Loudoun United faced the daunting task of a team, unbeaten in seven straight games, and who had not allowed a goal in the same amount of time, and then some. And while they were able to break the shutout streak, they were unable to hold the lead and secure vital points at home in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in front of 617 at Segra Field.
Following an uneventful first half, early in the second half, Harri Hawkins blocked a Hounds shot, and the ball was sent into the right corner of the Hounds’ half. In the 52nd minuted, Kevin Paredes gathered the ball and crossed to Kyle Murphy, who headed the ball past Kyle Morton and in the net for a 1-0 Loudoun lead. The goal snapped Pittsburgh’s shutout streak at 698 minutes, the second longest streak in USL history. The Hounds did not take the goal lying down, bringing on Player of the Week Kenardo Forbes moments later, who made an immediate impact, crossing a ball in that Neco Brett redirected for the 57th minute equalizer. The Hounds maintained pressure which paid off shortly thereafter, as Joe Greenspan found himself at the end of a Hounds corner for the go-ahead goal in the 62nd minute which the Hounds made stand as they took sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
“To be honest I thought we lacked intensity in a lot of ways; we only created four shots on the night, and as an attacking team, it’s really not good enough, so we’re disappointed in that,” Loudoun coach Ryan Martin said post-game. “Our ball speed was too slow, we weren’t running in behind, so that’s why we didn’t create enough chances, and then we got caught defending too much. And you can see the guys can barely move at the end of the game, and it comes from unforced turnovers and sloppy decisions.”
“I didn’t think that was up to our standard,” Murphy said after the game. “I think everyone’s gotta look in the mirror a little bit and personally bring it every single game, you can’t take games off.”
Loudoun United (7-17-6, 27 points) remain in 16th place, and will host the Tampa Bay Rowdies Friday night at 7:30pm at Segra Field.