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Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer: Postseason opportunities await Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris women

While many Pittsburgh soccer fans are deeply disappointed that the Riverhounds SC saw their USL Cup hopes dissipate on Saturday, as Detroit City FC walked out of Highmark Stadium with a 1-0 victory, the consolation for everyone is that there is still a lot of soccer to be played in 2023.

The Pittsburgh Soccer schedule is absolutely packed over the next week and a half (see below!).

The WPIAL Soccer Playoffs have kicked off, as we have been all over with coverage of the bracket release last week and the early rounds. Starting Wednesday, we’ll start to have on-site reporters providing coverage from select games!

We are especially paying attention to the three NCAA Division I college programs, Pitt, Robert Morris and Duquesne this week plus the men’s teams too, all very much in contention for post season play.

The postseason rundown has been outlined below for each of the three women’s and men’s programs:

Duquesne Open Postseason Play on Friday 

The Dukes are already lined up, and set to start postseason play, as they’ll visit UMass on Friday afternoon, in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship.

PSN’s Zac Weiss has been on top of the Dukes’ coverage all season long, and whipped up this recap from Sunday’s result that put them in the tournament.

Duquesne beats Richmond, 3-0, earning a return trip to A-10 Championship

The Dukes (7-7-4, 4-2-4 in A10) enter the A10 tournament as the fifth seed (out of eight teams), with the highest seeds hosting each match.  If they can beat UMass, they’ll next play on Wednesday in the A10 semifinal round.  Winners from Wednesday will face each other in the A10 Championship game on Sunday, November 5.

The two teams met Sept. 28 in a 1-1 draw contested at Rooney Field.

“We felt after the last UMass game that we probably should’ve put a few away had we finished our opportunities,” Graduate Student forward Jaimi Araujo told Weiss.

“Knowing we tied in our previously match with them just shows that it’s anyone’s game. I think more than ever we are selling out to score goals and pushing to get numbers in the box. It’s always hard to go there and get a result- but if any group is going to do it, it’s this team. We have a great balance of experienced players, and young, hungry underclassmen. It should be a great game and is definitely one that we are more than capable of putting away.”

Robert Morris Win Assures First-Ever Berth in Women’s Horizon League Tournament

In all likelihood, this match between Robert Morris and nearby Youngstown State on Wednesday night, in Youngstown, a winner is in playoffs scenario in the Horizon League.

The Colonials are currently holding on to 6th place and the final spot in the Horizon League tournament. With a win, RMU can secure a playoff spot, and potentially jump higher up in the standings depending on how the other teams ahead of them do on Wednesday.

The Horizon League tournament will be played Sunday, Thursday and Saturday, with the last two rounds in Milwaukee.

Pitt looking to get back to winning ways, boost NCAA tournament resume 

The Panthers (12-4-1, 5-3-1, 16 points) have secured a spot in the ACC tournament, but it’s still up in the air as what their seeding will be.  They trail North Carolina (19 points) for fourth place, and are three points clear of Wake Forest (who they defeated), and four ahead of Thursday’s night’s season finale opponent, Virginia Tech (12 points).

Either way, by finishing strong with a win at home, and a good showing in the ACC tournament, the Panthers can boost its seeding chances in the NCAA tournament, and hopefully have an opportunity to host a match or two at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

They’ll be looking to rebound after two tough road losses to two top 10 teams, No. 1 Florida State, last Thursday, and No. 8 Clemson on Sunday.  The loss at Clemson was the first time the Panthers have been shut out all season.  With the home crowd behind them, they should have a big advantage on Thursday night to get back to their scoring ways.

Men’s Teams Playoff Scenarios 

All three men’s teams will wrap their seasons this and next week, and are jockeying for position in their respective conference tournaments.

Pitt (2-2-3, 9 points in ACC) remains nationally ranked (2oth in United Soccer Coaches Poll), but are in danger of finishing the season with a losing record in ACC, as they wrap up conference play by hosting first place Notre Dame (5-0-2, 17 points in ACC) on Friday night.  A win against Notre Dame, and suddenly the Panthers can move up into third place in the standings, and at least be in contention to host a first-round ACC playoff match.

Duquesne (6-3-3, 3-2-2, in A10) is currently in 7th place in a very crowded logjam that exists in the A10 Standings.  However, sitting at 11 points, only four behind first place Davidson, the Dukes have a prime chance to move up the ladder in the A10, and still contend for a home playoff match, as they have two home matches remaining this week, against Wright St. (Wednesday) and LaSalle (Saturday).

Robert Morris (4-5-5, 2-3-2, 8 points in HZL) are also in 7th but in league that only takes the top six for the tournament. Like the Dukes, the Colonials have two matches remaining to make their move, facing Detroit Mercy (away Saturday), then return home Wednesday to face Cleveland State, the two teams directly ahead of them in the standings.


I hope that helps.

As said earlier in this post, there will be PLENTY of soccer going on in Pittsburgh this week.

Pittsburgh Soccer Schedule (10/25/2023 – 11/4/2023)

Wednesday Oct 25

Duquesne Men             7:00 PM H Wright St Rooney Field  (PSN Coverage: Zac Weiss)

RMU W                        7:00 PM A Youngstown Youngstown, OH

WPIAL PLAYOFF Quarterfinal Round – Boys 3A / Boys 1A

Boys 3A Schedule/Previews  (PSN Coverage – Matthew Baldwin has Moon vs Franklin Regional) 

Boys 1A Schedule/Previews

Thur Oct 26

Pitt W                         7:00 PM    Virginia Tech       at Ambrose Urbanic Field – (PSN Coverage: Dom Campbell) 

WPIAL PLAYOFF Quarterfinal Rd – Girls 3A / Boys 2A / Girls 4A

Fri Oct 27

Duquesne W                         2:00 PM A  UMass  (A10First Round Playoff)

Pitt M                                      7:00 PM A Notre Dame   at Ambrose Urbanic Field – (PSN Coverage: Dom Campbell)

Oct 28 (Sat)

RMU M                                 3:00 PM   A      Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI

WPIAL PLAYOFF Quarterfinal Round (Girls 2A/1A, Boys 4A) 

Duquesne M                      7:00 PM   H        LaSalle Rooney Field   (PSN Coverage: Zac Weiss)

Sun Oct 29

Pitt W — ACC Women’s Soccer Playoff (Round 1) – 5 or 8 p.m.

Mon Oct 30

WPIAL PLAYOFF Semifinal Rd (Boys Class 3A/1A; Girls Class 4A/3A) 

Tues Oct 31

WPIAL PLAYOFF Semifinal Rd (Boys Class 4A/2A; Girls Class 2A/1A) 

Nov 1 (Wed)

RMU M 2:00 PM H Cleveland St North Athletic Complex

Pitt W — ACC Women’s Soccer Playoff Semifinal Rd (If Necessary)

Pitt M — ACC Men’s Soccer Playoff First Round (If Necessary)

Nov 2 (Thur)

WPIAL FINALS  6 & 8 pm (Highmark Stadium) *Projected Times **Classifications/Teams TBA

Nov 3 (Fri)

WPIAL FINALS  6 & 8 pm (Highmark Stadium) *Projected Times **Classifications/Teams TBA

Nov 4 (Sat)

WPIAL FINALS  11 am, 1:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:45 pm (Highmark Stadium)  *Projected Times **Classifications/Teams TBA

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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