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Four Panthers earn Top Drawer Soccer postseason recognition

From University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department report

Junior forward Bertin Jacquesson and freshman Jackson Gilman earned two Top Drawer Soccer postseason awards each, leading the way with four of six total accolades for the Panthers following the successful 2022 season.

Jacquesson was named to the Best XI Third Team while also earning the No. 23 ranking in the postseason Top-100 rankings. Gilman wrapped up his great first season being named to the Freshman Best XI First Team while also earning the No. 10 ranking in the postseason Freshman Top-100 rankings. Filip Mirkovic earned the No. 40 spot while Valentin Noel earned the No. 44 spot in the postseason Top-100 rankings.

Jacquesson, who became the highest drafted Panther in program history (No. 16 overall) last week, concludes his prolific Pitt career with 19 goals, 23 assists and 61 points across 57 matches. His 23 career assists are second in program history while his 61 career points ranks seventh in program history. Known for his speed and agility, Jacquesson has helped Pitt become one of the best programs in the nation over his career as he has helped the Panthers earn their first two College Cup trips in program history (2020, 2022).

This past season, Jacquesson battled through some injuries to earn Second Team All-ACC honors as he ranked second on the squad with eight goals, five assists and 21 points on a team-high 61 shots. He netted three game-winning goals including the most memorable of his collegiate career as he ripped home a shot into the upper left corner down a man in the 78th minute of the NCAA Tournament match at #1 Kentucky.

Gilman turned into one of the best center backs in the nation this season for the Panthers as he started all 22 matches for Pitt as they earned their second College Cup trip in the past three seasons. The solid defender played all but 28 minutes for Pitt this season as he helped the Panthers secure eight clean sheets while also posting the lowest goals-against average in program history this season (1.02 GAA).

Not only was Gilman one of the best defenders in the nation, but he also helped Pitt in the offensive third of the field on set pieces. The freshman contributed three assists during his first collegiate season which tied him for fifth on the team in assists.

Mirkovic took his play to another level during his junior campaign as he appeared and started 20 matches for the Panthers in the central midfield. The talented junior finished the season ranking third on the team with 18 points as he netted three goals and a team-high 12 assists. The 12 assists were the most in the ACC and the sixth most in the nation while also setting a Pitt program record for assists in a single season. The junior had an ACC-high four games with multiple assists while also ranking third on the squad with 38 shots on the season.

Noel, drafted No. 20 overall by Austin FC last week, was dynamic for the Panthers once again this season as he led Pitt and ranked second in the ACC with 11 goals, three assists and 25 points on the year. Noel turned up his play in the postseason as he posted four goals and eight points in five matches as the Panthers knocked off Cleveland State, #16 Akron, #1 Kentucky and Portland before falling in the College Cup to #13 Indiana.

The Frenchman opened the season with goals in three straight games and a point in four straight games as Pitt knocked off a pair of top-10 opponents to start the season. Midway through the campaign, Noel posted a season-long five game point streak as Pitt went 2-1-2 in the stretch while playing four ranked opponents.

Noel will go down as one of the best to wear a Pitt jersey as he wraps up his career ranked second in program history in goals (35) and third in points (83). The senior also led all active ACC players this year in career shots (171), points (83) and goals (35).

The Panthers concluded another great season with a 12-5-5 overall record and a 3-2-3 ACC mark as they advanced to their second College Cup in three seasons before falling in the national semifinal to Indiana. Pitt wrapped up the 2022 campaign ranked No. 4 by Top Drawer Soccer, earning a top-10 final ranking in three straight seasons for the first time in program history.

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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