As the students moved in and prepared for their classes, the Pitt athletes were already hard at work preparing for their season openers, which is highlighted by the Brawl in the backyard‘s 11-year break from football ends. However, the other Pitt sports had their fair share of competition to start the school year. That’s how they did it.
The Panthers (4-0-0, 0-0 ACC) started their season with a trip to Missoula, Montana for the Rumble in the Rockies. They defeated Gonzaga 1-0 on August 18 thanks to a 57th-minute goal from senior forward Amanda West. The stats were almost even in most categories – the Bulldogs easily overtook the Panthers 17-16 and doubled them on shots at 10-5. Despite the pressure, senior goalkeeper Caitlyn Lazzarini turned her head and stopped all 10 shots to keep the score 1-0 until the final whistle.
West scored again in the second game against host Montana, but this time the Panthers got insurance. Second midfielder Bri Hilsenteger scored the second goal in the 80th minute, while Pitt Lazzarini’s defense created a comparative break between the posts and allowed just three shots at the net – she saved all three. Pitt defeated the Grizzlies 2-0 en route to winning the Rumble.
West’s two-goal performance in the Rumble earned her ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors
Pitt traveled back to Steel City for his home game against UMass and dominated his opponent in every aspect of the game. Her 6:1 victory capped a game in which the Panthers had five times as many shots as the Minutemen (35-7) and six times as many shots on target (18-3).
The Panthers ended their weekend with one Victory against Cleveland State. They transacted business last year with a 5-0 shutout win at home, but they improved again this year with a 6-0 win away. West scored her fifth goal in four games, while freshman midfielder Fleming Dean hit back-to-back goals, her first two college tally. The Vikings, on the other hand, managed just one shot on goal over the entire 90 minutes.
Pitt will come back home to compete against Kent State On Wednesday. ACC Network Extra will broadcast the game at 7 p.m
The no. 8 Panthers drew an immediate challenge for their season opener – the 2019 national champion and runner-up Georgetown. A record 2,000 people watched the game at Ambrose Urbanic Field, which was the first on-campus sporting event for 2022-23.
The game started with Three goals in the first 10 minutes, including two goals in 30 seconds. Georgetown’s junior defender Kenny Nielson and Pitt’s junior forward Bertin Jacquesson both scored in the fifth minute, while senior midfielder Valentin Noel scored in the 11th minute.
The score stayed 2-1 for the rest of the game and Pitt prevailed despite the Hoyas having their chances in the final 45 minutes. Pitt’s senior goaltender Joe van der Sar saved all three shots on goal at halftime.
Pitt will host no. 6 West Virginia on Monday as a brawl starter for the big matchup on the soccer field later this week. The ACC Network will broadcast the game from 7 p.m
No. 6 Pitt kicked off the 2022 campaign with a trip to the College Station Invitational over the weekend, eight months after his heartbreaking loss in the national semifinals. The Panthers’ season opener was a ranked matchup with No. 25 San Diego last Friday, but they couldn’t get their bearings and lost three sets to two against the toreros.
Despite 16 kills from redshirt junior winger Valeria Vazquez Gomez, Pitt underperformed after the second set. In the third set, the team collected more errors (9) than kills (7). San Diego senior setter Grace Frohling led the game with 19 kills, and grad setter Gabby Blossom racked up a whopping 53 assists.
The Panthers rebounded with a sweep against Hawaii in the second game of the Invitational on Saturday. Vazquez Gomez led the match with 12 kills while winger Cam Ennis and sophomore setter Rachel Faribanks each racked up 16 assists. Pit too swept hosts Texas A&M on the last day of the Invitational on the back of Fairbanks’ 13 kills, 15 assists and 11 digs. Her triple-double was Pitt’s first since then-senior setter Azadeh Boroumand (11k, 35a, 12d) accomplished the feat against her Southeast state of Missouri in 2006.
For their next game, the Panthers will Travel to Provo, Utahon Friday for the BYU Invitational, facing off against River City rival Cincinnati.