While temperatures dipped well below freezing back in Pittsburgh, the eldest girls teams of the Riverhounds Development Academy were kicking off 2022 in subtropical warmth last weekend while taking the field for ECNL Florida.
The 2003/04, 2005 and 2006 Girls competed in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from Saturday to Monday, while the 2003/04 Regional League side kicked off a day sooner and battled in a separate bracket on the other side of the state in Sanford, Fla.
The 03/04 side earned top honors for the weekend, conceding just one goal in three matches and being one of just six teams in the 54-team age group to win all three of its matches. In addition, 03/04 player Sydney Lindeman and 05 Girls player Ava Boyd were chosen to play in the National Selection Games in their respective age groups, a huge individual honor at the showcase.
The opening match for the 03/04 side came down to the wire, but Tessa Dellarose got the last-minute goal for a 1-0 win over a tough Tulsa SC outfit. Finding the net proved easier in the next two matches, as the Hounds won 5-0 over Jacksonville SC and 4-1 over Pipeline SC (Md.). The scoring was spread out, as well, as Dellarose and Audrey Bianco scored twice, and six other players had a goal for the Hounds.
The 05 Girls finished their weekend with a 1-1-1 mark after closing with a 3-0 win over South Carolina United behind goals by Lucia Wells, Ella Bulava and Lola Abraham, while the 06 Girls suffered a tight 1-0 loss to Jacksonville SC and drew their other two matches, both times rallying for a tying goal after trailing.
Over at the Regional League event, the 03/04 Girls nearly pulled off a perfect weekend of their own. Matching 3-1 wins over the Wilmington Hammerheads and Portland Thorns got things started right, as Jocelyn Gratchic scored three goals in the two matches, and a scoreless draw with Virginia SA was the only thing close to a blemish on their trip.
Details, scorers and top performances from all 12 matches on the weekend can be found on the RDA Results page at www.riverhounds.com.