Another full weekend of Hounds action saw teams traveling in both directions, as some of the younger teams from both RDA and RDA East traveled to New Jersey for the PDA Spring Kickoff Tournament, while Boys ECNL teams went west to Indianapolis and Girls ECNL teams stayed in Coraopolis for a two-day homestand.
The 06 Boys came back from the Garden State as champions after by making their way to the final with a 2-1 record in group play. There were no easy wins along the way, either, as their victories came by 2-0 and 1-0 scores with a 2-1 defeat lodged in the middle. The goals finally started pouring in during the championship game, however. Zach Nash had a pair of goals, and Xavier Mwaura and Carter Turk added the other two as the Hounds took a 4-1 victory over New York Elite FC.
The 00/01 through 04 Boys teams played league matches Saturday against Indianapolis' Pride FC, and the two clubs split the four matches. Picking up wins for the Hounds were the 02 Boys, who won 7-0 with four goals from Luke Peperak, and the 04 Boys, who battled for a 2-1 win thanks to a Johnny Dragisic penalty kick and a Pride FC own goal created by a Ben Feinstein free kick.
The ECNL action came locally on the girls side, where the Hounds hosted Ohio Premier on Saturday and Ohio Elite on a rain-soaked Sunday. The 05, 03 and 02 Girls teams all picked up wins during a highly competitive weekend, while the 04 Girls and 00/01 Composite Girls each came away with a draw during the two-day slate of games.
The professional team also opened its home schedule Saturday with a 3-1 win over Hartford Athletic, spurred by a goal and an assist from longest-tenured Hound and academy coach Kevin Kerr. Click HERE for more about the big win, which came in front of a Highmark Stadium crowd of 5,182.
The RDA will be keeping busy throughout Easter Week, most notably with the 07 Boys heading to the prestigious Dallas Cup, where play begins Wednesday. For complete updates from the weekend's games and for RDA action going forward, don't forget to check out the new Live Results page.
Sunday, April 14
At the PDA Spring Kickoff in New Jersey:
• The 06 Boys are champions of their division with a 4-1 win in the final against New York Elite FC. Zach Nash had a pair of goals, as the Hounds took a 2-1 lead to the break and only grew the advantage from there. Xavier Mwaura and Carter Turk recorded the other two tallies in the final. To get to that point, the 06 Boys needed a win earlier in the day and got it courtesy of a Jason Sims goal, the only score in a 1-0 win over Quick Touch Futbol (N.J.).
In ECNL matches in Coraopolis:
• A 90th-minute winner by Melissa Riggins from 30 yards out decided a deadlocked match and gave the 02 Girls a 1-0 win over Ohio Elite. Madison Vukas provided excellent goalkeeping late in the game to give the Hounds the edge in a game that could have been won by either side.
• The 03 Girls picked up a 1-0 victory in less-than-ideal conditions against Ohio Elite. Tessa Dellarose was played in toward goal by Sarah Schupansky, and Dellarose needed only to get around one defender before firing the winning goal.
• The 00/01 Composite Girls team battled back and forth with Ohio Elite, and Gianna Griffin and Abigael McEnroe had goals for the RDA in a 2-2 draw.
• The 00/01 Girls trailed by a goal after an evenly played first half against Ohio Elite, but a lack of substitute depth caught up with the Hounds in the second half of a game that finished 4-0.
• Heavy rain put a damper on a tightly contested 05 Girls game that saw Ohio Elite strike first. The teams battled evenly through most of the match, but the visitors added two more late in the game as the Hounds pushed in search of a tying goal, resulting in a 3-0 defeat for the RDA.
• The 04 Girls also played a skilled Ohio Elite team, and they did so while shorthanded due to injury. Two second-half errors led to easy finishes for Ohio, however, and the Hounds fell, 3-0.
• The 06 Girls, coming off a rough outing, showed resiliency but were unable to find the net in a 2-0 loss.
Saturday, April 13
• The day ended on a thrilling note with the pro team scoring a 3-1 win over Hartford Athletic in front of a regular-season record crowd at Highmark Stadium. Read all about that match HERE.
At the PDA Spring Kickoff in New Jersey:
• The 06 Boys were able to take down one of the host club's teams by a 2-0 score. Jason Sims converted the spot kick after PDA was whistled for handling in their own penalty area, and Jackson Suski netted the insurance goal midway through the second half. Suski also struck in the team's second game of the day with the Hounds trailing against one of the PDA's Jersey Shore-based teams, but they were unable to complete the comeback in a 2-1 defeat.
• Another PDA side was the opponent for the 05 Boys, and the hosts' high pressure hindered the Hounds' ability to build out from the back. The Hounds fell, 2-0, after costly turnovers in the middle of the field led to both goals. The team took the field later for their second game against Elite Soccer Club (N.J.) and fell behind by a goal despite controlling play. Kyler Miller and Jake Gretz finally put the 05 Boys on the board, and they came away with a 2-1 win.
• The 05 East Boys got locked into a defensive struggle and never cracked along the back line, despite playing the match with zero subs. The end result was a 0-0 draw with Soccer For Life (N.J.). That defensive group held once again for a second consecutive scoreless draw later in the day, ending 0-0 against FC Westchester (N.Y.).
• The 07 East Boys didn't back down in their opener against a Toronto FC side that next week will play at the prestigious Dallas Cup. Ian DeCerb put the Hounds on the score sheet, but TFC had too much firepower in taking the contest, 6-1. Perhaps worn down by the first match, the team got off to a sluggish start in its second contest against MWUSC Lightning (N.Y.) and was topped by a 4-0 score.
• The 10 East Girls picked up a competitive 1-0 win over the PDA Shore team. Gabriella Kim scored the only goal late in the first half, and Sarah Tinkey made some critical second-half saves to preserve the shutout win.
In ECNL matches in Coraopolis:
• The 05 Girls put together an all-around team performance for a 2-1 victory over Ohio Premier. Bella Vozak scored on a free kick, and Alexis Tylenda netted the second goal. The Hounds remained organized and stuck to their game plan to hold on for the victory to open the day's action.
• The 04 Girls were put under heavy pressure by Ohio Premier in the first half but found their way into the game after the break. Aleena Ulke headed in a late goal to make the better play pay off and give the Hounds a 1-1 draw.
• Two goals conceded on first-half set pieces put the 03 Girls in a hole, and missed opportunities to score prevented the Hounds from getting back into a game that ended 3-0 in Ohio Premier's favor.
• Coming off their big weekend in Arizona, the 02 Girls found themselves in a battle against one of Ohio Premier's top teams. Despite a strong defensive showing led by Angelina King on the back line, the Hounds fell 1-0 in a high-level matchup.
• The 00/01 Girls were topped 5-1 in their outing against Ohio Premier. Chloe Kuminkoski tallied the lone RDA goal.
• The 06 Girls suffered an 8-0 loss against Ohio Premier.
In Boys ECNL matches in Indianapolis:
• The 04 Boys got on the board when Johnny Dragisic converted a penalty kick, and FC Pride put the ball into their own net from a Ben Feinstein free kick to give the Hounds a 2-1 win.
• Luke Peperak set the tone with four of the Hounds' seven goals, and the 02 Boys cruised to a 7-0 win over FC Pride. Anthony Rowan and TJ Cherry also scored for the RDA.
• The 03 Boys were the first to be tripped up in the Hoosier State, falling 2-0 to FC Pride.
• The 00/01 Boys seemed on their way to a second Hounds loss for the day, as they trailed by three goals at halftime. But behind a two-goal game from Nate Dragisich, the RDA boys rallied all the way back for a 4-4 draw with Jacob Adams and Gabriel Haines rounding out the scoring.
Thursday, April 11
• Tryouts for the new year are just around the corner, with the first tryout sessions starting on May 6. For complete information about RDA tryouts, click HERE. For the RDA East tryouts, which begin the following week, click HERE.