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Pitt’s Vidovich, Löeffelsend, earn ACC postseason honors; Eight players named All-ACC

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

From ACC Conference and University of Pittsburgh report

Pitt’s men’s soccer team combined with Duke to take the five season awards as the 2021 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Team was released Wednesday following a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.

Duke sophomore forward Thorleifur Ulfarsson earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors, and Pitt graduate defender Jasper Löeffelsend was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Duke sophomore midfielder Peter Stroud was voted ACC Midfielder of the Year, while his teammate, midfielder Shakur Mohammed earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors.

Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich was named ACC Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

Pitt led all schools with eight All-ACC selections, including six of the 11 picks on the second team. Clemson had five picks, while Wake Forest picked up four honorees. Löeffelsend and Notre Dame junior forward Jack Lynn each were selected to the All-ACC First Team for the second straight season.

Ulfarsson is the first Duke player to win Offensive Player of the Year honors since Andrew Wenger in 2011. A native of Kopavogur, Iceland, Ulfarsson is tied for the ACC lead with 13 goals this season, despite playing just 12 games. He is second in total points with 27. Nine of his goals this season have come against ACC opponents, most of anyone in the league.

Löeffelsend is the first player to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year since Wake Forest’s Ike Opara in 2008-09. The native of Cologne, Germany, spearheads a stout Pitt defense from his right back position. He also has contributed two goals and eight assists this season. He is tied for the ACC lead in assists.

Löeffelsend, from Cologne, Germany, becomes the first back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year award winner since Wake Forest’s Ike Opara in 2008-09, a player coached by Vidovich. Löeffelsend enters tonight’s match eighth in the nation in assists per game (0.62) and tied for first in the ACC in total assists (8).

He has helped the Panthers become the number one assist team in the country as they lead the nation in total assists (51) and assists per game (3.19). He also scored his first career goal at home vs. UMass Oct. 25, netting two to help Pitt defeat the Minutemen 5-1. In just 28 career games played, the 2020 Second Team All-American is third all-time in career assists with 17.

Almeida is earning his first All-ACC honor as he has had a career year for the Panthers in 2021. The midfielder leads the team in goals (7), is third in assists (6) and leads the squad and is sixth in the ACC in total points with 20. The Salvador, Brazil, native’s highlights this season include two goals against No. 4 North Carolina, and three assists at home vs. UMass. He was named to CollegeSoccerNews’ Team of the Week Nov. 1.

Jacquesson has had one of the best second half’s of any player in the country, totaling 16 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in his last nine games. The forward is tied with Löeffelsend for the conference lead in total assists and has five goals to his name this year. The Lorrez-Le-Bocage, France, native is ninth in the ACC in points per game (1.12) and is fifth in shot accuracy (.543). The honor was his fourth overall, as he earned Freshman of the Year, All-ACC Second Team and All-ACC Freshman Team last season.

Noel garnered his fourth career ACC honor after a 2020-21 season that saw him earn ACC Offensive Player of the Year and named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy award. Noel is second on the team in goals with six and third in points (16). Noel has been on fire as of late, totaling nine points in his last four games, including two games with two goals. He scored both goals against Virginia Tech last Sunday in Pitt’s 2-1 double-overtime victory over Virginia Tech in the ACC Quarterfinal.

Ordoñez is earning his third All-Conference award as he received All-Freshman in 2019 and Third Team last season. A mainstay in the backline the past three seasons, Ordoñez has totaled three goals and one assist this season. The Salou, Spain, native has been a key factor into Pitt’s home winning streak as Pitt has outscored its opposition 34-8 during its 19-match run at home.

Petkovic, from Queens, N.Y., picked up where he left off from a 2020-21 campaign that saw him earn TopDrawerSoccer Player of the Year. He is earning his fourth career accolade, receiving All-Freshman and Third Team in 2019 followed by Second Team a season ago. In 10 games played, Petkovic has five goals and five assists on 23 shots for the year. His 15 points are fourth best on the team and his 58 career points currently rank eighth in the Panther record book.

From Vevey, Switzerland, Walti earns his second career honor after being named to the Second Team in 2020. A three-year captain of the midfield, Walti has two assists to his credit this season. The graduate student is second on the team in minutes played (1,482) and has logged nearly 6,000 minutes for his career.

In his second year in goal for the Panthers, Campuzano earns his second All-ACC accolade. The Cantabria, Spain, product has recorded 42 saves this year with five shutouts to his credit. Campuzano broke the single-season wins record a year ago (16) and is fourth all-time with 27 victories for Pitt. His 11 career shutouts is tied for sixth all-time, while his 3,350 minutes played already ranks third in school history.

Feitosa, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been one of the top freshman in the country’s toughest soccer conference, registering three goals and five assists. He recorded his first goal at home vs. Syracuse and followed that up with a goal against Cleveland State and three assists vs. Duke. Feitosa is the ninth player in program history to earn a spot on the All-Freshman team.

A native of Chester, New Jersey, Stroud has played in all 16 Duke matches, with 15 starts, and owns three goals and three assists this season from the Blue Devils’ central midfield.

Mohammed, a native of Kumasi, Ghana, has tallied three goals and six assists this season. His six assists are the most by a Duke freshman since Max Moser had seven in 2016. Mohammed also earned a spot on the All-ACC Second Team and is one of only two freshmen on the All-ACC Team this season, joining Louisville’s Sander Roed (third team).

Vidovich was named ACC Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career. He also was voted the league’s coach of the year five times during his tenure at Wake Forest (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009). Vidovich led the Panthers to a share of the ACC Coastal Division championship for the second straight season, and Pitt earned the No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship.

The 2021 ACC Championship continues Wednesday with the semifinal matches.

FINAL: Notre Dame 2, Pitt 0 (ACC Men’s Soccer Quarterfinal)

op-seeded Pitt entertains No. 5 seed Notre Dame at 5 p.m. in the first semifinal, while No. 2 seed Clemson plays host to No. 3 seed Duke at 7 p.m.. Both matches will be broadcast on ACC Network. The championship match is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. ESPNU has the broadcast.

The ACC has six teams among the top 25 in the NCAA’s latest RPI, twice as many as any other conference. Pitt, Clemson and Duke are Nos. 4, 5 and 6, respectively. Notre Dame is No. 14. North Carolina is No. 20 in the RPI, while Virginia Tech is No. 22.

2021 ACC Men’s Soccer Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Year – Thorleifur Ulfarsson, So., F, Duke
Defensive Player of the Year – Jasper Löeffelsend, Gr., D, Pitt
Midfielder of the Year – Peter Stroud, So., M, Duke
Freshman of the Year – Shakur Mohammed, M, Duke
Coach of the Year – Jay Vidovich, Pitt

2021 All-ACC Team

First Team
Oskar Ågren, Clemson
Peter Stroud, Duke
Thorleifur Ulfarsson, Duke
Aboubacar Camara, Louisville
Pedro Fonseca, Louisville
Alec Smir, North Carolina
Jack Lynn, Notre Dame
Jasper Löeffelsend, Pitt
DeAndre Kerr, Syracuse
Jacob Labovitz, Virginia Tech
Kyle Holcomb, Wake Forest

Second Team
Hamady Diop, Clemson
George Marks, Clemson
Ousmane Sylla, Clemson
Shakur Mohammed, Duke
Rodrigo Almeida, Pitt
Bertin Jacquesson, Pitt
Valentin Noel, Pitt
Arturo Ordoñez, Pitt
Veljko Petkovic, Pitt
Jackson Walti, Pitt
Leo Afonso, Virginia

Third Team
Victor Souza, Boston College
Quinn McNeil, Clemson
Sander Roed, Louisville
Joe Pickering, North Carolina
Filippo Zattarin, North Carolina
Philip Quinton, Notre Dame
Nico Campuzano, Pitt
Mayola Kinyua, Virginia Tech
Nico Benalcazar, Wake Forest
Omar Hernandez, Wake Forest
Jake Swallen, Wake Forest

All-Freshman Team
Aidan Farwell, Boston College
Ruben Mesalles, Duke
Shakur Mohammed, Duke
Sander Roed, Louisville
Ken Bellini, North Carolina
Tega Ikoba, North Carolina
Josh Ramsey, Notre Dame
Matthew Roou, Notre Dame
Guilherme Feitosa, Pitt
Curt Calov, Syracuse
Asparuh Slavov, Virginia
Danny Flores, Virginia Tech

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).

Glory on the Grass

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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