CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Pittsburgh (8-10) advanced to the quarterfinal round of the ACC Championship with a 2-0 win over sixth-seeded Virginia on Wednesday night (Oct. 31) at Klöckner Stadium. The Panthers used two second-half goals to propel them to their first ever ACC Tournament victory.
Pittsburgh’s Edward Kizza, the ACC’s top scorer, was credited with both Panther goals, his 14th and 15th of the season. Kizza broke the scoreless tied in the 62nd minute when he beat Virginia goalkeeper Colin Shutler to the near post. A little over 17 minutes later, Kizza gave Pittsburgh a two-goal advantage when he punched in a rebound from close range off an Alexander Dexter shot.
“We picked a poor time to not play well,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “Pitt is a good team and we knew that, they clearly showed up to play and we didn’t. We’ll take a good hard look at this one, we’ll learn from it and we’ll have plenty of time to heal, reflect and get better.”
Virginia was not without opportunities in the contest, outshooting Pittsburgh 9-8 with two chances on ending up on target. In the opening minutes, Irakoze Donasiyano (Roanoke, Va.) had his close range shot plunge into the chest of Panther goalkeeper Johan Penaranda. The Cavaliers produced five of the game’s first seven shots.
Donasiyano was also the recipient of a brilliant header by Daryl Dike (Edmond, Okla.) in the midfield that created a 1v1 opportunity in the 52nd minute. Donasiyano’s chip attempt over a charging Penaranda went just wide. Penaranda finished the night with two saves and recorded his third shutout of the year.
The Panthers went on to create six shots over the final 45 minutes, compared to four from the Cavaliers.
Pittsburgh advances to play Duke in Durham, N.C. on Sunday (Nov. 4).
Additional Notes
• Playing its fifth, first-round contest in the ACC Tournament, Virginia suffered its first loss.
• The two goals by Pittsburgh were the first ever in ACC postseason play.
• The Panthers recorded their first victory over Virginia in eight previous meetings.
• Virginia, ranked fourth in both the NCAA RPI and the most recent NCAA selection committee rankings, will await its postseason fate during the NCAA selection show on Monday, Nov. 12.