After a few weeks of preseason training, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds finally got a chance to play an opponent.
The Riverhounds began their 2016 preseason with 2-1 win at Penn State University, as Head Coach Mark Steffens used 19 players as he begins to evaluate what he has to work with.
With so many new players, building chemistry is going to take time.
A few second-year Hounds who already know each other, and play well together hooked up for the Hounds first goal.
South African playmaker Lebo Moloto notched the Hounds’ first goal of the year on the stroke of halftime with a well-controlled volley into the far corner from Stephen Okai’s chip into the penalty area.
Eight minutes into the second half, the Nittany Lions drew even with the Hounds as Dayonn Harris battled his way into the Hounds’ penalty box before centering for Canadian forward Aymar Sigue to convert from close range.
Two unsigned players combined to produce the game-winner in the 81st minute.
Former Butler University midfielder Caleb Postlewait swung in a cross from the right that 17-year-old Canadian Duwayne Ewart met with a perfectly executed diving header to seal victory.
The teams played at PSU’s Holuba Hall indoor practice facility.
By all indications, the Hounds looked good in stretches, but have work to do to get to the form they want to be for their opener vs defending USL Champs Rochester in early April.
“I was really impressed with the guys,” Steffens said after the game through the Hounds media release. “We have some depth this year and we can interchange players.
“We have a long way to go because there’s not a whole lot of chemistry out there right now, but I think that will develop.”
Former Nittany Lion Corey Hertzog forced PSU goalkeeper Evan Finney into a couple of early saves from an overhead kick and a fizzing 20-yard strike. Jamaican forward Romeo Parkes showed his skill and speed to juggle the ball over Austin Maloney before forcing Finney into another stop.
Costa Rican goalkeeper Mau Vargas made a huge save to thwart Sigue in a 1-vs-1 breakaway on 69 minutes before Ewart grabbed the Hounds’ late winner.
The Riverhounds will return to Highmark Stadium next Sunday, March 6, for their first Home preseason match vs the University of Michigan.