Pitt was looking for its first ACC win, but they got overwhelmed by powerhouse No. 14 Virginia, 17-7, on Friday afternoon at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. Pitt is now 4-5 in its inaugural season and 0-4 in conference play.
Ashlyn McGovern led Virginia with seven goals on 13 shots. Rachel Clark also had a standout performance, as the freshman scored four goal and two assists.
Despite letting in 17 goals, Pitt goalie Paulina DiFatta made seven saves on 40 shots. Virginia dominated possession throughout the game and Pitt’s defense didn’t give DiFatta much help. Overall, it was an impressive game by DiFatta. Pitt had just 18 shots on goal.
Pitt scored the first goal of the game after a long possession, Virginia answered with a goal of its own a few minutes later. McGovern buried one into the back of the net to put Virginia up 2-1 with 7:47 remaining in the first quarter. Kate Miller followed with a goal to enhance the Cavaliers’ lead to 3-1.
After a save by DiFatta on a fast-break opportunity by Maggie Bostain, McGovern picked up the rebound and ripped a shot into the back of the net to put Virginia up 4-1. The goal gave McGovern an early hat rick and her 21st goal of the season. On the following possession, Pitt found a seam and Kierin Ratliff-Kailbourne buried it for a score and cut Virginia’s lead to 4-2.
On a free position shot, Clark scored on a slower roller that barely got passed DiFatta. The score put Virginia up 5-3 with 12:41 remaining in the second quarter.
McGovern scored her fourth goal after a give-and-go from Clark to take an 8-4 lead with 9:40 left. Virginia continued to control the rest of the quarter and went into halftime with an 11-5 lead. Pitt played Virginia tough in the first quarter, but things just unraveled for the Panthers in the second quarter.
Virginia struck first in the second half, as Clark scored on a nifty move to increase Virginia’s lead to 12-5. It was the 33rd goal of the season for Clark, who is just a freshman. A few minutes later, Clark scored once again on a fast break to put the Cavaliers up by eight.
On a give-and-go, Carlie Leach cut to the net and ripped one into the back of the net to cut Virginia’s lead to 13-6 with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Pitt’s next game is on Monday, March 21, against Niagara at Highmark Stadium. The start time for the game is at 5 p.m.