No. 7 Pitt opens the 2022 campaign on Thursday against No. 2 Georgetown

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PITTSBURGH- After their second consecutive Elite Eight appearance, the No. 7 Pitt Men’s Soccer Team opens its 2022 campaign on Thursday night against No. 2 Georgetown at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The first kick is set for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra with Kevin Wheeler and David Day on the call.

Thursday’s top 10 game will be Game 2 of a doubleheader at the Panthers’ home court as the Pitt Women host UMass at 5:00 p.m. in their home opener.



NEWS AND NOTES

  • August 25 marks the official first day of the NCAA men’s college football season.
  • The game between No. 7 Pitt and No. 2 Georgetown will be the only top-10 game in college men’s football’s opening week.
  • Pitt returns 12 players, including seven starters, from last season’s Elite Eight team which posted a 13-5-2 overall record. The Panthers are also returning their top four scorers from a team that posted program records in points (167) and assists (63).

FOLLOW

  • Thursday night’s contest will be live on ACC Network Extra and can be found online HERE.
  • Live stats from Thursday’s match are available HERE.

THE SERIES – GEORGETOWN

  • This is the 29th all-time meeting between the two teams, the first since 2019, with Georgetown holding a 22-6-0 advantage over the Panthers.
  • The Hoyas have won seven straight in the series with Pitt last winning in 2006 at home.
  • Vidovich is 0-1-0 against Georgetown in his coaching career, falling to the Hoyas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

DISCOVERING THE HOYAS

  • Georgetown enters its season opener ranked No. 2 in the United Soccer Coaches pre-season poll.
  • The Hoyas are coming off a successful 2021 campaign that saw them post an 18-3-1 record as they qualified for the College Cup. They fell 2-1 to Washington in the national semifinal in Cary, North Carolina.
  • The 2022 version of the Hoyas will be very different as they will only return four starters from last season’s squad. Georgetown will look to replace Dante Polvara who won the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy for the Hoyas after scoring seven goals, six assists and 20 points in 22 games.
  • Georgetown is firing two All-Big East performers from a season ago, defenseman Daniel Wu and defenseman Kenny Nielsen. Wu was recently named Big East Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Best XI Third Team.

2021 CAMPAIGN RECAP

  • The Panthers made history again in 2021 by advancing to their second straight Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
  • Pitt finished the season with a 13-5-2 overall record and an ACC record of 5-2-1. The Panthers fell to Notre Dame in the ACC Semifinals, 2-0, but still earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Panthers had nine players who earned All-ACC honors after the 2021 season. Graduate student Jasper Löeffelsend was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season while Jay Vidovitch was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and the seventh time in his coaching career.
  • Jasper Löeffelsend became the first player in program history to win All-America honors twice in his career by earning United Soccer Coaches’ Second Team honors after a strong campaign. Löeffelsend and valentine christmas also earned All-South Region first-team honors, the first time Pitt had multiple first-team recipients.
  • Pitt has been ranked every week during the 2021 campaign as they have achieved a national ranking in 32 straight weeks since 2020.

PITT CHOSEN AS COASTAL FAVORITES

  • The Panthers were chosen by ACC coaches to finish first in the Coast Division in the ACC Coaches’ Preseason Poll for the second consecutive season.
  • Pitt garnered six votes for first place in the Coastal Division, a division they won in consecutive seasons.
  • JThe Panthers also got two votes to win the ACC overall title.

PRESEASON REWARDS

  • The binomial of jackson walti and valentine christmas were named to the United Soccer Coaches midfielder watch list at the start of August. The list consisted of 26 players, with Pitt and Campbell being the only two schools to have multiple winners.
  • Walti has also received preseason praise from ACC coaches as he was named to the 2022 ACC Preseason Watch List. He was one of 12 members on the list.
  • Noel was also named to College Soccer News’ preseason All-America Third Team roster, marking his second straight season earning a spot on the preseason roster.
  • The Panthers had three players who earned TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Best XI Team recognition. Bertin Jacquesson (before) and Philip Mirkovic (midfielder) won first-team honors while valentine christmas (Forward) earned recognition from the second team.

DYNAMIC DUO

  • The midfield combination valentine christmas and forward Bertin Jacquesson has been deadly for the Panthers over the past two seasons.
  • The two Frenchmen have combined to score 32 goals for Pitt over the past two seasons. The 32 goals are the most by a returning duo in the ACC in the past two seasons.
  • Jacquesson was the Panthers’ leading scorer last season as he scored seven goals, 11 assists and 25 points on 43 shots. His 11 assists are tied for the most in a season in program history.
  • Noel capped off his third season as a Panther with seven goals, five assists and 19 points on a team-high 44 shots.
  • Noel is currently tied for fifth in goals (24) and eighth in points (58) in program history.
  • Jacquesson is currently tied for third in program history with 18 career assists in his junior campaign.

ADVANTAGE OF HOME GRASS

  • The Panthers have been one of the best teams in the nation on home turf the past three seasons, going 22-3-1 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
  • Pitt held a 19-game winning streak at home from October 7, 2019 to November 10, 2021, which at the time was the longest streak in the ACC and the second-longest unbeaten streak in the nation.
  • The head coach Jay Vidovitch is 30-16-3 at home in six seasons at Pitt.
  • Since the start of the 2019 season, Pitt has outscored opponents 84-28 at home, including a 43-12 advantage last season.

ACC Home Win % Last 3 Seasons
1. Pitt 24-3-1.875

2. Clemson 30-3-4 .865
3. Wake Forest 30-5-3 .829
4. BC 14-2-5 .786
5. Virginia 26-7-3 .764

FRESH FACES

  • The Panthers will welcome 15 newcomers to the team for the 2022 campaign, including nine freshmen, two sophomores and four graduate transfers.
  • The four graduate transfers for the upcoming season have all had outstanding careers at their previous schools.
  • Defender Yanis Leerman (UCF) was taken in the 4th round of the MLS SuperDraft but decided to transfer to Pitt after starting 17 games and earning All-AAC second-team honors last season.
  • Defender Henrique Gallina (USF) appeared in 12 games and led the Bulls with five goals, three assists and 13 points to go along with 39 shots. An AAC All-Rookie selection, Gallina played 50 games in South Florida before being traded.
  • Midfielder Ideal Shefqeti (FDU) started in 17 games for the Knights last season and had two goals, three assists and seven points on 21 shots. Selected by the NEC All-Rookie team in 2018, Shefqeti recorded 61 starts and had 24 points at Fairleigh Dickinson.
  • Forward Josh Luchini (Lehigh) comes to Pitt after posting five goals, five assists and 15 points on 40 shots last season while earning second-team All-Patriot League honors. Luchini is a two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and earned All-America Third Team honors in 2019 after registering a league-high 11 goals, two assists and 24 points. He started 57 games during his college career.
  • The new arrivals are complemented by a pair of sophomores, Mateo Maillefaud (France) and Mathys Lefebvre (France), and nine first-year students, Cabral Carter (Los Angeles, CA), Jackson Gilman (Schwwenksville, Pennsylvania), Leonard Andrade (Brazil), Noah Room (Cincinnati, Ohio), Abraham Brown (Los Angeles, CA), Mateo Stoka (Weston, Florida), Djavid Abdullatif (Germany), Eben McIntyre (Charleroi, Pennsylvania) and Killian Vallant (Austria).

NEXT

  • Panthers return to action Monday night at home as they host No. 6 West Virginia for 51st Backyard Brawl men’s football edition. The first kick is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on the ACC network.
  • Monday’s game will be the second consecutive top-10 opponent the Panthers will face to open their 2022 season.
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