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Tabbed in No. 14 spot, Pitt women’s soccer earn highest preseason ranking his program history

Photo courtesy Pitt Athletics

From University of Pittsburgh report

Pitt women’s soccer team earned their highest preseason ranking in program history, tabbing No. 14 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, as announced by the organization Tuesday.

The preseason ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Poll is the first for the program.

The Panthers, which began preseason training this week, earned a top-25 ranking in each of the final seven weeks of the organization’s top-25 poll in the 2022 season.

Pitt finished the 2022 season at No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches Rankings with a 14-win season, finishing 14-5-3 with a 5-3-2 ACC mark. The Panthers set program records for overall wins (14) and ACC wins (5) and qualified for both the ACC Championship and NCAA Championship fields for the first time in program history.

The Panthers reached the Sweet Sixteen in their first NCAA Tournament appearance after knocking off Buffalo in the First Round, 1-0, and Georgetown in the Second Round, 2-1.

The team also set single season program records for points (138) and goals (47). Freshman defender Katie Zailski and senior midfielder Landy Mertz represented Pitt on the 2022 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s All-Atlantic Region Teams, with Zailski being named to the Second Team and Mertz being named to the Third Team. The duo also earned All-ACC honors, as Mertz was named to the Third Team while Zailski was named to the All-Freshman Team.

In the 2023 Preseason Poll, UCLA was predicted No. 1 after receiving all eight first-place votes with North Carolina, Notre Dame, Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Alabama, Arkansas, TCU, and Penn State falling into the Top-10. Filling out the Top-25 were Stanford, Southern Carolina, BYU, Pittsburgh, Texas, Georgetown, Michigan State, Northwestern, Santa Clara, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southern California Harvard, Central Florida, and Clemson, totaling seven ACC teams in the top-25.

For the full United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, click here.


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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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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