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Low expectations for Pitt men's, women's soccer team in 2016

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

With fall here, football isn't the only Pitt sport getting underway. The Panthers' men's and women's soccer teams are beginning play as well.

The ACC recently released preseason rankings for both squads and expectations (at least from the outside) are pretty low on both ends. The women were picked to finish 11th out of 14 teams, grabbing a total of 59 points. The men's results, released on Wednesday, have Pitt 10th out of 12 teams (also fifth in the Coastal ahead of only Virginia Tech).

The men begin the season on August 26th against Howard. So far, they're 0-1 in exhibition competition, having lost 2-0 to West Virginia. They will face Duquesne in an exhibition match on Saturday. The women have fared a little better, knocking off No. 23 Ohio State in an exhibition match, 2-0. After losing to Kentucky last weekend (2-0), they are 1-1 and will begin their regular season on Friday at Michigan.

It goes without saying, but both programs have been down for some time. The men's program brought in the renowned Jay Vidovich to lead the team, so hopefully it's a matter of when, not if, they turn things around.

The women, meanwhile, are already going in the right direction. In 2014, they had a standout recruiting class and that has already started to pay dividends as they team had their first winning season in quite a while, going 10-7 in 2015. That was the most victories in one season in the history of the program and only their second winning year.

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