win over the Fighting Irish to complete the season sweep and take the lead in the ACC Coastal Division.
The matchup got off to a slow start, as the two teams recorded just two shots apiece 25 minutes into the game. However, the night was not short on drama, as one of those shots came off the foot of Pitt star Valentin Noel and ricocheted off the left post of the Irish goal. Nevertheless, the two sides went into the halftime break with the game tied at zero.
Pitt defender Arturo Ordoñez would quickly change that, as he knocked in a loose ball following a corner kick and provided the Panthers with a 1-0 lead just two minutes and 31 seconds into the second half. The corner kick was corralled and deftly tapped over to Ordoñez by Pitt defender Bryce Washington, who was credited with the first assist of his college career on the play. As for Ordoñez, the goal was the third of his career, and all three have been game-winners for the Panthers.
Just under a half-hour later, the Panthers would pad their lead, as Pitt forward Alexander Dexter, who had three shots in the game and put each one on target, finally broke through and scored, thanks in part to an assist from Pitt midfielder Veljko Petkovic, to give Pitt a 2-0 advantage with a little less than 15 minutes left to play.
But while the Pitt offense produced some material for the highlight reel, the Pitt defense clamped down on the Irish all night long, allowing the visitors from South Bend to record just three shots in 90 minutes. That total included just one in the second half, and the Panthers’ efforts saw them outshoot the Fighting Irish 12-3 on Saturday night.
With the win, Pitt improved to 12-2 on the season and moved into first place in the ACC Coastal. And should the Panthers win their final game of the season, they will lock up the Coastal and could get a shot at Clemson in the ACC final. But first, Pitt will have to face Virginia in its regular-season finale at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday night.