The No. 20 Pitt women’s soccer team bounced back from a tough loss to No. 6 TCU with a 7-0 pummelling of St. Francis at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday night. The win was the Panthers’ most lopsided of the season to date, and the seven-goal margin of victory was the largest Pitt ever posted at home.
Emily Harrigan got the ball rolling for Pitt with a brace early in the opening half. Harrigan’s first goal came in the 15th minute, when Hailey Davidson lofted a ball into the box and Sarah Schupansky headed it to Harrigan. Harrigan then placed a low shot beyond the reach of St. Francis goalkeeper Sarah McConnon. Harrigan’s second goal followed less than two minutes later, when she buried another shot low and to the left of McConnon.
In the 38th minute, Kate McKay would add another goal to put Pitt up 3-0. And three minutes later, Mackenzie Evers headed in the rebound from a Krystyna Rytel shot that ricocheted off the St. Francis crossbar to add another goal to the Panthers' total. At that point, Pitt led St. Francis 4-0, and the team would hold that lead at the halftime break.
The second half saw more of the same aggressive attacking from Pitt, and it paid off in under three minutes, when Emily Harrigan lofted a pass into the box that found Landy Mertz near the right post. Mertz then centered a pass in front of Sarah Schupansky that she tapped in to give Pitt a 5-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, the Panthers would get another goal, this time off the foot of Emily Yaple. Yaple received a pass from Anna Bout near the top of the box and decided to unleash a shot. The shot was deflected by a St. Francis defender, but it still slipped under the crossbar and into the goal to make the score 6-0.
Pitt’s final goal of the night was the result of a strong effort by Leah Pais. Pais weaved through four defenders to get into the box and put a shot on goal, and when she did, she did not miss. Her low shot was placed just beyond the reach of the goalkeeper and skittered into the back of the net to give the Panthers a 7-0 advantage they would not relinquish.
With the 7-0 win, Pitt improved to 6-1 on the season and justified the decision of voters to keep the team at No. 20 in the national rankings despite the recent loss to TCU. However, the game was not without its downside, as top scorer Amanda West was once again absent as a result of a recent injury. She has now missed two games after missing zero games in her first two seasons at Pitt.
Next up for Pitt is its final non-conference matchup of the season with Towson. The Tigers sit at 4-1-2 on the season and will enter the matchup on a three-game winning streak. However, they will face a major challenge in the Panthers, who have now shut out five of their first seven opponents and will look to enter ACC play with momentum on their side. Pitt and Towson will kick off from Ambrose Urbanic Field at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.