The ACC announced its all-conference honorees in men’s soccer on Wednesday, and Pitt set a program record with six All-ACC selections in 2019. Pitt forward Edward Kizza led the way with his second first-team nod in two years, and four of his teammates were recognized and split between the All-ACC third team and the all-freshman team.
The third-team honorees included Pitt defender Sito Sena and Pitt midfielder Veljko Petkovic. Petkovic was also placed on the all-freshman team alongside first-year players Valetin Noel and Arturo Ordoñez.
Last season, Kizza paced the ACC and made program history by scoring 15 goals in 18 games for a total of 30 points. His goal total ranked first in the ACC and third in Pitt history, and his point total was first in the ACC and fifth in Pitt history. This season, the Ugandan star has produced similar results, as he has amassed 11 goals and four assists in 17 games for a total of 26 points on the year. Most recently, he scored a brace that gave Pitt a 2-1 ACC tournament win over NC State.
Behind Kizza on the field and on Pitt’s points leaderboard for 2019 is Petkovic, who set up two of the star forward’s goals this season. Petkovic, a freshman out of Serbia, has a total of 17 points on six goals and five assists.
The midfielder is joined on the ACC’s third team by Sena, who tallied nine points in 10 games on the strength of three goals and three assists. Like Petkovic, Sena has also linked up well with Kizza, as two of his assists were to him. Kizza also returned the favor, assisting on Sena’s goal against Denver on Sept. 30.
But perhaps the most promising aspect of the All-ACC honors is the fact that three freshmen made the cut. Last season, Pitt defender Chandler Vaughn was the only first-year player to earn the honor, and the year before, Pitt forward Alexander Dexter and Kizza were the first Panthers ever named to the all-freshman squad. Vaughn has only appeared in eight games this season, but Kizza and Dexter have been pivotal to Pitt’s success. Now, with Noel, Ordoñez and Petkovic on the rise, it seems Pitt has a bright future ahead.