A little senior night magic came with five seconds left in regulation, when the UVA men's soccer team scored on a free kick to tie the game at 2-2 and rob the No. 10 Pittsburgh Panthers of a victory at the final moment.
Pittsburgh (8-4-1, 4-2-1 ACC) was going to be tough competition for Virginia (5-7-3, 2-4-1 ACC) on senior night. Seniors Oliver Gerbig, Cabrel Happi Kamseu, and Daniel Wright were honored before the game.
The odds were not in their favor, but the Hoos came in on a two-game win streak against ACC opponents.
Early in the game, UVA goalie Holden Brown made two lunging saves on shot attempts from Guilherme Feitosa and Valentin Noel to keep the game scoreless. Brown had eight total saves in the contest, and Pitt goalie Nico Campuzano had six.
In the 35th minute, Valentin Noel found the back of the net to give the Panthers the lead. Noel scored off assists from Matt Bailey and Bertin Jacquesson.
Valentin Noel struck again at the end of the first half with an unassisted goal to double his team’s lead and register his fourth multi-goal game of his career. At halftime, Pitt led 2-0.
The second half was a thriller as UVA fought to come back from the deficit. In the 54th minute, the UVA offense forced a handball in the box, setting up a penalty kick. Leo Afonso pushed the ball to the bottom left corner of the goal, just past the outstretched hands of Campuzano.
Holden Brown registered two more saves in the 74th minute to keep the score at 2-1. The two teams turned up their aggressiveness in the second half, with UVA taking nine shots and Pitt taking eight.
Two key moments occurred last in the second half to give Virginia a chance for an equalizer. In the 88th minute, Pitt’s Mohammad Abualnadi received his second yellow card to force Pitt to play a man down. Then, with five seconds left in regulation, Jasper Löeffelsend got a yellow card with five seconds to give the Hoos a corner kick.
As UVA’s Paul Wiese sent up an arcing corner kick, the teams gathered to fight for control. Will Citron was able to head the ball perfectly in the top left corner with 2.2 seconds to go, and then both the UVA team and the fans at Klockner Stadium erupted.
In overtime, Pitt continued to play with a man down, but UVA was unable to capitalize on this advantage. The Hoos got two shots off in the first overtime and four in the second ten minute period, but none found their mark.
With less than a minute in the second overtime, UVA’s Asparuh Slavov nearly scored the game winner, but Pitt goalie Nico Campuzano dove to save the ball. Time expired shortly after, and the Hoos walked away with the draw.
After honoring the seniors and playing a solid ACC game, the Hoos will take on Mary Washington at home on Monday night.