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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

Preview | Pitt men’s soccer looks to return to College Cup in 2023

Pitt+mens+soccer+players+celebrate+after+their+win+over+NC+State+on+Nov.+2%2C+2022.+%0A
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
Pitt men’s soccer players celebrate after their win over NC State on Nov. 2, 2022.

Entering his eighth season as head coach for Pitt men’s soccer, Jay Vidovich has set a new standard for the Panthers, turning the club from an ACC bottom feeder into a perennial championship contender. Following an impressive 2022 campaign (12-5-5, ACC 3-2-3) that saw the club reach their second College Cup appearance, expectations for the Panthers’ upcoming fall season are high. 

With seven key members of the 2022 team going on to play professionally, the Panthers are set to see many new faces and returning players fill in much more significant roles in the fall. 

Senior midfielder Filip Mirkovic returns for the Panthers following an outstanding junior season. The 2022 All-ACC First Team midfielder exploded offensively last season, assisting on 12 goals while adding three goals of his own. Mirkovic set the Pitt program record for season assists last season with 12 and led the ACC in total assists.

Defender Jackson Gilman also returns for his sophomore season after starting all 22 matches his first year. Gillman quickly became a defensive leader for the Panthers last season and cemented himself as one of the top defenders in the country. The Pennsylvania native recorded three assists in 1,992 total minutes, earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors.

Junior forward Luis Sahmkow is also set to have a big season for the Panthers after serving as a key reserve during the 2022 tournament run. In 15 appearances last season, Sahmkow recorded three assists while netting four goals, ranking third on the team. In a critical road conference match against Virginia Tech last season, Sahmkow scored the game-winning goal in the 59th minute — displaying his ability to perform in the clutch.

Sophomore goalkeeper Cabral Carter will make his Pitt debut this season, replacing Joe van der Sar. In high school, Carter was lights out in the goalie box, posting a 0.25 goals-against average. Sophomore forward Eben McIntyre and sophomore defender Abraham Brown also stand to make their Panther debuts this season.

The Panthers will return to the pitch on Aug. 12 in an exhibition against Cleveland State, followed by an exhibition at home against Michigan State on Aug. 18. The Panthers faced off last year against Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, where they defeated the Vikings 2-1.

The Panthers begin their regular season at home Aug. 24 against Penn State at Ambrose Urbanic Field. In their last matchup in 2021, Pitt edged out the Nittany Lions 1-0 in an interstate clash in State College. Pitt will finish up August on the 28th against Howard, who they handily beat last year 5-0.

September marks a challenging month for Pitt, where they play six preseason top 25 teams. The Panthers will then travel for their first road against No. 10 Georgetown on Sept. 1. Last season, the Panthers knocked off No. 2 ranked Georgetown 2-1 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. 

The Panthers will begin conference play against No. 5 Wake Forest at home. The Panthers have yet to win against Vidovich’s former squad during his tenure, losing the prior three matchups against the Demon Deacons. 

Pitt will travel to play both No. 11 Boston College and reigning national champions Syracuse in the midst of their demanding September schedule. They will face the Eagles on the 15th and the Orange on the 22nd. To wrap up the month, Pitt will play No. 20 Denver on Sept. 25 and No. 8 North Carolina on Sept. 29 at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The Panthers defeated the Tar Heels last season 1-0 and tied with the Pioneers 2-2.

Pitt will face off against ACC rival Virginia Tech on Oct. 6 before traveling to Charlottesville to face No. 17 Virginia. The Panthers will also square off against cross-town rival Duquesne on Oct. 17 before hosting Duke on the 21st for their final home game. The Panthers will then close their regular season out Oct. 27 against No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

With a jam-packed schedule featuring many outstanding ACC and non-conference opponents, Pitt’s journey back to the College Cup is extremely difficult this year. However, with 11 out of 17 games at Ambrose Urbanic Field and key stars slated to have outstanding seasons, the Panthers have a great chance of returning to the tournament.

About the Contributor
Dylan Grace, Staff Writer