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Bertin Jacquesson named ACC Freshman of the Year

The French forward set the tone for Pitt this season, recording two goals and five assists in his first three games

The Pitt men’s soccer team turned a corner this season, evolving from a strong but inconsistent team into a juggernaut that could contend with national powers. That was the result of Pitt coach Jay Vidovich bringing in elite talent year after year, and perhaps the most luminous addition to the 2020 class was French forward Bertin Jacquesson, who was named the ACC Freshman of the Year on Wednesday.

Jacquesson played a key role in setting the tone for Pitt this season, as he came up with one goal and one assist in his debut, leading a then-unranked Pitt team to a 3-1 upset of then-fifth-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend on Sept. 26. In Pitt’s next outing, he would duplicate his performance in a 3-2 win over Syracuse on Oct. 6, scoring the game-winner in overtime.

Four days later, Jacquesson would come up with three assists in a 4-2 win over Virginia Tech. His three assists are tied for the second-most in a single game in program history.

All told, Jacquesson finished the regular season with three goals and six assists and earned Player of the Week honors from the ACC and Top Drawer Soccer. Jacquesson tied with Veljko Petkovic for the second-most assists on the team this season, and they were among 11 players tied with the 13th-most assists in the nation this season.

Given the auspicious start to Jacquesson’s college career and the upward trajectory of other talented offensive players under Jay Vidovich, such as Edward Kizza and Valentin Noel, it seems the best is yet to come from the freshman. And he will have additional opportunities to build on his early success in the coming days and weeks, as Pitt is set to play in the ACC final and then compete for higher honors in the NCAA tournament.