PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The No. 15 Pitt men's soccer team defended home turf as it defeated No. 4 North Carolina 4-0 Friday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
NEWS & NOTES
- The victory is the first over the Tar Heels in program history. Pitt entered the evening 0-8-0 all-time against North Carolina.
- Pitt begins ACC play 1-0 as both teams opened up conference action. The Panthers improve to 3-2 overall.
- Pitt extends its home winning streak to 13 games. Pitt avenged its last home loss, which came Oct. 4, 2019 against North Carolina.
- Senior Rodrigo Almeida scored twice for the first multi-goal game of his career. Almeida has four goals for the season, all of which have come at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
- Junior Veljko Petkovic scored his fourth goal of the season in the 12th minute. The midfielder also tallied his second multi-assist game of the season, assisting Almeida and junior Valentin Noel.
"I'm very excited after tonight's performance," said head coach Jay Vidovich. "This being the first win in program history over North Carolina and it was a dream to see a crowd like this and have a twelfth man get involved and help us. That type of atmosphere is fantastic for college soccer."
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North Carolina (3-1-1) pressured the Panther back line early, registering four shots in the first seven minutes of play. Pitt capitalized on its first shot attempt, as graduate student Sito Sena found classmate Jasper Löeffelsend with a long cross to the right corner. Löeffelsend made a quick move to his left past a defender and crossed it into the box to Petkovic, who volleyed it with his left foot to the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, Petkovic gathered a blocked shot by Noel, who then found Almeida 15 yards out. Almeida took the pass in stride and connected with his right foot for the second goal of the night.
The Panthers got on the board again in the 36th minute, as Noel fed a through ball to Almeida from 35 yards out, who chipped it over the goalies head for his second goal of the evening.
The Tar Heels led, 7-5, in shots while the Panthers held a 2-1 advantage in corners after 45 minutes.
Pitt scored its fourth goal just three minutes in to the second half. Petkovic served a long through ball down the left sideline for graduate student Alexander Dexter, who crossed it from left to right to Noel for the goal. The goal was Noel's second of the season, while Dexter climbed the career assist rankings with his 19th. He is second all-time in school history, seven behind Eric Prex's record of 26.
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The Panthers held North Carolina in check for the remaining 42 minutes. The Tar Heels ended the night with a 16-8 advantage in shots, while graduate Nico Campuzano tallied four saves for his 19th career win in goal for the Panthers.
"I am proud of our mentality tonight," said Vidovich. "They stepped up with consecutive goals and the guys that came on in the second half stepped up too. This is a huge win for our program."
Pitt is back in action Monday evening at Penn State. Kick-off begins at 7 p.m. with live coverage held on Fox Sports 1.