BLACKSBURG, Va. – The location may have changed, but the result was the same on Friday night, as neither Pitt nor Virginia Tech scored in a tie for the second straight year.
The tie keeps the Panthers (3-7-4, 0-4-2 ACC) in contention for one of the final spots in the ACC Championship with two conference games left and snaps a four-game skid. Virginia Tech (7-5-1, 2-3-1 ACC) hasn’t won in its last three games after a five-game winning streak. The Hokies
Last year, the school’s played to a draw in Pittsburgh. But this time, the Panthers were the team that controlled the tempo and pace of play. For the 110-minute affair, Pitt outshot Virginia Tech 21-14 and held the advantage in corner kicks 17-6. The 17 corner kicks is two off the school record, which was set in the season opener against Presbyterian.
It was the second consecutive outing in which Pitt dominated the opposition in both shots and corner kicks. However, it failed to translate to goals on either occasion. The difference in tonight’s game, though, was the play of Lynd.
Lynd’s six saves were his third highest total of the season, while the clean sheet marked his fourth shutout on the year – a career-high and third most in a single-season since 2001. As a team, Pitt now has five shutouts, which is the most since the team recorded six shutouts in 2010.
In the final overtime, Virginia Tech turned up the pressure. However, Lynd was up for the test. He made two saves on shots from Niels Kirch less than a minute apart midway through the second extra session. With just under two minutes to go, Lynd made his sixth and final stop to preserve the shutout. The Hokies wouldn’t get another chance, but Pitt did as senior Michael Tuohy sent his shot wide of the net with seven seconds remaining.
Within the first 15 minutes of the game, Pitt had two shots on goal via headers off corner kicks, where the Panthers have been most dangerous this season. But Ben Lundgaard denied the attempt both times. Lynd made his only two stops in the opening half within a minute of each other midway through the half on a pair of shots from Som Essome. As the first half was winding down, freshman Hamish Law sent a corner into play and sophomore Stephane Pierre got a shot off with 10 seconds left, only to see his opportunity sail wide.
Pitt picked up right where it left off at the beginning of the second half, doing everything it could to direct the ball towards the goal. The first nine minutes saw Pitt get off four shots and receive a corner kick, but nothing materialized. In the final 10 minutes of regulation, the Panthers had four more corner kicks with two of those resulting in shots that went wide. With three minutes to go, Lynd had to make his only save of the half.
The first overtime was all Pitt’s as the visitors recorded the only two shots, placing both on goal. Lundgaard made a save on a shot from Law with 3:40 left and just over a minute later stopped a try by freshman Kevin Angulo.
In their final non-conference game, the Panthers host Big South opponent High Point on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Pitt is 2-0 against Big South teams in 2014 with win shutout wins over Presbyterian and Longwood.