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ND Men’s Soccer

No. 5 Notre Dame loses to No. 4 Pitt in non-conference matchup

| Monday, September 28, 2020

The No. 5 Notre Dame men’s soccer team competed against the No. 4 Pitt Panthers on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. This was the team’s last non-conference game before starting ACC play. The Panthers are in the ACC, but this game did not count for conference standings. The Irish lost the game 3-1, bringing their record to 1-1.

Pitt came out of the gate ready to play. The first goal was scored by Alexander Dexter in the 11th minute, to put the Panthers up 0-1. A great deal of the pressure applied by the Panthers was felt by Irish senior goalkeeper Keagan McLaughlin. Pitt had six shots and three corners in the first half alone.

Observer File Photo

Irish senior midfielder Aiden McFadden leaps to try to head the ball during Notre Dame’s 4-2 win over Seattle on Sept. 6, 2019, at Alumni Stadium. McFadden got an assist off a corner kick in Saturday’s win.

Despite the powerful Pitt offense, the Irish were able to level the score before the end of the first half. Sophomore midfielder Michael Pellegrino netted one for the Irish in the 32nd minute, a big momentum shifter heading into the second half. The assist came from senior midfielder Aiden McFadden off a corner, the second Irish goal from a corner in as many games. Pellegrino’s goal was the second of the season for the Irish and the second of his career.

Things did not quite go Notre Dame’s way in the second half. In the 55th minute, a Panther cross bounced around in the Irish box and deflected off of two defenders before going into the goal. With this own goal, the score was now 2-1 in Pitt’s favor. The Irish got two shots off in the next 15 minutes, but they were unable to convert.

The Irish trailed by one until the 73rd minute, when Pitt’s Bertin Jacquesson converted for the Panthers’ third goal of the game. This was the nail in the coffin for the Irish. After this point, the Irish struggled to show offensive force.

The referee handed out a pair of yellow cards late, in the 82nd minute. Irish junior midfielder Mohamed Omar was the recipient of one of the yellow cards on Notre Dame’s side, and Filip Mirkovic was the Panther receiving the card.

Of notable regard was that the visiting Panthers team only played with one substitute and, they only subbed him on in the 89th minute.

This game was much needed test for the Irish before heading into the main part of the season, shortened this year to just six conference games.

The Notre Dame men will be traveling to Kentucky to face off against Louisville on Friday. This will be the team’s first away game of the season. Kickoff against the Cardinals is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Irish will face the Panthers again on Oct. 30, this time in conference play.

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