Matt Pivirotto’s 20-year tenure as head coach of The University of Scranton men’s soccer program has been highlighted by three NCAA Tournament Appearences (2012 - Elite Eight; 2015 - Second Round; 2016 - Second Round) and two Landmark Conference championships (2015 and 2016).
Under Pivirotto, the Royals have also had three Freedom Conference (2000, 2002, 2006) and six Landmark Conference post-season tournament berths (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016), including six championship appearances - 2006 (Freedom), 2007 (Landmark), 2009 (Landmark), 2012 (Landmark), 2015 (Landmark) and 2016 (Landmark).
The 2018 season saw Scranton play a challenging non-conference slate including several nationally and regionally ranked opponents, finishing the year with a 6-8-2 overall record. Luck was not on the Royals side six of the team's losses were by one goal while the other two setbacks were by two goals. Scranton went 4-3 in Landmark Conference play, finishing the season with three straight league wins, but an overtime win by Moravian on the final day of the regular season knocked the Royals out of the playoff picture by virute of a tiebreaker.
In 2017, the Pivirotto and the Royals opened the season with five straight victories before dropping back-to-back games to nationally ranked opponents. Scranton would finish the season with a 10-7 overall record, but narrowly missed out on a postseason berth by posting a 3-4 league record against Landmark Conference opponents.
In 2016, Pivirotto and the Royals captured their second straight Landmark Conference title with a thrilling 1-0 win over top-seeded Elizabethtown in the title match. A week later, they posted a 2-1 victory over Penn State-Behrend in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the second straight year the team won a first-round match and the program's fifth NCAA victory under Pivirotto, who was named Landmark Conference Coach of the Year.
In 2015, Pivirotto finally led the Royals to an illusive conference crown, as second-seeded Scranton went on the road and knocked off nationally-ranked Elizabethtown to capture the Landmark Conference Championship, along with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The conference title was the first of any kind for the Scranton program since capturing the MAC Overall Championship in 1985.
In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Pivirotto led the Royals to a convincing 2-0 win over UMass-Boston in the First Round, then bowed out of play to host St. Lawrence to finish the year with a 11-7-2 mark (Pivirotto's fifth double-digit win season), finishing the campaign with a 5-2-1 record over their last seven matches.
Pivirotto had his most successful season in 2012, guiding the Royals to a 17-3-2 record and a No. 9 final ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 national ranking while earning Landmark Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Royals won three NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight for the first time since 1983, where they fell to eventual national champion Messiah. Senior forward Bill McGuiness earned second-team all-America honors from the NSCAA and first-team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America, as well as being named Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year after scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists.
The Royals and Pivirotto followed that campaign with another 10-win season, going 10-3-4 and narrowly missing the Landmark Conference playoffs on the final day of the season. McGuiness was again named a first-team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America after leading the Royals with seven goals and 16 points.
Pivirotto has developed 33 players who have gone on to earn all-conference honors, including Jeremy Basedow, the co-recipient of the 2002 Freedom Conference most valuable player (MVP) award, and Tim Logan, the 2007 Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Fourteen of his players have also been named all-region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
A native of Williamsport, Pa., Pivirotto took over the Royals program just weeks before the start of the 1999 season. Even though Scranton struggled through a 3-16 season, the record doesn’t truly reflect Pivirottto’s efforts, especially on defense where the Royals allowed an average of less than two goals a game.
Scranton bounced back the following year, posting an 8-9-1 overall record and earning its first Freedom Conference postseason tournament berth since 1998 with a 4-2-1 mark in league play. After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2001, the Royals earned another spot in the Freedom Conference postseason tournament as the number three seed with a 5-2 league record in 2002.
In 2006, Pivirotto led the Royals to an 11-win season and to the number one seed in the Freedom Conference tournament. After defeating Drew University, 3-0, in the semifinals, the Royals' put up a valiant effort before dropping a 1-0 decision to defending champion DeSales University on Saturday, November 4, at Fitzpatrick Field. Nevertheless, Pivirotto was voted the Freedom Conference Coach of the Year after leading Scranton to its most wins since 1996. In 2007 and 2009, he guided the Royals to championship match appearances in the Landmark Conference tournament.
Pivirotto put up impressive credentials while a player on the high school and collegiate level. He scored a career-record 77 goals at Bishop Neumann High School before enrolling at Lycoming College, where he finished as the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer with 128 total points. He earned all-Middle Atlantic Conference honors four times and was named the conference’s player of the year in 1996. He also garnered all-regional honors twice by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He graduated from Lycoming in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business finance.
In keeping up with the latest trends in coaching, Pivirotto has earned national, advanced and Level I goalkeeping certification from the NSCAA.