PITTSBURGH (October 14, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (8-12-12) scrapped their way to a point in the season finale against Ottawa Fury FC (8-10-14) thanks to a second-half tally from Corey Hertzog in a 1-1 draw at Highmark Stadium.
Action had the Hounds on their heels early, as Nicholas DePuy put the visitors ahead in the 9th minute. On the receiving end of a free kick in from the right of the 18-yard box, DePuy, amidst a swarm of defenders, tapped a bouncing ball past goalkeeper Matt Perrella for the first tally of the match.
The one-goal lead at half ended up fortuitous for Pittsburgh though, as the club was buoyed by a stellar performance from Perrella to the keep the deficit minimal. Perrella made four stops in the match’s first 45 minutes, including a sprawling effort in the 31st minute to stop Carl Haworth’s shot ticketed for the upper-right corner.
In all, the New Jersey native stopped a Hounds single-game high seven shots on the night, topping his previous best of six saves set on Sept. 24 at New York.
Carrying a strong possession advantage throughout the second half, nearly 58 percent of the share, the Hounds finally responded in the 76th minute. Forward Kay Banjo made a strong run into the box with intent to cut to his right for a chance on goal only to be cut down by Eddie Edward for a penalty call.
Hertzog wasted little time knotting the score at one, placing his penalty take past Ottawa’s Callum Irving into the right side of the goal. His 14th goal on the season, Hertzog bested his previous high in Black and Gold of 13 in 2016, while also snapping an overall two-game scoreless drought for the Hounds.
Back-and-forth action ensued with both sides trading chances. The Hounds appeared on their way to three points after a defender Joe Greenspan redirected a free kick to Hertzog all-alone in front of the net, but the forward’s tally was whistled offside.
With the draw, the Hounds finish the season with 36 points and currently stand 12th in the conference pending tomorrow’s result between 13th-place Saint Louis FC and eighth-place Bethlehem Steel FC.
For updates on all the offseason action for Pittsburgh, visit Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds – Matt Perrella – Jack Thompson (Taylor Washington 90’), Gale Agbossoumonde, Joe Greenspan, Mike Green (Stephen Okai 72’) – Romeo Parkes, Danny Earls, Kevin Kerr, Shannon Gomez– Kay Banjo (Ben Fitzpatrick 90’), Corey Hertzog
Subs not used: Brenden Alfery, Jamal Jack, Victor Souto, Nick Thompson
Ottawa Fury FC – Callum Irving – Jonathan Barden, Eddie Edward, Ramon Del Campo, Onua Obasi (Thomas Meilleur-Giguere 65’) – Gerardo Bruna, Carl Haworth, Jamar Dixon, Adonijah Reid (Lance Rozeboom 78’) – Steevan Dos Santos, Nick DePuy (Sito Seoane 83’)
Subs not used: Andrew MacRae, Tucker Hume, Sergio Manesio, Ryan Williams
OTT – Nick DePuy 9’ (Carl Haworth)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 77’ (penalty)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 19’ (caution)
PGH – Gale Agbossoumonde 34’ (caution)
Cleveland Brothers "Blue Collar Player of the Game"
Head coach Dave Brandt
On what he’s learned in his first-full season as head coach…
“I feel like I’ve learned 267 things that I did not know. I think that’ll benefit me and benefit us in very real ways.”
On coming on strong in the second half…
“It was really important that we fought tonight and stayed in it. It got in our spirit and that sort of thing. I was concerned, but I thought it was a great second half. I thought we were very good in the second half.”
On breaking a two-game goalless streak…
“We want to play an attacking style, and I think most of the year we did. For as many goals we scored, as many goals Corey has scored, numerous chances missed and close calls and obviously everybody’s doing their best. Obviously good to get a goal tonight.”
Goalkeeper Matt Perrella
On starting the past eight games…
“We’ve been real close in a lot of games. For me personally, it’s just been about being consistent. Getting a little bit better, trying to get a save or two every game that maybe I shouldn’t. That keeps us in the game, that keeps us fired up.”
On his goalkeeping style…
“I told the guys I always feel good when I get to see the ball and set and stand it up. I encourage them to stay tighter in the back and if a guy wants to rip from 20 yards out and 25 yards out and they can beat me, then it’s a great shot.”
On receiving offensive support…
“I think they did really well. Obviously, it helps when we’re putting goals in. It’s a huge burst of energy for me.”
Forward Corey Hertzog
On if his best soccer is ahead of him…
“I just turned 27, so hopefully 10, 12 more years. I just want to score goals, but for the most part I want to make playoffs. I’d give up goals to make playoffs. So hopefully next year it’s a little different.”
On team chemistry…
“The clicking and the runs and reading each other and all that was there. Possession-wise we did a lot better tonight, in the second half especially.”
On what he’s doing right after the season…
“Just going to Florida. Just relaxing. My girlfriend and daughter just flew down today. Just first two, three weeks, just relax. Watch football on Sundays and not have to worry about training on Mondays, so it’ll be good.”