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COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: PSU, WVU, CMU women in top 20, Pitt men receive votes

Preseason has begun in earnest for most of the Division I soccer programs in our region.

In fact, the Robert Morris women played an exhibition match on Wednesday (4-1 loss to Bucknell) and Pitt and Duquesne women will do the same on Thursday.

WVU and Penn State women remain near top of rankings

No surprise here — as two familiar regional women’s soccer programs players from WPIAL will begin the season in a familiar place near the top of the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s Preseason Rankings.

Penn State, which won the National Championship in 2015, comes in ranked fourth while he five-time Big 12 champion West Virginia Mountaineers, the NCAA 2016 National Runner up, are the highest-ranked team in its conference. 

Defending National Champion Stanford claimed the No. 1 spot, while UCLA, the reigning National Runner-Up, ranks No. 2. Duke, Penn State and South Carolina round out the top five. North Carolina, Florida and Virginia also rank ahead of West Virginia, while Florida State completes the top 10.

Four Mountaineers Named Preseason All-Big 12

In all, four of the Mountaineers’ 2018 opponents are ranked in the poll: No. 4 Penn State, No. 15 Baylor, No. 17 Texas and No. 22 Georgetown.

Four Mountaineer players were named to the All-Preseason Big 12 team. Senior defenders Bianca St. Georges and Easther Mayi Kith, senior forward Sh’nia Gordon and junior goalkeeper Rylee Foster represented the Mountaineers on the preseason all-conference team. St. Georges was named an All-Big 12 First Team honoree in 2017, while Foster and Mayi Kith earned All-Big 12 Second Team distinction last season.

Pitt men receive votes

While Pitt’s men’s program, who started practicing on Tuesday, will be starting 2018 as a team that coaches across the nation are already keeping a close eye on — and have received some votes in the National preseason rankings.

If you recall, last year, in its turnaround season, Pitt cracked the top 25 at one point, but after three straight losses to end the season, they fell out of the national rankings and didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament.

the coaching staff and players still know there is work to be done in order to get to where they want to be.

“I just make sure that they understand what’s in front of them more than they have before,” said third-year head coach Jay Vidovich. “That they know what they’re working for, that they have a big project ahead of them, that the difference that they made in the last year was not enough and they’ve got some work to do. So, they’re coming in knowing what type of work they have to do and they’ve been pretty self-motivated.”

Look for more from Vidovich and a complete preview on Pitt’s season ahead next week.

CMU women crack NCAA Div III top 20 too

#8 Tartans Dominate #3 Hardin-Simmons But Come Up Short, 1-0, in NCAA Sectional Semifinal

Photo credit – NCAA/Carnegie Mellon University athletics

In addition to the other Division I programs in the area, the only soccer team inside the Pittsburgh area that has cracked the top 20 is Carnegie Mellon University’s women’s team.

The Tartans begin this season ranked 11th after a 15-3-2 campaign a season ago, bringing eight startersback to a team that lost a 1-0 in the NCAA Division III tournament to Hardin Simmons University in the final 16. The Tartans have reached the NCAA tournament six straight seasons, and have reached the final 16 four times.

Comprehensive Fall 2018 Pittsburgh soccer schedule

If you are looking for one place to see the day-to-day schedule for all of the Division I teams, along with the Riverhounds SC games thrown in, look no further.

We’ve set up a comprehensive schedule page here on Pittsburgh Soccer Now, with the complete schedule from now through early November.


Here’s the schedule for all of Pittsburgh area teams this coming week:

Sat 08/11/18 04:00:00 PM Duq W Kent State Kent, OH EXHIBITION
Sun 08/12/18 04:00:00 PM RIVERHOUNDS BETH STEEL FC Lehigh Valley, PA
Sun 08/12/18 07:00:00 PM Pitt men Duq M Ambrose Urbanic Field (Pitt) EXHIBITION
Sun 08/12/18 Pitt W Ohio State Columbus, Ohio EXHIBITION
Sun 08/12/18 03:00:00 PM RMU W Loyola (MD) Baltimore, MD EXHIBITION


More previews coming

This week we began with our College previews — with a look at the Robert Morris women.

RELATED: Robert Morris women look to take step forward; add four local recruits 

Coming up in the next week, Zac Weiss will provide a look at Duquense men and women, while I’ll be providing previews of Pitt men and women as well as Robert Morris men.








John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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