RECAP PROVIDED BY THE PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS
PITTSBURGH (RIVERHOUNDS.COM) — The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-2-1) struck first early, but were unable to hold off Saint Louis FC (3-0-1), eventually falling 2-1 at Highmark Stadium.READ MORE: 'The Neighborhood Jewel': Community Fights To Save St. Philip School In Crafton From Closing
Notching the lone tally for Pittsburgh was rookie Kay Banjo in the 5th minute, while former Hound Jose Angulo scored in the 30th minute and Christian Volesky added the game-winner in the 67th minute.
Making his first career professional start, Banjo put the Hounds up early thanks to a botched clearance by Saint Louis goalkeeper Devala Gorrick. Banjo collected the ball a little outside of the 18-yard box and pushed toward the goal, firing a shot to the right of a diving Gorrick for the lead.
The tally was the first of his professional career, as the UMBC product pushed his point total to three on the year – tying him with both Marshall Hollingsworth and Kevin Kerr for second most on the team.
Moments after a near chance for Saint Louis was pushed wide of the goal in the 14th minute, Banjo was right back in the action, nearly picking up his second goal of the match. The forward beat Gorrick with a well-placed low shot, but the ball found the inner part of the left post to keep the score at 1-0.
The missed opportunity proved costly, as Saint Louis defender Wes Charpie sent a low, seeing-eye cross from the right side only minutes later. His pass missed four Hounds in the process and landed at the feet of Angulo. Receiving the ball cleanly, Angulo created space in tight, pushed the ball to his left foot and fired a perfectly placed shot by Hounds goalkeeper Keasel Broome.READ MORE: Pa. Sen. Bob Casey Sponsors Bill To Protect Children From Falling Furniture
Coming out of the first half level, play picked up immediately with an early corner for the Hounds providing their most dangerous chance in the match’s final half. Pittsburgh though was unable to convert, as Jamal Jack’s strong header on goal forced a nice reaction save from Gorrick in the 47th minute.
Both teams traded possession in the midfield in the ensuing action until Saint Louis was finally able to breakthrough 67 minutes in. Charpie was involved a second time, again sending a seeing-eye ball in, this time a 30-plus yard through-ball to find Volesky between two defenders in the box. The former Rochester Rhino did the rest, one-touching his shot past Broome to give the visitors the lead.
Pittsburgh would push for the equalizer, including bringing on further attacking threats in Chevaughn Walsh, making his season debut, Mike Green and Kenroy Howell, but ultimately did not threaten again.
The club’s second defeat came with plenty of adversity, as the Hounds had to improvise on multiple occasions without the use of key contributors. Right back Rich Balchan became a late scratch pregame after the defender was deemed unable to play due to a lower-body injury. In-game, meanwhile, saw leading goal scorer Corey Hertzog appear to get banged up in the second half and eventually be subbed out for Walsh in the 78th minute. Further updates on the statuses of both players will be provided later this week.
With the defeat, the Hounds now look ahead to another tough road test in the Charlotte Independence (0-1-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. For more information on Saturday’s match, visit Riverhounds.com.MORE NEWS: Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh Steelers Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Heinz Field