The Pitt men’s soccer team is set to face Notre Dame at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Saturday, and it will take the field as the No. 3 team in the nation. The Panthers earned the distinction after moving up from the No. 5 spot in the United Soccer Coaches poll earlier this week.
The latest ranking is a continuation of a steady climb that has been underway for Pitt since mid-March. At that point, Pitt had fallen to No. 8 after a 3-0 loss to North Carolina, but the team then bounced back with three straight wins over Boston College, Duke and Virginia Tech. Each of the three wins has been by one goal, and the two most recent victories required double overtime to reach a result. But the close matches have not hurt the Panthers in the eyes of coaches poll voters.
At this point, the only teams ranked higher than Pitt are Clemson at No. 1 and Georgetown at No. 2. Wake Forest and Indiana round out the top five, coming in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. In addition, Pitt could climb higher with a win this week, as the team received one first-place vote, while Georgetown received none. Aside from Clemson and Pitt, the only other program to receive a first-place vote was Wake Forest. This week also marks the first time Pitt has received any first-place votes since March 2.
Pitt is also one of four ACC programs in the top 25, with the others being Clemson, Wake Forest and North Carolina. In the last poll, Virginia sat just outside of the top 25, with 17 votes. However, a 3-1 loss to Duke on March 28 set the team back, and in the latest poll, the Cavaliers received zero votes.
With a win over Notre Dame on Saturday, Pitt could not only move up in the coaches poll but also in the ACC Coastal standings, as first-place North Carolina lost to Virginia Tech 1-0 on Friday, leaving an opening for Pitt to ascend to the top. And should Pitt win the Coastal, it would get a chance to face Clemson for the ACC title ahead of the NCAA tournament. Pitt and Notre Dame are set to kick off from Ambrose Urbanic Field at 7 p.m. ET.