The Pitt women’s soccer team faced its first ranked opponent of the 2021 season on Sunday, as the Panthers took on No. 16 Oklahoma State at Neal Patterson Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The game would be a tight one, but Pitt would prevail in overtime, edging out the Cowgirls for a 3-2 win in the final of the Cowgirl Soccer Invitational.
Despite an aggressive approach from Oklahoma State that saw the hosts take a 4-0 lead in shots 20 minutes into the game, it was Pitt that opened up the scoring, when Emily Yaple gathered a pass from Chloe Minas at the top of the box and sent a shot past the hands of Oklahoma State goalkeeper Evie Vitali and into the back of the net to put Pitt up 1-0 in the 37th minute. The Panthers would close out the first half with that lead intact.
Oklahoma State would get on the board in the 48th minute, as Grace Yochum headed in a cross by Charmé Morgan to tie the game up at one goal apiece. Yochum would strike again two minutes later, when she put away a shot from the top of the box, tucking it just inside the right post to put the Cowgirls up 2-1.
The Panthers would respond less than 30 seconds after Yochum scored her second goal, as Amanda West headed in a well-placed cross by Landy Mertz in the 51st minute to knot the game up at 2-2. And thanks to a solid defensive effort and a few saves by Pitt goalkeeper Katherine Robinson, that score would go unchanged for the remainder of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Pitt would make quick work of Oklahoma State, as the Panthers advanced toward the Cowgirls goal with relative ease. And once they reached the Oklahoma State box, Athalie Palomo found Sarah Schupansky with a pass, which Schupansky tapped into the back of the net to secure a 3-2 road victory.
The goal was the first of Schupansky’s collegiate career, and it was the second game-winner by a WPIAL product in Pitt’s last two games, as Ellie Coffield netted the game-winner against Tulsa on Thursday.
As for the win, it snapped a 44-game losing streak against ranked opponents for Pitt that dated back to 2009, and it was the Panthers’ fourth victory against a ranked opponent in program history. And prior to the win, Pitt’s last victory over a ranked team was a 2-1 result against No. 19 Georgetown on Oct. 19, 2008.
With the win in the books, Pitt improves to 2-0 on the season and looks poised to put on an even stronger performance than it did last season, when the team went 11-5, now that West has several proven goal-scorers alongside her on the pitch. The team will open up its home slate on Thursday, when it hosts Cleveland State at Ambrose Urbanic Field.