Pitt Soccer vs North Carolina Gameday Thread

Here is another good Pitt soccer article by Tex. The game will be played at 3pm on Thursday, May 6th. It should be live streamed for free on the North Carolina website. 

For the first time in Pitt soccer history, Pitt has reached the land of sugar plum fairies called the Sweet 16. In Pitt’s previous playoff game, they demolished Monmouth 6-1. Six different players scored for Pitt in four different ways. Off a corner kick, off the head, off the foot and a penalty kick. Once the nervousness and rust shook off, the Panthers roared to a resounding victory. 

But Thursdays opponent will be a stiffer test. Pitt faces the UCF Knights. A team that won the AAC championship. They are ranked 18 coming off a win against James Madison in the playoffs. This is UCF’s second consecutive trip back to the Sweet 16. They are experienced. 

UCF is led by Coach Calebrese who is in his 4th year. He is building the Knights into a solid national power. He, like Pitt’s Coach Jay, loves a good offense. Calebrese’s teams were ranked in the top ten nationally across all major offensive categories prior to this past covid year. However UCF did lose their two time offensive player of the year due to graduation. This year UCF has beaten a good SMU team three times and won over Tulsa in the conference championship. 

International players dominate the starting lineup for the Knights much like the Panthers. Euros, South Americans and a few Israelis. There are four players that have scored four or more goals so they have balanced scoring. And their goalkeeper makes 90 percent of his saves which is outstanding. The team seems to turn things on during the second half since their shots and goals increase substantially. This team doesn’t fall asleep at halftime and makes proper adjustments. They are well coached. 

Below is what I see are keys for the game for both schools:

UCF keys for the Game

1) stop Valentin Noel. Noel is Pitt’s dynamic Central midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation. The offense goes through him. He is the third highest goal scorer in the nation. If UCF can disrupt his game and throw his timing off, Pitt’s offense will stall down

2) play a defensive and physical game. Clemson showed the soccer world how to stymy Pitt. It was through some very tough defense and physicality. I wouldn’t be surprised if UCF came out in a 5-3-2 formation with a midfielder and defender always around Noel. 

3) get a great performance from your keeper. For UCF to have a chance, the Knights have to keep the game close and hope the game goes into overtime or a penalty shootout. UCF doesn’t have the players to run and shoot with the Panthers. UCF can’t afford to get behind early in this game. 

Panther Keys for the Game

1) get Noel involved early and often. Pitt has to keep running the offense through him. He will be a marked Frenchman, but Pitt has to find a way to give him the space he needs to be dangerous

2) press and counterattack. A good defense can generate offensive scoring chances. I think this is where Pitt can be successful. A high press could cause some mistakes by UCF that could be quickly capitalized on. Pitt also has the offensive players for quick counterattack’s where it’s difficult for UCF to set up and organize their defense. 

3) special teams. Pitt will get its share of corner and free kicks. It needs to cash in on these opportunities. These set plays always have the defense at a disadvantage. Pitt is actually very good at this. 

Pitt’s team is loaded with some very skilled offensive players. Pitt has good depth and they are the number 2 seed for a reason. They are legit. This game against UCF will be a sterner test but I expect Pitt to pass it and move on to the quarterfinals with a matchup looming against Washington. 

I’m predicting a Pitt lead of 1-0 at halftime. Final score as Pitt 3, UCF 1

Some links:




112 thoughts on “Pitt Soccer vs North Carolina Gameday Thread

  1. Now why should you watch the live stream of soccer today?

    1) it’s the sweet 16 in the playoffs. Pitts first ever. Like in ever.

    2) pitt is an elite team. How often do you use Pitt and elite in the same sentence

    3) pitt has 10 of its 11 starters as international students. If you like to play a game trying to pronounce and spell their last names, this match is for you. Central Florida, Pitts opponent, also has a international flavour

    4) if you like low single digits when playing the lotto, you’ll love the final score of this game

    5) pitt should be wearing some classy and sexy looking uniforms today. Some handsome men take the field today.


  2. Pitt really needs to get shots on goal today. Don’t be afraid to shoot. Central Florida’s goal keeper is like dominik Hasek. Like I said I think the keys are quick counter attacks and set plays – free kicks.


  3. Issues with the live stream. But live stats is working. 1-0 Pitt after just 53 seconds. What!!!


  4. Goal in the first 23 seconds that is. It takes me longer than that to tie my shoe.

    Video stream still isn’t working. I’m viewing live stats and Pitts twitter feed.


  5. I honestly didn’t see this coming. Wow!

    And UCF’s keeper is award winning good. Hungover maybe?


  6. Pitt is playing in a 4-4-2 formation. Noel is their offensive midfielder always on attack. If this lead holds, I can see Pitt going to a more defensive formation like a 4-5-1. Just leaving a single striker up top.


  7. The link you posted in the previous article works for me, Tex. You need to scroll down to the Pitt game video. And when I brought it up on my laptop, it allowed me to cast the game to my TV. My phone and iPad would not allow that.


  8. Pitt is already starting to make substitutions. Two more defensive players just went in. I’m sure Pitt shifts their formation. Pitt is going prevent D right now. I personally would have waited until around the 55 minute mark but I don’t get paid to coach these guys.


  9. With 20 minutes left, the lights have been turned off and the run is over…for the Knights. Pitts party has just begun.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have never followed soccer. I do think that Tex has done a great job at least in piquing my interest. And…Pitt is really getting after it and squashing the other team. I may have to start following the real Pitt football team and forget about Duzz & co.


  11. Clemson has already been eliminated by Marshall.

    By the time I turned on the PITT game, it was 3-0 already.

    I saw a comment elsewhere indicating that UCF was dominating possession and some fans were concerned. However, based on your keys, Tex, it could simply be that it played out similar to your expectation with a different approach due to scoring early.

    Obviously the first goal is critical in soccer. Nonetheless, Tex do you feel that UCF did play “better”, but it was moot because PITT finished and already had a lead less than a minute in? Or was this more likely a comment from someone so scared of pitting or who doesn’t understand defensive futbol when a team has the lead?


    1. Pitt going up 2-0 was huge. UCF had to keep this game close and going down by two is nearly insurmountable. It completely changed the Knights gameplan.

      UCF did do a good job containing Noel for the first half but Pitt has so many players that can score.

      I think UCF tried to beat Pitt at their own game. No team left in the tournament is as explosive offensively as Pitts. UCF’s goalkeeper never had a chance to steal the game for them.

      I thought Pitt had an excellent game plan and were obviously ready from the start.

      Pitt now moves on to the Elite 8 where the matchup could be Washington. And we all know what Washington did to our volleyball ladies in the Elite 8. I want revenge.


  12. It’s really impressive what Coach Jay and his staff have done in a short time. It’s the equivalent of Capel taking the dumpster fire he inherited from Stallings and turning it into a final four caliber team in about 5 years.


    1. That’s exactly right. Pitt had never won an ACC game until Coach Jay. They might have gone three full years without a win. Pitt had a program ranked in the RPI 200’s.


  13. After the Pitt game was done I turned on the Clemson- Marshall game. It went to double overtime, then to a shootout (each team gets 5 penalty kick attempts). After that was tied at 4, they went into sudden death penalty kicks. Each team takes a turn- the first team to score when the opponent does not wins. OMG how exciting! Marshall pulls it out and their fans were going nuts. They were loud the whole time. Might have to be my second favorite team in the tourney, although I want the ACC teams to do well. The Wake Forest guys were one of my daughter’s teams when she was there, so I have a soft spot for them too.


  14. From Cardiac Hill –

    “Perhaps the only unfortunate aspect of the game from Pitt’s perspective was that Jasper Löeffelsend went down with an injury and had to be helped off the field shortly after Noel’s score (goal #4). He appeared to favor his left leg and would not return to the game, and his status for Pitt’s next contest is unclear.”


  15. My guess is that Pitt must have loosened up the purse strings to allow Jay to recruit all of the international players, also guessing this coincided with joining the ACC or soon thereafter. The real benefit to belonging to a P-5 conference.
    The results are certainly spectacular.
    Two teams making the elite 8, in their respective sports in the same year. Off the charts for Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t really know. Pitt has a high number of international students. Prior to covid it was around 10 percent. Many come from Asian countries like Taiwan and China.

      Many foreign countries pay the tuition. Which is easily double the standard rate. Pitt loves internationals for this reason

      Some soccer academies probably pay the tuition. Jays players are from academies. They belong to some club.


    1. So basically the rich get richer…. Now base it on the academics in sports teams and maybe we have a chance.


    2. Where is Pitt on the list.

      I know for directors cup, you get points for making the playoffs and then bonus points for winning a NC. Real simple points system. No graduated scaling. Which is a flaw imo. Should get extra points based on regular season rank, conference championships and going far in playoffs but not necessarily winning a NC.

      Men only, So pitt receives no points for football since it didn’t go bowling. Basketball gets zero

      Men’s swimming places 35 at the ncaas

      Track championships are in one month in Eugene

      Soccer gets points for playoffs but no extra points unless they win the whole thing.

      Wrestling gets points. The team finished ranked 11 at the NCAA tournament.

      Baseball should go to regionals and pick up points

      Really the only program giving points that wasn’t there in the past is baseball but that’s offset by no bowl for football.

      Covid screws everything up. Half the conferences didn’t play in the fall. All conferences had abbreviated schedules.


  16. A nice summary of the game

    Losing jasper can be huge. He’s their top defensemen and assists leader

    This could alter the game plan significantly. But Pitt has other leaders on D that can organize the defense. It’s just the attack and counters will suffer somewhat.

    Also Washington will have far better defensemen than UCF. UCFs back line was terrible. And their goalkeep didn’t make any outstanding saves when needed

    Washington is experienced and well coached. They are in a big time soccer conference.

    Very tight game and close score I expect. Most definitely see set plays being a key against a more sound and organized defensive team.


  17. Tex… my Pitt soccer contact tells me part of the reason for the success is the emphasis on bringing in International talent. Any truth to that?


    1. Absolutely. Just not enough soccer talent in the area.

      Look at Washington’s roster. They are 95 percent home grown from the state. Few if any internationals.

      Coach Jay has a pipeline and contacts with some major academies in Europe.

      The difference in talent is huge between these academies and US high schools. Academies are Europe’s farm systems for professional clubs.

      Kind of Like Canadian junior leagues for hockey. Or prep schools and academies for basketball. But not exactly. My point being is that you aren’t being trained by a high school coach or playing in high school facilities.

      These guys grew up with soccer as their singular sport. Were identified as talented and taught and trained by the very best instructors at a very early age. The clubs or sponsors retain their rights. They make a huge investment in developing young talent. There is no draft in Europe.

      You’re then bought and traded or loaned on the open market like merchandise. That’s the European model.

      Many of Pitts players could probably make a B league or second tier roster in Europe. They are essentially semi pro players at this stage in college.

      They come to the states to get a free education. To experience America. And to continue getting training and developed by one of the best. Plus they can still be kids for just a little longer.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. These academy players probably have over 100,000 hours of practice. I think 10,000 hours on most things will produce one at expert proficiency. They are ten times that standard. These kids go on to play in the best leagues in the world. Now Pitts players are not the elite of the elite. But everything is relative. No American academy or prep school can match any in Europe.

      Washington hasn’t seen an offense like Pitts.


  18. I seem to be stuck on the soccer board. 🙂 How to I get to the hoops board? Reid to announce or did I miss something?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I find it interesting that the “off-season” sports have generated more positive discussions about Pitt sports on here than FB or BB have done in years… That is saying something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These secondary sports actually have very good coaches and actually go to meaningful playoffs and make long impressive runs.

      They are a welcome spiritual and mental uplift from the mediocrity surrounding football for the past 35 years. And the worst stretch of basketball since ‘64-69.

      Your Pitt spirit can be found or reinvigorated by watching programs that know how to win.

      See wrestling, volleyball, soccer and baseball. And that track decathlete ain’t too shabby either. Top 10 in points this year…in the entire world.

      Men’s swimming was also doing well for most of the season until the wheels came off towards the end.

      Baseball can’t let that happen.

      These programs have found a way to put SOP back in the box.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Seems like the soccer bracket is trending in Pitt’s favor with some upsets. Good for them!!! Reed, I think you are finally understanding that the people will get excited for a really good product. It’s just not in football or basketball ( the ones that bring in the revenue for all the other sports). The Brand builders. The application increasers! The donation granters! Pitt wins, we wins!

    Ike, efton has not committed on schedule as of yet. We all remember the first announcement from his mother a few weeks ago, and he backed off. Last night, she went to twitter and announced at Noon est. today. Maybe they are on cst or now pst.

    Probably still working on “things” although from the sounds of it, those things were worked out prior to last nights tweeter. My source, which is me, is leaning to Pitt, although FSU is still solid. LSU has an investigative cloud hanging over their head, but OSU in a great timing issue for them, just lost their big man to the portal. Perhaps a new name has surfaced.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Maybe Efton and his mom are trying to create a “trending” scenario, in order to increase his Name, Image and Likeness clicks, which would mean extra casheesh!

    As an FYI, the State of Georgia Legislature is proposing that if an athlete makes an appearance in a commercial or autograph signing and is paid $100k, the athlete student will only be able to keep 25% of that $100k and $75k goes to help pay all the other athletes that are not getting good deals! I may have heard from someone in GA athletics, that they are mad because other states legislatures are going to let the players keep everything they get. It’s going to be a weird summer down on the farm.


    1. Seems smart to disburse the other 75 percent since the skill players will be the ones landing most of the money deals. It’d be just a matter of time before the linemen stop blocking due to not landing a piece of the pie.


  22. See how the athletes can live up to the social slogans on their shirts. It is all good until you have to comply.


    1. I would make them all independent contractors that are responsible to pay for their own medical insurance (think concussions and other serious debilitating injuries), as well as pay their taxes. This accounting and legal representation will lead to agents getting involved more outwardly, earlier in the process and I would expect a lot of issues. I would have to do some research, but would expect states like california to open everything up for the athletes. Universities need to be smart and figure out how to transfer liability away from them and put it onto the athlete student.

      Pitt should be lining up sponsors but for athletic departments like ours that struggle to fundraise, this will be another area of lost funding since the donor would most likely prefer to give the cash to the athlete directly. The shmoooze factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I thought that was that panther hollow bridge with those panther statues on it. I was going to say, I see my MPC down there. 🤠


    1. I think Reed was showing Tex the opportunities available for an OCS before steeler stadium messed up pitt athletics…


  24. Yes my spirits were dashed in that drawing much like Hobies were when he applied for that coach and AD position. Way to rub it in Reed. But my spirits are high given Pitt soccer and baseball. Those two are international sports. Very popular globally.


  25. On a side bar, if I was coach J and I’m not but he would envy my locks, but anyway, I would play up the revenge factor. Coach fisher came in and gave a great talk. His women lost to those dastardly dogs. I say remember Omaha as a rallying cry. I’d attack from the start and not give up. Washington hasn’t faced an offense like this all year. Even if Pitts top scoring defender doesn’t play, pitt has a deep team and others will step up. I actually expect a big game from the Frenchie. I’m calling it now. Hat trick.


  26. I forget now if it was after his first or second year here, but Coach Jay was somewhat apologetic that the team was not better. He knew they were in for a challenge with the rebuild and tried to promote realistic expectations, but you could tell he felt progress was shifting too slowly. During the specific interview I am vaguely remembering, I actually felt sad for the dude.

    Yet, even now what is unfolding is somewhat surprising to Coach Jay. (As a competitor, I actually think he and the team expect to go all the way through. However, in the PITT NEWS article linked in a previous thread, he admits the turnaround was faster than what could “realistically” be expected).


    1. Pitt hadnt won an ACC game in like three years.
      I think their rpi was in the 200’s

      Think of the worst Stallings team and multiply that by ten. That’s how bad they were.


      1. Tex is 100 percent correct. They were the worst Power 5 soccer program, and it wasn’t close.


  27. I’ve said it all along that if college players are paid it will destroy the game. Imagine if the top players must share their payments with the others on the team, then they will become disgruntled about sharing their paycheck, and there will be chemistry issues between the haves and the have nots. Similarly, if 90% of the players get nothing while the star QB, WR or RB get fat checks, then the tendency for the OLs to lay down would be great. Either way, the team concept that begins with having no “I” in “Team” will be gone.

    Arnold has it right. The university has to stay ahead of this somehow by requiring athletes to pay their own insurance if they start collecting payments. Maybe even pay their own room and board. Sleazy agents will be everywhere. Add to this the complexities of the transfer portal and the days of developing players will be over. Turnover will be great and the college game will look like the pros with teams signing and cutting players to fill a roster. Colleges will no longer commit a scholarship for more than one year and will simply cut any troublemakers loose.


  28. Anyone else try watching the Pitt vs BC baseball game on ACCN Extra? There are no announcers. Only the sound of the sparse crowd and the stadium announcer. There is one camera in the outfield. It is zoomed in to the pitcher-batter combination. If a batter hits a ball, the camera follows the batter running to first. If he rounds first, then turns and trots off the field, you have to assume someone somewhere caught the ball. Talk about a low bid broadcast.


    1. Turns out the announcers and multiple cameras are next door, broadcasting the Pitt vs Florida State softball game. Interesting.


    2. Pitt’s bats are worse than the broadcast. No hits through 4 innings – finally 2 hits in the 5th but no runs.

      Pittiful shutout to BC. The starting pitch for the Panthers has given up 1 run after 6 innings.


  29. Pitt baseball wins the 1st game of the BC series, 4-1

    Senior Yanni with a HR.

    Solid pitching and mid to late game hitting.

    Putting COVID in the rear view mirror.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Pitt softball plays the first of a 4 game series with Florida State tonight. If I followed the announcers correctly, North Carolina also plays a 4 game series this weekend at Louisville. If Pitt does as well or better in their series with FSU than UNC does at UL, Pitt goes to the ACC Tournament. If not, they stay home.
    Tonight UNC lost to UL, 12-7. Pitt fell behind FSU 4-0. Pitt comes back to tie the game, 4-4 in the fourth. FSU goes up 5-4 in the 6th. In the bottom of the 7th (final inning), Pitt’s lead off batter walks. A ground out and infield fly out. With two out and a runner on, the next Pitt batter hits a walkoff home run. Pitt wins 6-5.

    Good start to the series. FSU came into the series with an ACC record of 24-4-1. Pitt came in 11-22. Yeah, not good. But making the tourney would be a step forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Pitt baseball team is exciting and so is the soccer team…. let’s beat the Huskies- pay-back time !!!


      1. Revenge is best served with a soccer ball being kicked up a huskys butt. A win obviously.


  31. Pitt (baseball) and Boston College will conclude their three-game series on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 1 p.m. Junior righty Matt Gilbertson will start on the mound in game one and in game two Billy Corcoran (6’8” PA native) will make his second start since returning from an injury. Both games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

    Pitt moved Sunday’s game to Saturday due to a high probability of rain, forecasted up to one inch in the Pittsburgh area on Mother’s Day.

    The Panther’s have three regular starters from PA, two who are seniors from Pittsburgh in Nico Popa OF and David Yanni 2B. The 3rd is Kyle Hess OF/DH from Lancaster County, home of the 2019 POV Golf Outing, won by a team that included former Pitt baseball player, UPitt.

    With yesterday’s win, Pitt secured a trip to Charlotte to play in the ACC tournament for only the 2nd time since joining the ACC.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. There were three key bases loaded situations in the baseball win last evening –

    In the 5th, Myers got BC’s best player, Frelik (sp) to fly out to center with 2 outs to end the inning. That BC player is projected by some to be a 1st round pick in the next MLB draft.

    In the 8th, Myers loaded the bases again and was relieved with 1 out by McCrum who got out of the jam nicely with a nasty pitch that caught the BC batter looking at the 3rd strike.

    In the 9th, McCrum loaded the bases himself with 1out and got out of the jam with an inning ending double play. The ball was hit hard to 3Bman Sky Duff, who stepped on third and fired a bullet to first where Huellet stretched by doing a split to get the 3rd and final out.

    This team has all the tools necessary to make a nice run in the post season – solid starting pitching (4 deep and none pitched vs the hoopies in the loss last Tuesday?), very good defense, clutch hitting, good coaching and a closer who is money.

    I think it was Tex who wrote that none of these players were MLB caliber, but they play hard for each other and jell as a team. I agree except for the pitchers – there is some gritty talent with the starters and closer (McCrum). The rest of the bullpen makes me nervous with their high ERAs.

    Go Pitt!


    1. The chemistry is outstanding.

      And they are good at making comebacks.

      Mental discipline and team cohesiveness are some of their strengths.

      They also have some good leaders and locker room guys to be this successful.

      I like that they’ve got some local guys on the team. With names I can pronounce. 🤠

      They should get a favorable bracket for regional. Pitt should be a high ranked second seed. That puts them against a lower ranked number one. Pitt is nationally ranked around 17. They could play a team nationally ranked around 13. Now granted there are two other non ranked teams in their regional they’ve got to beat. I think all matchups are series so best of three.

      It’s been so long since a regional. I’ve forgotten the details. Hopefully it becomes a regular occurrence and we all can become familiar over time. This is all so new and exciting. 🤠


  33. I’ll have a writeup about Washington who is Pitts opponent in the elite 8 for soccer. It will be a game featuring one of the nations best offensive teams against one of the nations best defensive. But Washington hasn’t faced a team like pitt that can score in some many ways from so many players.


  34. I was wondering, maybe Tex or Annie know this: what is Pitt’s worst athletics team? ladies soccer? swimming? Now that Heather has been found to be the top AD in the country, what minor sport should she focus on next?


    1. The worst right now is ladies basketball. But I do like Coach White. But he needs to show it this year.

      Ladies softball is struggling. I was fine letting Pitts former coach go. Only one playoff appearance in like 7 years. She had to go. And she failed horribly in that FSU title game

      Women’s swimming is not very good. But the same coach I believe coaches the men and the men were decent this year.

      For women’s lacrosse to become successful, they need Canadians. The coach is one.

      Women’s track is so so. The big time athletes are on the men’s side. That German is scary good. Best pitt athlete since kingdom.

      Women’s soccer is progressing and should crack top third of the ACC next year. Waldrum is a very good coach.

      Volleyball. Fisher is Pitts best coach. Period.

      And Pitt still needs to focus on football and basketball. They support all these minor sports. They are the brand. They are the porch.

      Soccer and volleyball are just the nice oak trees planted in the front lawn.

      Sandy has a second home in one of them.


    2. And speaking from managerial experience, as a senior leader and C level executive, your best action when focusing is by letting the people you hired just do their job. Don’t get in their way. Give them support. Like the budget and facilities they need. But don’t micro manage. Hold them accountable for making the playoffs. That’s the goal.


  35. Some background on ladies lacrosse. Unfortunately pitt had to cut ladies tennis for it

    But lacrosse is becoming very popular. The ACC is the premier conference.

    Again they need Canucks to be successful. Plenty around Toronto.


    The Pitt News has done an admirable job covering secondary sports. But they still don’t ask tough questions. I can show them a thing or two. 🤠


    1. It’s a great sport to play and watch. I wish I got into it earlier. Pitt really needs a men’s team. I saw cuse in their glory while in upstate.


  36. This is the batting order for Pitt I believe. Not optimal and a bit problematic if you ask me. But it’s working so far. But you can see why the experts didn’t like Pitts chances this year. You need to know baseball to understand what I’m saying.


  37. Starting pitcher Gilbertson threw 8 strong innings and the Pitt bats came alive in the bottom of the 8th down 3-2.

    A pair of doubles and 2 sacrifices allowed Pitt to score 2 runs to pull ahead 4-3.

    Chase Smith came on in relief and closed the door with a K, a pop up to 2B and a game ending ground out.

    The magic is back.

    Go Pitt!


  38. Pitt not focused in game 3 vs BC – 4 errors and losing 3-1 in the 5th.

    Still plenty of time to come back and win.

    Go Pitt!


  39. BC avoided the sweep by beating our Panther baseball team 6-2

    The bats continue to struggle.


      1. After the 4th error I weeded my gardens, checking the score from time to time. Feel pretty good about the gardens now.

        GT tied with Pitt atop the Coastal.


    1. You have your third baseman as leadoff and your center fielder batting in the 8 position. That’s a problem.


  40. Tex, thanks for the excellent summary of the minor sports. It seems like the ladies sports are falling behind, and need to receive more attention from the AD. I’m not as worried about ladies basketball and soccer, which you feel are making some progress. But ladies swimming, track and softball need to make some strides with better recruiting if they are going to compete in the ACC.

    Lacrosse is new and needs some time. But if swimming and track can do okay on the men’s side, then the facilities should be at least adequate to be competitive on the women’s side. Ladies softball has already shown in the past they can compete, but Pitt needs more focus and commitment to improve these other women’s sports.


    1. Women’s BB brought in a 6-foot freshman forward and a 6-3 grad-transfer post player, Mary Dunn, from Youngstown State. Dunn has played four years and was an all-League player once or twice. Her experience should be a big help this season as Pitt’s other post players will be a Soph. and a Jr. this season. They do some things well but still have development to do.

      Dunn played her HS ball at Trinity, so she is coming home.

      This year’s team will have 2 seniors, both transfers. Coach White’s recruits will be Juniors and Sophs. He has improved the talent greatly over what Coach Suzie was recruiting. One thing that has held them back is that Coach wants them playing fast. Trying to play fast on a Freshmen//Sophomore heavy team has been tough and has led to a ton of poor decision-making. We should see improvement this season.

      Also, one of the assistant coaches was hired as head coach at Northeastern, so they’re looking to add somebody…

      Go Pitt.


    2. There’s still only 5 out of 18 active sports that are better than the ACC middle tier. The ACC is a far tougher conference than the old big east across every single sport. Pitt neglected facilities for far too long and also to this day doesn’t have competitive budgets for secondary sports. The money goes to football. And you really can’t argue with that. Football pays the bills.


  41. Coach Susie was Stallings before Stallings. Horrible hire from the beginning. Not sure what pitt saw in her. Ladies basketball lost over $4 million one year. That’s damn tough to do. Credit to Pitt.


    1. I was hoping Pitt would hire Suzie – I thought maybe PSU would go after her. Suzie had all the credentials you could ask for – I thought she’d do great at Pitt. And Pitt was good her first year — but I got that one way wrong.

      I came to realize that her attitude didn’t work at Pitt, though that flaw didn’t seem to show up at Duquesne. At Pitt, when things would go poorly, Suzie would act exasperated on the sideline – and I thought by doing so she showed up her players. The message to the crowd, many of whom were her family, was that obviously the players weren’t doing what she coached them to do…

      Her final couple recruiting classes – well I’ll just say they left a whole lot to be desired…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you might also be discounting the negative effects of a poor AD on professional, high pressure, revenue generation sport coaches that quickly get frustrated by inept leadership. They typically know when the AD runs a mickey mouse operation within months of starting (the honeymoon period) and as such, fuses get shorter and productivity wanes. This is why many of the revenue generator pitt coaches seem to have less success here. It ain’t the weather.


        1. Not sure how that applies to Coach Suzie. I know HL did encourage Suzie to use all 15 allowed scholarships — I think in the hope that Susie could bring in better players. With Suzie’s credentials (All-American, multiple Olympic gold medals, All-WNBA team, WNBA Coach-of-the-Year…), you’d think she could clean-up in recruiting, but that didn’t happen.

          Susie’s best recruiting job might have been getting one of the senior volleyball players to play a year of BB… And she played well.

          Go Pitt.


  42. The CF was the lead off batter to start the season, but he struggled with his average around .200 and then was pulled from the line-up. When he returned a few games later for his defense, he was inserted into the 9 hole and has proceeded to raise his average to over .300

    The third baseman’s average is over .300 as well.


    1. Just unusual. Typically, those are your power positions. Along with first base.

      In baseball much like soccer, I look at positions in the middle of the field. Build your team from the middle out.

      In baseball those players need to be very sound defensively.


  43. These “minor” sports are becoming “major” at PITT. Again Tex, great reporting. You are doing a great job of marketing these programs on the POV…they need to hire you and get you out of your parent’s basement. Ha Ha….

    Did any of you know the 70’s singer “Oliver” of “Good Morning Starshine” fame was John Swofford’s brother ? Not that it matters but found that to be interesting.


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