Deer Lakes soccer standout Michael Sullivan commits to Pitt

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020 | 5:50 PM


His commitment has been quiet, but Wednesday, Deer Lakes senior soccer standout Michael Sullivan announced his college decision with a bang.

After leading the Lancers to their second state championship appearance in three years this season, the WPIAL Class 2A Player of the Year said he will play for Pitt.

“This is great. I mean, this is up there with winning the WPIAL championship for one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, for sure,” Sullivan said.

“Being able to play at the collegiate level in front of your hometown, it’s something you dream of. Ever since I was a little kid and was able to think of playing at the next level, Pitt has always been there as a way to be able to play in front of my family, and them being able to come to my games is going to be a very important part. Now that I’m actually able to do that is massive.”

Sullivan has won back-to-back Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year awards. He led the Lancers to their first WPIAL Class 2A championship this season with a shootout victory over Shady Side Academy, finishing his senior season with 22 goals and 11 assists.

He scored the tying goal in the WPIAL championship game after the Lancers had gone down 1-0, and he also took on double and triple teams on multiple occasions this season.

Now, Sullivan is heading to one of the top soccer programs in the country. Pitt went 7-1 this season and lost to Clemson, 2-1, in the ACC championship game. The Panthers held the No. 1 ranking in the country before that loss.

Sullivan said he and Pitt assistant coach Rich Constanzo started talking in February. Things picked up recently when he got to talk to head coach Jay Vidovich.

“Hearing him talk about the game film he watched of me before the call and picking out little details that I haven’t even been able to pick out after watching it four or five times,” Sullivan said. “It’s gonna be absolutely great to play under someone with that kind of skill set, so I can’t wait.”

Sullivan said he realizes playing in the ACC will be a significant jump.

“The biggest thing that they stressed to me is that I’m going to have to come in and work for it,” Sullivan said. “There are no set positions going into a college environment because that coaching staff is trying to put food on their table, and they are going to put out the best 11 that they think can win the games, and it’s just going to come down to what I do in camp and what I can do in the preseason and let the work speak for itself.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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