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Pitt is in! Panthers earn at-large bid to NCAA tournament, will host Lehigh in 1st Round on Thursday

Photo by Jared Todhunter

The long wait is finally over.

Pitt men’s soccer team earned its first bid to the NCAA men’s soccer tournament in 65 years on Monday during the tournament’s selection show.

The Panthers (9-6-2) will face Patriot League champions Lehigh University, led by former North Allegheny High School standout Josh Luchini on Thursday at Ambrose Urbanic Field at 7 p.m..

“I’m really happy for our guys because they’ve put in a lot of work,” said head coach Jay Vidovich. “I’m thankful for all of the people surrounding the program that have helped us get to this stage for all the support they’ve given our guys. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to have another practice session with meaning and have another meaningful game.”

Last week, we featured Lehigh’s Luchini — after he was honored by the Patriot League.

Luchini earns Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors at Lehigh

Overall, there were 10 ACC schools selected in the field of 48 teams, with three earning top four seeds (Virginia, Clemson and Wake Forest). The Panthers are 5-5-1 on the season against NCAA Tournament qualifiers including a 2-0 win over top-seeded Virginia (Oct. 18).

Georgetown, the third overall seed, will face the winner of the Pitt-Lehigh match on Sunday.  That game time has already been set for 12 Noon.

Other regional teams that made the tournament include West Virginia, who won the MAC tournament. The Mountaineers will face Butler on Thursday, while Penn State, the 15th overall seed, earned a first-round bye, and will take on the winner of Providence-NJIT on Sunday.

The 2019 NCAA DI men’s soccer championship, better known as ‘College Cup,’ is scheduled for Dec. 13 and 15 — hosted this year in ACC country, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

CHAMPIONSHIP INFO: View the 2019 bracket | Buy tickets | Broadcast schedule

Additionally, the top 16 teams will be seeded 1-16 and host the opening rounds of the tournament. In a mid-season look at a potential Top 16, Georgetown was No. 1. You can find the rest of those rankings here.

The 2019 NCAA tournament culminates at WakeMed Soccer Park for the 61st men’s soccer championship. Both semifinal matches take place at on Dec.13, first at 6 p.m. ET followed by an 8:30 p.m. kickoff.  The two semifinal winners will meet in the College Cup final at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15. All three games will be televised on ESPNU.

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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