Bradford, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's soccer team lost a one goal lead in the final minutes against top ranked Medaille on Tuesday afternoon. The Panthers were leading up until the 87th minute when the Mavericks scored to tie the game and then put in the game winner in the final minute of play.
The Panthers got off to a fast start against the 8-0-1 Mavericks as they were able to get on the board within the first 5 minutes of play. T.J. Magro slipped a throughball behind the defense from midfield to find Spencer Sklar streaking towards goal. Sklar controlled the pass and beat the keeper with a low shot into the corner of the net to put the Panthers up 1. The lead would not last long as Medaille responded just over two mnutes later. They played an excellent give and go to get behind the defense and finish past the keeper. The Mavericks controlled the majority of the possession for the remainder of the half, outshooting Pitt-Bradford 12-3 in the period. They were wasteful with their chances however, as they only forced Sihle Sizani into making 2 more saves in the half.
Medaille looked to take the lead a minute after the restart, as they were able to draw a penalty kick after a hand ball in the box. Facing the AMCC's top scorer, Mitchell Ali, Sizani guessed correctly and was able to block the spot kick to keep the game tied at 1. Sizani kept the game tied throughout the first half hour of the second half, making 6 more saves on strong scoring chances, and clearing many more crosses and corner kicks. His strong work in goal paid off in the 77th minute. Coming off of a Pitt-Bradford free kick from the right flank, the Medaille defense was unable to control the ball as Chase Rider headed it towards the net. The ball was cleared off the line and into a scramble, bouncing off of a Medaille player and into the net for an own goal to restore the Panthers lead. Pitt-Bradford continued to resist the medaille attack until the 88th minute of play when a medaille defender was fouled by an onrushing Sizani as he chipped a ball over the keepers head. The Mavericks were able to convert the resulting penalty kick to tie the score. In the final minute, the Mavericks took advantage of a Panther turnover in the defensive third, playing a throughball behind the defense immeadiately after taking possession, where Jack Napier slid home a game winning shot with 30 seconds to play.
Sizani made 9 saves in the game, the second most hes made this season. Rider led the Panthers with 2 shots, 1 on goal, and Sklar converted his only opportunity of the game.
The loss moves the Panthers to 9-8 on the season with a 5-5 record in AMCC play. They finish the season in a tie for 5th in the conference with LaRoche, however due to their head to head loss to the Redhawks, enter the playoffs as the 6th seed. They will play their first post season game since 2011 on Saturday. They travel back to Cresson, Pa. to take on the 3rd seeded Mount Aloysius Mounties. Earlier this year, the Panthers lost a close game to the Mounties, falling 4-3 on the road. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 PM.