Hounds Victorious in Home Opener
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-1-2) notched its second win of the season, taking down Hartford Athletic (0-6-0) by a score of 3-1 on Saturday at Highmark Stadium.
A total of 5,182 fans were in attendance for the home opener and everyone in the building was treated to an offensive showcase from the Black and Gold. Steevan Dos Santos opened the scoring just 14 minutes into the match. Kevin Kerr and Neco Brett etched their names onto the scoresheet in the 74th and 81st minutes, respectively.
The Hounds came out of the gate hot, and took advantage of Hartford's backline.
Just two minutes into the match, Ryan James lofted a ball to the head of Dos Santos, who just placed the shot wide. Five minutes later, Kerr fired a shot just over the crossbar.
Finally, in the 14th minute, the duo of Kerr and Dos Santos struck gold. Kerr sent a long pass into the penalty box, and Dos Santos headed the pass into the back of the net.
The Black and Gold fired a total of six shots in the first half.
Hartford struggled to create offensive opportunities in the opening period. The Athletic managed to get three shots off in the first-45 minutes, unable to find the target on each chance.
The Athletic made much needed adjustments at halftime and controlled the first portion of the second period. Former Hound Jose Angulo knotted the score at 1-1 in the 54th minute, but it was all Hounds from there.
Kerr broke the tie in the 74th minute, launching a low blast just out of reach of Hartford's diving keeper.
Dos Santos drew a foul in the penalty area in the 81st minute. Brett was elected to take the penalty kick honors, and buried the opportunity into the back of the net.
Hound of the Match
Kevin Kerr finished the night with a goal and an assist. Kerr's assist tied him for the club's all-time record with David Flavius (25).
Stat of the Game
The Hounds finished the match with six shots on goal, conceding only two takes on target.
Riverhounds SC will be back in action next weekend, taking on Saint Louis FC (4-0-2) on Saturday, April 20 at Highmark Stadium. Fans can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.
Riverhounds SC - Ben Lundgaard - Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole Jordan Dover - Kenardo Forbes, Neco Brett (Robbie Mertz 85'), Anthony Velarde (Noah Franke 76'), Kevin Kerr (Mouhamed Dabo 77') - Steevan Dos Santos
Subs not used: Kyle Morton, Sammy Kahsai, Daniel Rovira, Caleb Smith
Hartford Athletic FC - Jon Kenmpim- Raymond Lee, Sam de Wit, Kyle Curinga (Wojciech Wojcik 84'), Nikolaj Lyngo - Giuseppe Gentile (Sebastian Dalgaard 73'), Phillip Rasmussen, Luis Argudo, Tyler David, Hugh Alexander Dixon (Jonathan Brown 73'), - Jose Angulo
Subs not used: Jacob Lissek, Jonathan Brown, Mads Jorgensen, Mac Steeves
PIT - Steevan Dos Santos 14' (Kevin Kerr)
HFD - Jose Angulo 54' (Jon Kenpim)
PIT - Kevin Kerr 74' (Ryan James)
PIT - Neco Brett 81' (penalty)
HFD- Kyle Curinga 19' (caution)
HFD - Tyler David 50' (caution)
HFD - Nikolaj Wyngo 64' (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the team's play...
"I think we played pretty well tonight. I tried to tell people all week that that's a good team. They have players that can hurt you, and the fact that they haven't quite done it yet, even the players they brought on the field as subs, have good quality. It was touch and go there. At one to one, they had a couple of their good looks. We could've been trailing in that game and we would've been struggling to salvage a point, maybe."
On Kevin Kerr...
"Kevin's had a good preseason, he's looked sharped in the early stage of the season. He had an assist on the first, scored on the second, and he's making good choices on the ball. I'm really happy for him."
On the home opener crowd...
"I'm really excited what we're starting to build here. I'm thankful and appreciative of those fans coming out. Hopefully we can keep them coming out, keep them excited about the team. I thought overall it was a great night for our organization."
"We've worked hard since I've been here on the field. We need to move this franchise forward, and I feel we already have. But we're nowhere near where we want to be. This has the opportunity to be even bigger than what we're seeing now. We just have to keep doing our job on the field, off the field, and keep pushing that envelope."
Midfielder Kevin Kerr
On tying Davis Flavius for the most assists in club history...
"I never knew that. It's nice. You stay around somewhere long enough, you start to rack up some records."
On his goal...
"A couple of subs were about to come on. I thought, I've probably got about a minute or two and I need to get a shot off. I just drove in and it couldn't have worked out better. There was a defender in the way of the goalie and it worked out well."
On the home opener...
"It was as good of an atmosphere as I've seen in a long time. It was very similar to the home playoff last year. I think last year massively helped. There is a lot of truth in that people want to come and see a winning, successful team. We were able to do that last year and we're super excited to continue it."
Forward Neco Brett
On taking the PK...
"I had confidence as always. It's just part of my job to settle and take PK's. I'm just doing my job."
On returning home...
"It feels good. Even when the guys were tired, the crowd got us going, which is really really good. It's always important to have a good to help us on the field. We appreciate the fans."
On Steevan Dos Santos...
"He's doing a great job for us. He's doing the dirty work. Everybody's doing their jobs. He's working really hard so it could be a little bit easier on the midfielders and we appreciate his work."
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