Pittsburgh Panthers men's soccer

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Pittsburgh Panthers
men's soccer
Pittsburgh Panthersmen's soccer athletic logo

University University of Pittsburgh
Conference ACC
Location Pittsburgh, PA
Head Coach Joe Luxbacher (30th year)
Stadium Ambrose Urbanic Field
(Capacity: 735)
Nickname Panthers
Colors Blue and Gold

             

Home
Away
NCAA Quarterfinal Appearances
1962
NCAA Round of 16 Appearances
1965
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1962, 1965
Conference Regular Season Champions
1981, 1985

Pittsburgh Panthers men's soccer is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate men's soccer (association football) team of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitt men's soccer competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays their home games at Ambrose Urbanic Field in the university's Petersen Sports Complex. Pitt soccer players have had eight selections as All-Americans and multiple former Panthers have gone on to play professionally. The Panthers have appeared in two NCAA tournaments and, since 1984, have been coached by Joe Luxbacher.

History[edit]

The Pitt men's soccer program has it origins in 1951 when Leo Bemis, who was then serving as Pitt's director of men's intramural sports,[1] created a pick-up team at the university which played Slippery Rock University to a 1-1 draw.[2] Through 1953, Bemis continued coaching the team which competed intercollegiately as a non-varsity club sport.[3] However, Bemis was able to convince then Pitt athletic director Tom Hamilton to elevate the club team to varsity status in 1954.[2] Despite starting with no scholarships[4] and no feeder system in place to recruit players,[2] Pitt's first team went 8-1 in 1954,[5] and by 1955, the program had its first All-American selection, Jerome Bressanelli.[2] For the first 20 years of the program, Pitt played their games at various facilities including Trees Field, Forbes Field, Kennard Field in the lower Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh,[6] and even various high schools, with occasional games played at Pitt Stadium, which at the time was primarily reserved for Pitt's football team.[7]

Pitt playing East Stoudsburg in muddy conditions in Pitt Stadium during the first round of the 1965 NCAA soccer tournament

In 1961, the soccer program received funding to provide its first scholarships,[2] and in 1962, Pitt earned its first bid to the NCAA soccer championship tournament, where it lost to Maryland, 3-4.[8] Pitt again qualified for the NCAA soccer tournament championship in 1965, but lost 0-2 on a late goal to East Stoudsburg in game played in muddy conditions at Pitt Stadium.[2] Beginning in 1970, Pitt began play in the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Soccer Conference (also known as the West Penn Intercollegiate Soccer Conference, or WPISC),[9] a conference that Leo Bemis helped to found and in which he would eventually lead Pitt to a conference championship in 1981.[2][10] When Pitt Stadium had artificial turf installed in 1970 and flood lighting installed in 1973, the soccer team began regularly playing its home games in the stadium, which remained its home through the 1990s.[7]

After a 30-year tenure as head coach, Bemis was succeeded in 1984 by Joe Luxbacher, a former standout player and captain for the program who also served as an assistant under Bemis.[11] Pitt moved from the West Penn conference to the Big East Conference for the 1985 season.[12] In that first season in the Big East, Pitt finished atop the Big East South Division with an undefeated 4-0 record[13] and appeared in the 1985 Big East Tournament where they lost their first game eventual Big East tournament champion Syracuse. Pitt followed that with a second place in the South Division in 1986. Pitt would also finish second in the regular season conference standings in 1992 and 1995, years when the Big East was not broken into divisions, with Luxbacher winning Big East Coach of the Year in each of those seasons.[14] While a member of the Big East, Pitt would advance to the Big East soccer tournament six times, including in 1995, when the an injury riddled team[15] set a program record for number of wins, including victories over 11th-ranked St. John's and 4th-ranked Rutgers.[7] The 1995 team lost in the Big East tournament championship game to St. John's,[14] but finished the season ranked 22nd in the nation in the final Coaches' Poll.[16]

The Petersen Sports Complex is the home to Pitt soccer

Following the demolition of Pitt Stadium in 1999, the soccer team moved its games to various locations, but primarily played home games at Founder's Field in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, an off-campus venue.[17] The program returned to campus when it moved into the Petersen Sports Complex, which houses the Ambrose Urbanic Field soccer facility, in the spring of 2011.[18] Ambrose Urbanic Field, which serves as both the practice and competition venue for the Pitt soccer team, contains 735 seats and a FIFA-certified "Duraspine" pitch.[19] The first game held at the soccer facility was an exhibition played by the men's team against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on March 20, 2011.[20] The team also uses the on-campus Cost Sports Center for indoor practice during inclement weather.[21]

In 2013, Pitt moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), bringing the Panthers into another historically strong league with 15 national championships in men's soccer.[22]

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Americans[edit]

Pitt has had six different players and eight all-time All-American selections.[23]

  • 1955 Jerome Bressanelli, halfback
  • 1956 Jerome Bressanelli, halfback
  • 1958 Ronald Wyatt, fullback
  • 1959 Ronald Wyatt, fullback
  • 1959 George Zanicoupolous, goalkeeper
  • 1962 Paul Liberati, left halfback
  • 1963 Dave Reichenbach, outside left
  • 1965 George Summer, left halfback

Big East honors[edit]

Pitt played soccer as a member of the Big East Conference from 1985 to 2012. During this time, Pitt's Joe Luxbacher won the Big East Coach of the Year award twice, Ben Garry was named to the Big East All-Rookie team, and Pitt had seven other All-Big East Team selections.[14] Players all garnered multiple Big East Scholar-Athlete Awards with over 100 players being named Big East Academic All-Stars.[24]

Players[edit]

Professional players[edit]

Pitt has had at least 20 former soccer players go on to play professionally.[25]

Panthers in the Pros
Name Team(s) Year(s)
Matt Baker Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Reading United A.C.
2010
2011-12[26]
Eric Barnes Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2009
Reagen Bender Hershey Wildcats 2001-02
Frank Bucci Connecticut Yankees
Pittsburgh Spirit
Denver Avalanche
1978[27]
1978-80
1980-81[27]
Ben Garry Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2001-02
Bill Haines Pittsburgh Miners 1975
Matt Langton Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2008-09[28]
Denny Kohlmeyer Pittsburgh Miners
Pittsburgh Stingers
1975
Asst. Coach 1994-95
Drew Kopp Hershey Wildcats 1999-01
Travis Kruse Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2000-01
Joe Luxbacher Philadelphia Atoms
Pittsburgh Miners
Pittsburgh Spirit
1974-75
1975-76
1977-78,[11] 1979-81
Name Team(s) Year(s)
Phil Matilla Reading Rage 2001
Mark Nigh[2] Pennsylvania Stoners 1980[29]
Ted Noethling Pittsburgh Stingers 1994
John O'Hara Pennsylvania Stoners
Pittsburgh Spirit
Cleveland Force
1978
1979-81
1980-81
Heinz Pak Pittsburgh Stingers 1994
Joe Prince-Wright Arbroath F.C. 2011-12[30]
Eric Prex Pittsburgh Stingers 1995
Bill Rex Pittsburgh Miners 1975
Art Richardson Pittsburgh Canons
Pittsburgh Miners
1973
1975
Todd Smith Fort Wayne Flames 1988[31]
Ref: [25] unless otherwise noted.

Current squad[edit]

Current Pitt defender Emilio Cordero has played internationally for Puerto Rico
As of August 30, 2014 [32]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Will Marshall
2 United States MF Jack Dickens
3 United States MF Brandon Kolczynski
4 United States FW Dan Prete
5 United States MF Steven Machi
6 United States MF Kevin Murray
7 Australia FW Patrick Dixon
8 Switzerland MF Romeo Charron
9 Scotland MF Hamish Law
10 United States DF Ryan Myers
11 United States MF Julian Dickenson
12 United States DF Stephane Pierre
13 United States MF Sam Marks
14 Canada MF Raj Kalon
16 Scotland MF Michael Tuohy - C
17 Canada FW Kevin Angulo
18 United States DF Zane Meehan
19 United States DF Matt Bischoff
20 Canada MF Darcy Bloemen
21 United States FW Cory Werth
24 United States DF Andrew Wright
25 Puerto Rico DF Emilio Cordero
26 United States GK Braden Horton
27 United States DF Kevin Fielden
30 United States FW Chu Chu Onyeukwu
33 United States GK Dan Lynd - C

Coaching staff[edit]

Leo Bemis founded soccer as a varsity sport at Pitt

Current technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach Joe Luxbacher
Assistant coach Chris Karwoski
Goalkeepers coach Ryan Hulings
Assistant coach Csaba Feher

Head Coaches[edit]

As of July 12, 2013 [33]
Name Nationality From To P W L D Honours
Leo Bemis United States 1954 1983 355 166 163 26
Joe Luxbacher United States 1984 Present 506 211 238 57 1992 Big East Coach of the Year

1995 Big East Coach of the Year [34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caldwell Jr., John T., ed. (1955). "Athletic Department". The 1955 Owl. The Students of the University of Pittsburgh. p. 318. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Vargo, Norm (1982). "Leo Bemis Behind Soccer From the Start at Pitt". In O'Brien, Jim. Hail to Pitt: A Sports History of the University of Pittsburgh. Wolfson Publishing Co. pp. 232–235. ISBN 0-916114-08-2. 
  3. ^ Spurock, Charles, ed. (1954). "Soccer". The 1954 Owl. University of Pittsburgh. p. 330. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ Jordan, Jimmy (September 26, 1958). "Pitt Soccer Coach Looks Ahead Despite Lack of Scholarships". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). p. 18. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Caldwell Jr., John T., ed. (1955). "Soccer". The 1955 Owl. The Students of the University of Pittsburgh. p. 337. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ Jordan, Jimmy (November 22, 1956). "Pitt Soccer Team has United Nations Flavor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). p. 43. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Heilman, Sean (2000). "Soccer". In Sciullo, Jr., Sam. Pitt Stadium Memories 1925–1999. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. pp. 44–50. ASIN B0006RFHJQ. 
  8. ^ NCAA Men's Division I Championship Brackets. NCAA.org. 2011. pp. 3–5. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Soccer Stars Collide at Pitt". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA). November 21, 1976. p. D-4. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Wheatley, Tom (September 16, 1982). "Pitt's Soccer Coach Sends Program on a Youth Kick". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA). p. S-14. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Luxbacher succeeds Bemis". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). February 16, 1984. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ Dangelo, Paul (June 14, 1984). "Luxbacher tackles job of rebuilding Pitt soccer program". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette South 5 (13). p. 12. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Varley, Teresa (1986). "Teamwork is the Key". 1986 Panther Prints. University of Pittsburgh. p. 255. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Naggar, Sara (2012). 2012 Big East Men's Soccer Media Guide. Big East Conference. pp. 47–57. Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  15. ^ Anderson, Shelly (November 2, 1995). "Pitt soccer team fails in first shot at mark". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Final Coaches' Polls". 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Records. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2013. p. 16. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (August 23, 2010). "Pitt sports complex to be ready next spring". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (April 7, 2011). "Pitt antes up on facilities for other university sports". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ The Olympic Sports Complex: Only Big Dreams, University of Pittsburgh, 2009, retrieved 2010-05-03 
  20. ^ "Men's Soccer Sees First Action At Petersen Sports Complex". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  21. ^ Hotchkiss, Greg, ed. (2012). 2012-13 Pitt Commons Section. University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics Media Relations Office. p. C26. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ Vella, Jeff (August 21, 2013). "Pitt soccer prepares for rigors of ACC". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  23. ^ Pitt Soccer Records & History. University of Pittsburgh Athletic Media Relations Office. 2013. p. 7. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  24. ^ 2011-12 Pitt Men's Soccer History. University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Pitt Soccer Records & History. University of Pittsburgh Athletic Media Relations Office. 2013. p. 8. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Reading United AC: Team Roster". USLSoccer.com. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Major Indoor Soccer League Players: Frank Bucci". Dave Morrison. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ "14 Matt Langton". Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Oh, What A Nwokocha!". Pennsylvania Stoners Official Line-Up Card June 15, 1980. June 15, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Jo Prince-Wright signed". football.co.uk. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  31. ^ Dangelo, Paul (October 5, 1989). "Can Pitt soccer team help Mike Blatz reach his goal?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Men's Soccer 2013 Roster". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Pitt Soccer Records & History". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Joe Luxbacher Profile". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]