March Madness was abound on a festive Saint Patrick’s Day Saturday in Pittsburgh — and a couple of men’s teams from the Main Line came away with wins in the Steel City.
While the Villanova Wildcats men’s hoops team was making a statement that they’re more than capable of winning its second NCAA men’s title in three years with a dominating win over Oklahoma on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena, its men’s soccer team beat the Riverhounds 1-0 in preseason friendly.
In a scoreless match through 82 minutes, Villanova would find the breakthrough when Hounds defender Todd Pratzner got tangled up in the box with an attacking player, forcing the referee to award a penalty to the visitors. The PK beat a diving Kyle Morton to seal the Hounds’ fate for its first defeat of a nine game preseason.
Pittsburgh, however, was not without chances in the second half.
Shortly after the restart, Jordan Dover would thread a pass to Christiano François that gave the Haitian midfielder a good look at goal. The shot would be saved, but fell back to Dover who could not bury his chance in the back of the net.
In the 50th minute Kevin Kerr would send a looping header towards goal, after receiving a dangerous cross from François, forcing the keeper to punch the ball to safety.
Two more close calls came first in the 76th minute of play when Joseph Holland‘s free kick found Hugh Roberts on the back post, but the defender could not get his head over the ball to keep it below the crossbar. Then, in the 87th minute Trialist Andrew Lubahn would receive a long cross and send his shot rocketing off the crossbar as well.
The Hounds had their last chance snuffed out in the 87th minute when Neco Brett was found offside after the Jamaican netted a header past the Villanova keeper.
After finishing the preseason with an 8-1 record, Riverhounds SC will next look to kick off USL action in Nashvile as they take on Naschville SC at 6 p.m. on March 24 at Nissan Stadium.
I’ll be in Nashville on Saturday with coverage!
GK – Dan Lynd (Kyle Morton)
D – Raymond Lee (Andrew Lubahn), Hugh Roberts, Joe Greenspan (Tobi Adewole), Todd Pratzner (Kay Banjo moved to forward) – Jordan Dover (Noah Franke)
MF – Kevin Kerr (Mouhamed Dabo), Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Bakie Goodman), Kenardo Forbes (Joseph Holland), Christiano François –
F – Romeo Parkes (Neco Brett)
NOV – 82’ (penalty)