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Five Pitt men’s soccer players named to All-Region Team

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

The honors keep coming for the Pitt men’s soccer program.

On Wednesday, a program record five Pitt men’s soccer players were named to the men’s United Soccer Coaches South All-Region (South) Team.

Highlighting the awardees are graduate students Nico CampuzanoJasper Löeffelsend and sophomore Valentin Noel, who all were named to the First Team. Sophomore Veljko Petkovic was named to the Second Team, while junior Jackson Walti earned Third Team recognition.

Link: United Soccer Coaches 2020-21 All-Region Teams (Men’s Soccer) 

The five All-Region honorees is the most in a single season for Pitt, who have combined for seven players on the All-Region team since 1989. Campuzano, Loeffelsend and Noel become the first ‘First Team’ players in school history.

Campuzano has started every game for Pitt this season, compiling a 16-3 record and breaking the single-season school record for wins with his 15th against No. 18 UCF in the NCAA Third Round. Campuzano has registered five clean sheets this season, including back-to-back shutouts against UCF and Washington in the NCAA Tournament.

Campuzano saved a career-high 10 shots against UCF Thursday, May 6. He has registered 65 saves and a .747 save percentage on the year, both good for third in the country. Campuzano has registered nine games with four or more saves. Campuzano was named All-ACC First Team last month.

Löeffelsend has emerged as one of the best passers in the country, tallying nine assists (4th in nation) and a .50 assists per game mark (29th in nation). The Cologne, Germany, native has two assists in the NCAA Tournament and most recently set up Noel for the eventual game-winning goal in Pitt’s 3-0 shutout of Washington in the quarterfinal. Löeffelsend was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist.

Noel is among the nation’s leaders in multiple offensive categories, including total goals (14 – 2nd in nation), total points (30 – 4th in nation) and goals per game (0.78 – 9th in nation). The Niort, France, native has scored a goal in each NCAA Tournament match the Panthers have played in this spring and scored the first of three against Washington in the 52nd minute Monday in the quarterfinal round.

Noel was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, All-ACC First Team and a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. Noel broke a school record during the fall campaign, scoring a goal in six consecutive contests from Oct. 10 to Nov. 22.

Petkovic has had a stellar NCAA Tournament this spring, scoring three goals, including two in Pitt’s shutout of UCF. Petkovic’s first goal against the Knights came 23 seconds into the game, breaking a school record for fastest goal scored.

The Nis, Serbia, product is eighth in the country in goals (9) and is seventh in the nation in shot accuracy (.667). He also has eight assists (7th in nation) and 26 points (5th in nation) for the year. Petkovic has totaled three multi goal games this season. He was named to the All-ACC Second Team and to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list.

Walti has been a catalyst in the midfield for the Panthers, logging every minute in Pitt’s 2020-21 campaign. The Vevey, Switzerland, native has one goal and two assists on the season, with his goal coming against Duke in the ACC Championship Quarterfinal. Walti was named All-ACC Second Team.

No. 2 Pitt faces No. 3 Indiana Friday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. in the NCAA College Cup. Live coverage can be found on ESPNU.

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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