Sports stats

 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

RDA Girls Clash with Best in Texas

February 22, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release

The 2005-06 Girls pose for a photo at the ECNL Dallas Showcase, which, for some for the players, was their final ECNL national event before graduation.

Winter college showcases rolled on last weekend, and the eldest three girls teams from the Riverhounds Development Academy headed south once again, this time to Texas for the ECNL Dallas Showcase with games at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco and MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas from Feb. 17-19.

The Hounds ran into some of their toughest competition yet, and the high level of play drew the eyes of recruiters nationally. Counting NCAA Division I schools alone, more than 160 programs had coaches in attendance, and the additional top D-II, D-III and NAIA programs scouting the matches made the weekend's event one of the largest platforms of the season nationwide.

The 2005/06 Girls faced three clubs in their home state, and they started out on the front foot by beating San Antonio's Classics Elite, 5-1, a score that reflected the quality of the full team performance. Lola Abraham scored a hat trick for the Hounds, and Lucille McCargo and Fiona Mahan also scored, with a late goal conceded at the end being the only real negative to the day. The team hit a speed bump in the second match, a 3-0 defeat against the Dallas Texans, after a slow start led to two early goals against, and injury caused the Hounds to finish with 10 players. The team was unfortunate not to hold on in their final match, finishing with a 2-2 draw against Sting Dallas. Mahan and Abraham put the Hounds ahead 2-0, but working with no subs and going against the wind after the break gave Sting the second-half edge, despite another strong performance.

The 2007 Girls were tripped up in their opener, as a pair of set-piece goals by Sporting (KC) Blue Valley led to a 3-0 loss for the Hounds in which they created chances but couldn't finish. The second match was a match as physical and high-quality as could be expected against the Kansas City Athletics, and plenty of eyes were on the game to see Averie Bierker put the Hounds ahead in the second half, but KC equalized soon afterward. The Hounds missed a close-range chance to pull ahead again, and moments later, the Athletics got the winner in a 2-1 game. Sierra Dupre's play stood out in the loss, but the whole team's effort deserved recognition in a heartbreaking loss. The team bounced back to end the weekend with a win, keeping the level high and taking down a nationally-hailed Crossfire Academy (Wash.) team, 2-0. Simone Sharpless put the Hounds ahead in the first half, and then she put the result away with an excellent free kick from 25 yards out.

The 2008 Girls also had trouble on the opening day, falling 2-0 in their first match to the Portland Thorns Academy. The team picked up their quality of play in the second match, but in an otherwise-even battle, one long ball led to another defeat against the Northwest, as the Hounds fell 1-0 to the Boise Timbers/Thorns. The Hounds built on the good performance going into their final match against another nationally known club, St. Louis Scott Gallagher. High winds affected play, but the Hounds held stayed organized to maintain a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.

Sharpless' two-goal performance on the final day wasn't the only highlight of her weekend, as she also was selected to compete in the Continental Tire ECNL National Selection Game on Saturday night. She wasn't the only Hounds representative in the match streamed on HudlTV, as Academy Director Scott Gibson was picked as one of the coaches for the all-star event.

• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...

United Soccer League Championship Stories from February 22, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central