The Pitt women’s soccer team is off to its best start in program history at 6-0, and it has hardly given opposing team’s a chance to get a word in edgewise, outscoring them 17-2 in that span. However, the team fell two spots to No. 14 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll, which was released on Tuesday. The drop came despite Pitt sweeping the Citadel in a two-game series in Charleston, South Carolina.
The poll currently ranks the top 15 teams in the nation, which is a departure from its usual top 25 format. Joining Pitt from the ACC are North Carolina, Florida State and Clemson, which once again comprise the poll’s top three, as well as Virginia and Duke. Virginia moved up from No. 11 to No. 10, while Duke fell back four spots, from No. 7 to No. 11, after failing to impress with two draws and a loss.
Pitt’s drop places the team in the second-to-last spot in the rankings, even though the Panthers have accrued more wins than any other ranked team. Pitt is also one of eight teams with an unblemished record in the poll, as seven have already recorded a loss or a draw at this point in the season.
Even amid skepticism from the decision-makers behind the poll, Pitt has plenty to be confident about moving forward, as the team boasts the nation’s top goal-scorer in Amanda West, and she now has some support in the attacking third in the form of Leah Pais. The two have combined for nine goals and four assists in six games and have been supported by a stout defense and Pitt goalkeeper Katherine Robinson, who has had a hand in each of the team’s four shutouts.
The Panthers’ suddenly precarious position in the poll underscores the importance of their upcoming matchup in Charlottesville with No. 10 Virginia. A loss could drop the team out of the rankings, and a win could catapult Pitt into the top 10. That ACC tilt is set to get underway at Klöckner Stadium at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.