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Another Grind Awaits: Pitt men’s soccer releases 2022 schedule

Photo courtesy Ed Thompson

Apparently Pitt men’s soccer head coach Jay Vidovich believes to be the best, you have to beat the best.

The Pitt men’s soccer team announced the 2022 regular season schedule on Friday, revealing what is anticipated to be another schedule that features many top-level non-conference opponents in addition to the usual grind in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

NEWS & NOTES

  • The Panthers play a total of 17 games with 11 of them at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Pitt is 22-4-1 at home since 2019 and opens the 2022 regular season campaign versus Georgetown Thursday, Aug. 25th.
  • From the get-go, the Panthers play a stretch of three-straight games from Aug. 25th to Sept. 2nd against 2019 National Champion Georgetown and 2021 Elite Eight team West Virginia at home before heading on the road to 2020 National Champion Marshall.
  • Pitt closes the regular season against its nemesis in 2021, vs Notre Dame Friday, Oct. 28th at 7 p.m. The Panthers have clinched at least a share of the ACC Coastal Division crown in the last regular season game of the season in two consecutive years.
  • All times are to be determined and will be announced at a later date this summer.

Pitt, who finished the 2021 campaign as the No. 6 team in the country while earning its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Elite Eight, opens the season with an exhibition match vs. Robert Morris Saturday, Aug. 13th. It heads to East Lansing, Mich., for the final tune-up of the exhibition slate at Michigan State Friday, Aug. 19th.

Pitt plays host to Georgetown Thursday, Aug. 25th, for the first game of the regular season. The two teams previously met Nov. 24th, 2019 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Georgetown’s eventual National Championship run. Four days later, Pitt hosts West Virginia for the 51st addition of the men’s soccer Backyard Brawl. It is the first time the Panthers have hosted the Mountaineers since 2017.

Pitt’s first road contest is in Huntington, W. Va., as it plays 2020 National Champion Marshall Friday, Sept. 2nd. Three days later, the Panthers return home and host Howard Monday, Sept. 5th before getting back on the road for its first ACC contest of the season at North Carolina Friday, Sept. 9th.

From Friday, Sept. 16th to Monday, Oct. 10th, the Panthers play five of six games at home starting with two-straight versus NC State (Sept. 16th) and Akron (Sept. 19th). It travels to Louisville for a Sept. 23rd game before coming back to Ambrose Urbanic Field for three-straight against Virginia (Sept. 30th), Clemson (Oct. 7th) and Denver (Oct. 10th).

The Panthers close out the regular season at Virginia Tech (Oct. 14th), vs. Duquesne (Oct. 17th), at Duke (Oct. 21st) and vs. Notre Dame (Oct. 28th). Pitt has seen these familiar foes often since the start of the 2020 season, as it has played Virginia Tech four times, Duquesne twice, Duke three times and Notre Dame six times.

Pitt finished the 2021 campaign with a 13-5-2 overall record and a 5-2-1 ACC mark. It earned a share of the ACC Coastal Division crown for the second consecutive year while outscoring its opposition 10-3 in the NCAA Tournament en-route to its second straight Elite Eight.

Five All-ACC players return to the squad including graduate student Jackson Walti, junior forward Bertin Jacquesson and senior midfielder Valentin Noel, all of whom earned Second Team All-Conference honors. Walti has been a catalyst at the center midfield, averaging 1,765 minutes per season as he enters his final year of collegiate play. Jacquesson scored seven goals and tied the single season assist record with 11 last season, while Noel, the 2020 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, totaled 19 points with seven goals and five assists. The Frenchmen in Jacquesson and Noel have combined for 32 goals and 25 assists in the past two seasons

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).

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