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Commodores win first-ever Open Cup match, will host Hounds on May 16

It took 120 minutes, plus penalties, but the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC opponent and destination for the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Wednesday, May 16, has been decided.

In a match that was decided on penalty kicks, Erie Commodores FC won its first-ever US Open Cup match by defeating Rochester River Dogz (1-1, 5-4 on PKs).

The teams exchanged goals in the first half, then battled for another 75 minutes without another goal to push the match to penalty kicks.

Erie opened the scoring in the 28th minute, after dominating possession for large chunks in the early going. Cam Philpot received a ball from Sam White to give the home side the 1-0 edge — after Austin Solomon initiated the attack.

Despite being out-possessed for much of the match, Rochester were dangerous when countering, and scored a goal just at the very end of the first half. In the 45 minute, the River Dogz got on the board as Austin Gerber got behind the Commodores back line for the equalizer.

After that, Erie’s goalkeeper Nicolau Neto made a few big saves including one in the 58th minute on a breakaway — then a pair on a few sequences in the overtime periods.

After 120 minutes of play on the field couldn’t decide this match between two NPSL division rivals, penalty kick shootout duel ended when Casey Bartlett-Scott hit the winning spot kick for the Commodores.

Only Rochester’s second attempt from Alex Harling would miss, sending his shot over the bar, as that would be the difference.

The Riverhounds have not won an Open Cup road game since June 2008, when they traveled to Lisle, Illinois, and beat A.A.C. Eagles 4-0.

This was also the first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup for Rochester’s NPSL squad.

So now we’ll have an All-Western PA match up — as the pro team will be on the road, while the Commodores will now host the biggest match in it’s history that dates back to 2009.


John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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