The men’s soccer team’s tournament chances took another hit as the Pittsburgh Panthers beat the Hall 3-2.
The Pirates fell behind early after a goal by Pittsburgh senior Alex Betancourt in the 17th minute. The Hall caught a break and tied the game at one after an own goal.
Right before the half, the Panthers beat senior Paul McHenry for the second time with a goal from sophomore Ryan Brode, making the halftime score 2-1.
Junior Dritan Sela tied the game at 2-2 in the 81st minute, beating the Panthers goalkeeper.
The Hall would not be able to hold on late and allowed an 88th minute goal from senior Chris Wilcox giving Pittsburgh the 3-2 win over the Hall.
The loss all but eliminates the Pirates from the Big East Tournament with only one game remaining and being behind three points in the standings to the Marquette Golden Eagles, who only need one point in their final two games to eliminate the Pirates from the Big East Tournament.
On Sunday, the men’s soccer team gave up two second half goals as the tenth ranked Connecticut Huskies.
The game started with both teams playing evenly with each side getting equal chances to score.
“We wanted to get an early goal,” junior Tony Dominguez said. “Try to take control of the game and take it from there.”
In the 26th minute though, a throw-in by Connecticut near the goal was deflected by a Pirate defender and rolled past McHenry for an own goal giving the Huskies the 1-0 lead.
After the goal, the Huskies continued to pressure the Pirate defense with McHenry keeping the game close by recording three saves in the first half.
The Hall responded by making a run of their own against Connecticut, later on in the half.
In the 33rd minute, junior Mike Dietze took a shot from inside the box that Huskies junior goalkeeper Josh Ford made a diving save to stop.
In the 38th minute, the Pirates tied the match at one after a pass from Sela to junior Andrew Welker split the defenders leaving Welker one on one with the goalie, where he sneaked the ball by on the left side of the goalie.
The goal was the first score that the Huskies had given up in their previous eight games.
The score would remain even until half time with the Hall holding a slight edge in shots, 5-4.
“It was a good half,” Dominguez said. “We were tied in possession, but just came out okay.”
In the second half, the Huskies started off controling possession, forcing McHenry to make a diving save in the 48th minute after a shot from senior Toni Stahl.
The Huskies retook the lead in the 55th minute when a shot from sophomore Tony Cascio beat McHenry on the right side after a pass from freshman Stephane Diop to go up 2-1.
Just five minutes later, Connecticut increased their lead to two goals after Cascio put another shot past McHenry.
“(Cascio) finished off two good chances,” head coach Manny Schellscheidt said. “It was an individual effort from a good team.”
With the two goal deficit, the Pirates kept the pressure on the Huskies by taking 13 shots in the second half but were unsuccessful in putting the ball in the Connecticut net.
Ford came up with two saves for the Huskies to preserve the lead in the second half.
The Hall had one last chance in the final minute of play when Welker snuck past the Huskies defense again, but he was called offsides as he put the ball in the net.
The Pirates host West Virginia on Saturday night.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.