Pitt’s men’s soccer team, under the guidance of sixth-year head coach Jay Vidovich, were tabbed as the preseason overall champion in the ACC Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll released today.
Junior midfielder Valentin Noel was named to the ACC Watch List. The Niort, France, native returns for his third year after a sophomore season that saw him notch United Soccer Coaches First Team All-America, CollegeSoccerNews First Team All-America, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy award. Noel finished second in the country in goals (14), third in points (30), 13th in goals per game (.74) and 23rd in points per game (1.58) in Pitt’s record-breaking 2020-21 campaign.
The Panthers received nine first-place votes in the Coastal Division, topping second-place and 2020 College Cup squad North Carolina, who earned three. Pitt won its first Coastal Division crown last season, finishing 9-1 in ACC play.
Pitt earned seven votes as the overall champion, while Clemson and North Carolina received three and two votes, respectively. The Panthers finished the 2020 fall campaign 7-1 and earned a trip to the ACC Championship Final for the first time in program history.
The Panthers were named the No. 3 team in the country via the United Soccer Coaches Pre-season Poll Aug. 4, the highest pre-season ranking in school history.
Pitt concludes its exhibition slate Saturday, Aug. 21 with a road contest at Maryland starting at 7:30 p.m. The Panthers open regular season play Thursday, Aug. 26 at home against Duquesne at 8 p.m. with coverage on the ACC Network.
2021 ACC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Pitt, 7 votes
North Carolina, 2
1. Clemson (9), 64
2. Wake Forest (2), 57
3. Louisville, 38
4. Boston College (1), 36
5. NC State, 27
6. Syracuse, 24
1. Pitt (9), 64
2. North Carolina (3), 58
3. Virginia Tech, 40
4. Virginia, 32
5. Duke, 28
6. Notre Dame, 24
First-place votes in parentheses
2021 ACC Preseason Watch List
Victor Souza, Jr., D, Boston College
Oskar Ågren, Jr., D, Clemson
Peter Stroud, So., M, Duke
Pedro Fonseca, Sr., F, Louisville
Alec Smir, Gr., GK, North Carolina
Leon Krapf, R-Sr., GK, NC State
Jack Lynn, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Valentin Noel, Jr., M, Pitt
Deandre Kerr, So., F, Syracuse
Andreas Ueland, Jr., D, Virginia
Sivert Haugli, Sr., D, Virginia Tech
Kyle Holcomb, Sr., F, Wake Forest