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Pitt midfielders earn national team of the week honors

Pitt's Valentin Noel and Jackson Walti were honored by Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News

After a strong showing in the opening round of the ACC tournament, Pitt midfielders Valentin Noel and Jackson Walti were honored with spots on the teams of the week of Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News.

Noel had a hand in both of Pitt’s goals in the team’s 2-1 win over Duke in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. He set up Walti for the game’s opening goal with a well-placed pass to the top of the box. Walti then put a shot just inside the right post to put Pitt up 1-0. Then, in the second half, Noel scored the game-winning goals, tapping in a perfect cross from Pitt forward Alexander Dexter.

The performance by the Frenchman made program history, as Noel became the first Panther to score in four straight games, as he scored in Pitt’s matchups with Virginia Tech, Virginia and Louisville. All told, Noel has six goals and two assists in his five appearances for the Panthers this season. He leads the No. 1 team in the nation in points, with 14.

Walti’s contributions have been fewer and further between than Noel’s so far this year, but on Sunday, his first goal of the year proved vital to the outcome of the game. It also came on his first shot of the 2020 season.

The Pitt midfield duo will take the field with the Panthers once more in the semifinals of the ACC tournament on Wednesday night. Pitt will take on Notre Dame at Dail Soccer Field on the NC State campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the game will air on the ACC Network.