Toughness showed from many of the Riverhounds Development Academy teams on a weekend littered with challenging matches.
Sunday's ECNL outings by the 2006 and 2007 Girls capped the action, as the two sides traveled to West Seneca, N.Y. to face the Western New York Flash in big conference matchups.
The 07 Girls trailed in their contest, but Helina Walker got the tying goal after halftime, and the team battled to the finish for a 1-1 draw that makes them 1-1-1 in ECNL play. The 06s found themselves ahead on a Lola Abraham goal in the 23rd minute, but the Flash answered with two quick strikes after the break. A second goal for the Hounds wasn't to be, however, and the Flash held on for a 2-1 win.
The 2007 East Girls also had a big weekend at the United Futbol Cup in Pickerington, Ohio, where they finished the two-day event undefeated.
The East side started with a 0-0 draw against local side Barcelona United before scoring a big 9-0 win over Olentangy United's Blue team. Sunday's match was perhaps the team's best of the season, in terms of controlling play, but the East girls were denied by the post and crossbar multiple times and had to settle for another 0-0 draw. Despite not conceding a goal for the weekend, the team missed out on the final with a 1-0-2 record.
Other weekend matches included the 2010 Boys taking an exciting 4-3 win over Ohio's Team Challenger FC, with goals by Caydon Payne, John Meneke, Mark Betters and Parker Osterman earning the victory. The other boys matches against Team Challenger had plenty of scoring, too, as both the 2008 and 2009 sides finished with 3-3 draws.
In other Academy news, the launch of the club's futsal program was announced Friday. For more on the program that will be led by Futsal Director Justin Evans, click HERE.
For regular updates on the RDA, including news and game reports, visit the Live Results page.
Sunday, Oct. 6
In ECNL matches in West Seneca, N.Y.:
• Helina Walker scored the tying goal in the second half, and the 07 Girls got a valuable point in their first ECNL road clash with a 1-1 draw in difficult conditions against the Western New York Flash.
• Lola Abraham put the 06 Girls ahead in the 23rd minute, but a pair of early second-half goals by the Western New York Flash put the Hounds behind, and though they regained their footing in the match, the Hounds were unable to find a second goal in a 2-1 defeat.
At the United Futbol Cup:
• The 07 East Girls played what the coaches called their best match of the year, but the Hounds hit the post once and the crossbar multiple times and had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Olentangy United Orange. The draw kept the RDA out of the tournament's championship game, but they ended the weekend unbeaten at 1-0-2.
Saturday, Oct. 5
At the United Futbol Cup:
• The 07 East Girls got a pair of results to open the tournament, securing a 0-0 draw in a very even match with Barcelona United before rolling to a 9-0 win over Olentangy United Blue.
In Ohio North League matches:
• Caydon Payne, John Meneke, Mark Betters and Parker Osterman each scored for the 10 Boys, who needed every one of those goals to take a high-scoring affair with Team Challenger FC, 4-3.
• The 08 Boys and 09 Boys also squared off with Team Challenger FC, and the two matches yielded identical 3-3 draws. Zach White scored twice, and Calder Mahan also found the net for the 08s, while Harlan Smith had two goals, and Carson Torres added one for the 09s.
• The 09 Girls battled against Cleveland Force in a closer match than the 5-0 score indicated, but the Force players won 1-on-1 battles in critical times to produce goals. The Hounds moved the ball well, but the Force's speed and size made finishing chances a problem for the RDA girls. The afternoon produced a heartbreaker, as a pair of late corner kick goals sent Team Challenger to a 4-2 win over the Hounds. Mikaela Bunovich buried a pair of well-placed free kicks for the RDA goals, one off the bar and in, the other into the side panel.
• The 10 Girls found things tough in losses against a pair of physically larger sides from Cleveland Force and Team Challenger FC. Goalkeeping also has been a problem for the 10s, but the core group on the field got stronger throughout the day by better using the space on the field and being quicker to pressure the ball.