The No. 20 Pitt women’s soccer team hosted No. 6 TCU at Ambrose Urbanic Field for a top-25 matchup on Sunday, but the Panthers were not up to the task of taking down the Horned Frogs and were shut out 1-0 at home.
TCU looked to be the stronger side early on, as the team was able to maintain possession for extended periods. And when the Horned Frogs found themselves on the defensive, they pressured Pitt's midfielders and forwards, refusing to allow them to get into their usual rhythm. However, the Panthers began to look more like themselves late in the first half, when Ellie Coffield put three shots on goal.
Pitt's late push was enough to give the first half the appearance of a stalemate on paper, as both teams were even in terms of shots and corner kicks, with eight and three each. In fact, if either of the teams had an edge, it was Pitt, which put half of its shots on goal and was whistled for seven fouls to TCU’s eight.
However, the second half belonged to the Horned Frogs, and they made that known less than a minute into the final frame, as TCU midfielder Michelle Slater scored 58 seconds after play resumed. The goal went unanswered by the Panthers, who were also outshot 12-6 and drew no corner kicks in the final 45.
Notably absent on Sunday was Pitt star Amanda West, the team’s leading scorer who was in the midst of a five-game scoring streak ahead of the top-25 matchup. West was left out of the starting lineup due to an injury and is now considered day-to-day. Prior to Sunday, she had never missed a game in her career.
The loss put a damper on what had been a hot start to the season for Pitt. Prior to Sunday, the Panthers were 5-0, and that record included a win over then-No. 16 Oklahoma State as well as shutout victories over Cleveland State, NJIT, St. Joseph’s and Tulsa. Pitt now sits at 5-1.
Given the close outcome and the other convincing wins Pitt has already recorded, the team could feasibly remain in the national rankings despite the loss. However, there is, of course, a significant chance Pitt could be unranked once more when the updated United Soccer Coaches poll is released on Tuesday.
With that said, Pitt will have a few chances to turn the page and get back on track, as the team is set to face St. Francis and Towson before starting conference play against No. 15 Clemson on Sept. 16. The St. Francis game will take place at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.