The Pitt men’s soccer team, which held onto its No. 3 ranking despite a 2-1 loss to West Virginia on Monday, looked to bounce back from its disappointing trip to Morgantown when it returned to the field on Friday, and it succeeded to an extent, earning a narrow 2-1 win over Lehigh at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
For the second game in a row, the Panthers got off to a slow start offensively. However, they did not concede any early goals and only allowed the Mountain Hawks to get three shots off to their 10 in the first half. Pitt would hit paydirt with the last of those 10 shots, as Veljko Petkovic put the Panthers on the board with 34 seconds left in the half. The goal was a result of a Jasper Löeffelsend pass that found Petkovic in front of the goal. Petkovic then one- timed the pass to put Pitt up 1-0.
Half an hour into the second half, Pitt would double its lead, as Rodrigo Almeida scored for the second time this season. That goal was also set up by Löeffelsend, who capped off a fast break by sending a pass over to Almeida, who then booted a ball past Lehigh goalkeeper Noah Sutherland from more than 20 yards out.
It seemed for a while that Pitt would ride out the last few minutes and secure a 2-0 shutout, but Veljko Petkovic’s brother Bratislav Petkovic, a forward for Lehigh, snuck a shot past Nico Campuzano to put the Mountain Hawks on the board in the 86th minute. The goal was Lehigh’s first of the season, as the team was shut out by Manhattan and Vermont previously. With that said, Lehigh’s comeback attempt would fall short, and Pitt would win 2-1.
The win got Pitt back on the right track and improved the team’s record to 2-1. But the slow start by the offense and the late concession of a goal to a team of Lehigh’s caliber were both concerning. But whatever issues Pitt is dealing with will need to be sorted out fast, as the team is set to face No. 19 Akron on Monday. That top-25 matchup will kick off from First Energy Stadium in Akron, Ohio, at 7.p.m. ET.