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Pitt men’s soccer team falls to No. 15 in national rankings

The Panthers recently dropped road matches to West Virginia and Akron

After suffering two consecutive road losses to West Virginia and Akron in a span of seven days, the Pitt men’s soccer team fell to 2-2 on the season. And on Tuesday afternoon, the Panthers dropped 12 spots in the national rankings, going from No. 3 to No. 15 in the United Soccer Coaches poll.

The team’s 2-1 loss to West Virginia in Morgantown last Monday was Pitt’s first of the season, but it did not drop the team from its perch at No. 3 due to the timing of the United Soccer Coaches poll’s release. The updated poll is unveiled every Tuesday and accounts for all games played through the end of the day on the preceding Sunday. And Pitt did not fall to West Virginia until Monday, keeping its record at 1-0 at the time the poll was voted on.

Pitt would rebound from the loss with a 2-1 win over Lehigh last Friday, and that likely played a key role in the team only falling to No. 15. But Pitt once again played on a Monday after topping Lehigh, and in that matchup, the team suffered a 2-1 loss to Akron. As a result, that loss was not factored into the latest ranking, meaning a fall from grace may well be in store for Jay Vidovich’s Panthers, who have now been ranked for 22 consecutive weeks.

With that said, Pitt will have several opportunities to climb back into the top 25 if it falls out of the national ranking, as the team currently has five ranked opponents remaining on its schedule. The first of those teams is ACC rival North Carolina, which moved from No. 6 to No. 4 in this week’s poll. After that, No. 25 Wake Forest, No. 2 Clemson, No. 19 Duke and No. 6 Virginia Tech all lie ahead.