The Eagles went back and forth with Pittsburgh Thursday night clinging to a slim shot at a ACC playoff berth. Needing a loss or draw from Clemson and Louisville, as well as a win of their own, the Eagles needed a lot to go their way. Coming off a 4-game losing streak against some of the top teams in the conference, the Eagles looked much more at home against the Panthers. Jenna Bike was able to score the early goal to put the Eagles up 1-0 with the Sam Coffey assist. The Panthers evened the score shortly after with a strong counterattack that beat the BC defenders. Berman was ready on a shot deflection from Vaughn to put one in and send BC into half time up 2-1.
BC was able to control the possession early in the second half and got some good looks with a few blocked shots and a pair of Carly Leipzig breakaways whistled for offside calls. As the half wore on, the out of town scores were looking up for the Eagles, with Louisville and Clemson going back and forth in their own games but never taking the lead. The Panthers, however, refused to go away. Perhaps sparked by the hard hit to Berman’s back that resulted in a pair of Panther yellow cards, they upped the intensity and were able to threaten on offense. Alexis Bryant made an impressive save with 8 minutes to play coming up to the top of the box to challenge a breakaway Panther. With only 6 minutes to play, Pitt shocked the Eagles defense with a long range shot that soared over Bryant’s fingertips and into the BC net. Leipzig and Jennings both ripped off shots as the clock wound down but Pitt did a good job of controlling possession off the deflections and limited the Eagles’ chances.
Alexis Bryant came up big in sudden death overtime saving goals in the 1st and 7th minutes with the season on the line. The Eagles offense was unable to capitalize on a Sam Coffey free kick, and Leipzig missed a shot just over the crossbar in the 8th minute. Panthers’ goalie Pena saved a Lauren Berman shot with 30 seconds remaining and sent the game to the second overtime period.
Freshman Gianna Mitchell was the hero as the Eagles finally capitalized on a corner kick with a header goal in the opening minute of the 2nd overtime. There was some scoreboard watching left to be done as Clemson was in their own overtime battle. That game ended in a draw a few minutes later and the Eagles secured the 8th seed spot for the ACC playoffs after a thriller in Pittsburgh. Tournament play will open on Sunday afternoon.