NOTRE DAME, Ind. — No. 5 Notre Dame fell to No. 4 Pitt in its final non-conference tuneup of the season on Saturday evening by a final score of 3-1 at Alumni Stadium.
Sophomore Michael Pellegrino scored the Notre Dame goal in the first half to level the score at 1-1 before the Panthers struck for two in the final 45 minutes to leave with the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Panthers wasted little time finding the opening goal, as Alexander Dexter poked home a cross from Bertin Jacquesson in the 11th minute to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage.
The Irish responded by leveling the scoreline in the 32nd minute. A corner from senior Aiden McFadden got headed out to the edge of the top of the box, where an onward running Michael Pellegrino put his laces through the half volley and powered the shot past the diving Pitt keeper to make the score 1-1.
Notre Dame came out of the second half on the front foot for the opening minutes but the Panthers retook the lead in the 55th minute. A cross from the Panthers deflected twice off Notre Dame defenders and into the goal to make the score 2-1.
The visitors extended their lead to two goals in the 73rd minute, as Jacquesson scored his first goal of the evening to give Pitt the 3-1 win.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish goal came off a corner, marking the second straight contest Notre Dame has scored directly from a corner kick. McFadden provided the service on both of the corner kick goals.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the performance…
“I am obviously disappointed in the result. I felt like we were just off tonight and sometimes when you feel like that you have to give credit to the opponent. I thought Pitt came out aggressive and played a good strong game that we never really got a grip in.”
On fighting back and tying the game in the first half…
“I was proud of the group. I feel like they regrouped after the opening goal rattled us a little bit. We responded well and got to 1-1 and I think we actually started the second half pretty well and then were unfortunate to give up that second goal. We couldn’t quite connect enough in the attack to create quality chances. I liked parts of the response but obviously it wasn’t good enough.”
On what his takeaways are from the two non-conference games…
“We learned a lot from both games. Obviously, you want to learn and win but at the same time I’m confident this group will have a good response and I know we will be a step better when we head into next week’s match at Louisville.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Sophomore Michael Pellegrino’s goal is the first of his season and second of his career.
- Freshman Daniel Russo earned the first start of his career on Saturday.
The Irish hit the road for the first time this season to take on Louisville at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 2. The match will be Notre Dame’s first of six regular-season ACC matches.
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