Pitt men’s soccer received a No. 5 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll on Tuesday, keeping them among the elite in the country.
This ranking marks the fourth consecutive season that Pitt has been in the poll, all of which have been in the top 10. The highest ranking they received was No. 3 in 2021 and they have placed in the top five three out of the four times.
Pitt men’s soccer proved that it could rebuild and build another solid team under head coach Jay Vidovich. Despite a winless streak in the middle of the season, Pitt managed to pick up their game in the NCAA Tournament.
They defeated No. 1 Kentucky on the road, 2-1, in dramatic fashion to make it to their third straight Elite Eight appearance and took down Portland in extra time, 1-0, to earn their second trip in three years to the College Cup. Pitt took on Indiana, but lost 2-0, finishing their season in the top four in the country.
The Panthers are rebuilding once again from last season, as they only return four starters in midfielders, senior Filip Mirkovic and junior Michael Sullivan, and defenders in sophomore Jackson Gillman and junior Mateo Maillefaud.
Gillman also commanded the defense at the centre-back position in 2022, starting all 22 matches, keeping eight shutouts and creating three assists to earn freshman All-American and All-ACC Freshman team honors.
Pitt kicks off their season against rival Penn State on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at Ambrose Urbanic Field, as they look to start their quest for a National Title.