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Pitt men’s soccer players garner recognition heading into Spring campaign

Pitt men’s soccer players garner recognition heading into Spring campaign

From University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department report

Following their success from the Fall season, five University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer players were named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 100 Preseason Watch List and DI Preseason Best XI Teams heading into the Spring.

The Men’s National Top 100 Preseason Watch List, which includes sophomores, juniors and seniors, includes the highest ranked college soccer players in the nation and is updated weekly. Two players were named in the top-15, with sophomores Valentin Noel at No. 8 and Veljko Petkovic No. 15. Graduate student Jasper Löeffelsend and sophomore Arturo Ordoñez came in at No. 50 and No. 71, respectively.

In addition to the Top 100 Preseason Watch List, Noel, Petkovic and freshman Filip Mirkovic were named to the men’s DI Preseason Best XI Teams, with Noel garnering First Team, Petkovic Second Team and Mirkovic Freshman Team.

Noel, a native of Niort, France, finished the 2020 fall campaign as one of the best goal scorers in the country, leading the Panther offense in goals, points, shots and shots on goal. Noel finished first in the country in goals per game (1.14) and tied for first in total goals (8). He also ended the fall in the top-five in multiple categories, including game-winning goals (T-2nd – 2), points per game (2nd – 2.57), shot accuracy (2nd – 7.00), shots on goal per game (2nd – 2.00) and total points (2nd – 18).

Petkovic, from Nis, Serbia, finished the fall second on the team in goals (5) and shots on goal (11) and tied for third in assists (3). His total goals and total points were tied for fourth in the nation, while his .38 assists per game finished tied for eighth. Petkovic had two multi-score games this season, with the latest coming in the ACC Championship Semifinal against Notre Dame Nov. 18.

Löeffelsend, a Frankfurt, Germany, native, recorded six assists and a 0.86 assists per game average in the fall, both good for second in the country. Löeffelsend tallied three assists in one match Oct. 10 vs. Virginia Tech, a number that is tied for second in school history for a single game.

Ordoñez finished the fall with one goal and two assists, the goal being a game-winner on the road in overtime at No. 5 Virginia Oct. 18. The Salou, Spain, native was recognized by the ACC Sept. 28, earning ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Mirkovic, from Belgrade, Serbia, tallied one goal and one assist at midfielder for the Panthers during the fall. Mirkovic registered five shots, two shots on goal and 631 minutes played.

Pitt hosts defending national champion Georgetown for an exhibition match Saturday, Feb. 13 at home at 3 p.m. No fans are allowed inside the Petersen Sports Complex at this time.

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).

Pittsburgh Division I College Soccer Schedule (Spring 2021)

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