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Pulse of Pittsburgh Soccer (Aug 14-20, 2023): Women’s college season and high school preseason kick off

Photo courtesy Robert Morris University Athletics

Good Monday morning Pittsburgh soccer fans!

Starting this week, I’ll be including a new feature here on Pittsburgh Soccer Now, primarily as a way to set the stage for each coming week ahead on the soccer scene, especially as we get into what is always a very busy Fall soccer season.

The Pittsburgh Soccer Now team would like to let our friends in the Plum area know that we are thinking of them and would like to extend our condolences to families and friends who’s lives were shattered by the terrible explosion which tragically took five lives.

Plum Boys Head Soccer Coach, Raf Kolankowski lives just a short distance from the blast which brought damage to his home, and was interviewed by NBC News.

There’s no doubt, that our thoughts are with the entire Plum community this week.

This week, the women’s college soccer season kicks off for many teams, including the three NCAA Division I programs in the Pittsburgh area:  Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris, while the men’s programs continue to train while playing exhibition matches.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are also beginning the week in good shape, as they won their third straight match, defeating Hartford, 2-0, at Highmark Stadium, and remain four points ahead of Charleston and five points clear of Tampa Bay in the USL Championship.

The schedule starts to get a little wonky for the Hounds as they now have a pair of midweek away matches, including another cross country trek to face Orange County on Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET kick), then a return match at Hartford the following Wednesday, then a quick turnaround trip back Westward, to San Antonio.

The high school soccer season is also officially off and running in Pennsylvania today, as teams throughout the Commonwealth begin official practice sessions today. We encourage all high school programs to share photos or videos from the first week of training camp, on Twitter or Thread by using #WPIALSoccer and including @PghSoccerNow in your posts.

Women’s Soccer Teams Begin Seasons

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding all three Division I programs, and we’ll have previews and features from PSN contributors Rachael Kriger, Zac Weiss, Dom Campbell and others for all three programs.

Of course, Pitt women’s soccer team will be getting a lot of attention for numerous reasons.  The obvious reason is that Head Coach Randy Waldrum just recently completed a fairly successful trip to Australia as the Head Coach of the Nigerian Women’s National Team, which fared well, coming out of Group Stage competition without losing a match and falling in the Round of 16 to the European Champions, England, on a penalty kick shootout.

Waldrum made it back to Pittsburgh not too long after the Nigeria team exited the World Cup, along with freshman Deborah Abiodun, who started the Super Falcons opening match draw vs Canada, which she was sent off for a stoppage time red card.  Adiodun is expected to help add midfield depth for the Panthers roster this Fall.

Pitt women, who begin the season ranked 14th in the United Soccer Coach poll and coming off the most successful season in program history, with many returning starters, wrapped up their preseason with a scrimmage vs Niagra on Friday, while Robert Morris and Duquesne also faced off against each other late last week.

Both Duquesne and Robert Morris’s program had very young squads in 2022, and each believe they will be even better this Fall.

Quote of the Week

Riverhounds HC Bob Lilley on Saturday night, on winning his 100th match with the club he took over in 2018.

“It means that I’ve been in Pittsburgh a while,” Lilley said.

“It’s nice to have some stability here.  I’ve had some other stops as well, but I’ve enjoyed my time here.  I’ve had a lot of good players here, and it’s more for them. As coaches, we don’t actually play the games.  We coach them. Try to get the most of out them. They go out and do the work.  I feel fortunate to have the set up we have here, and the players we have here. And hopefully there’s a few more (wins) while I am here.”

Lilley’s full post match interview can be found below:

Pittsburgh Soccer Schedule (Monday, August 14 – Sunday, August 20) 

Wed August 16 Duq M 7 pm H Detroit Mercy Rooney Field
HOUNDS 10 pm A Orange County Irvine, CA
Thurs August 17
RMU W 3 pm A VMI Hampton, VA
RMU M 7 pm A Marshall (EX) Huntington, WV
Duq W 4 pm A Ohio Athlens, OH
Pitt W 7 pm A Buffalo Buffalo, NY
Fri August 18 RMU W 3 pm A Hampton Hampton, VA
Pitt M 7 pm H Michigan State (EX) Ambrose Urbanic Field
Sat August 19 Duq M 3 pm A Virginia (EX) Charlottesvile, VA
Sun August 20 Pitt W 1 pm H Drexel Ambrose Urbanic Field
Duq W 1 pm H American Rooney Field
RMU M 3 pm H Le Moyne (EX) North Athletic Complex



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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Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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