Riverhounds, Ottawa draw in Highmark Stadium finale
October 15, 2017 | By Rachael McKriger
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have finished their 2017 season.
Finishing with an 8-12-12 record, the Riverhounds earned a draw against Ottawa Fury on Saturday evening. At Highmark Stadium, in front of their home crowd, the Riverhounds finished with a 1-1 draw.
Corey Hertzog scored the lone goal for the Riverhounds, in the 77’ minute on a penalty kick.
“I just want to score goals, but for the most part I want to make playoffs,” Hertzog said. “I’d give up goals to make playoffs. So hopefully next year it’s a little different.”
The difference this year is that the season has ended in the middle of October. After a diligent playoff push, the Riverhounds couldn’t quite clinch a seed.
Instead, the Riverhounds will finish in 12th place in the USL’s Eastern Conference.
The Riverhounds went down in the match early against Ottawa, after Nick DePuy scored in the 9’ minute. The goal was assisted by Carl Haworth.
Hertzog then equalized for the Riverhounds in the 77’ minute, ending a two-match scoreless drought.
“We want to play an attacking style, and I think most of the year we did,” head coach Dave Brandt said. “For as many goals we scored, as many goals Corey has scored, numerous chances missed and close calls and obviously everybody’s doing their best. Obviously good to get a goal tonight.”
There were also plenty of saves, as well. In goal, Matt Perrella made seven saves.
“I told the guys I always feel good when I get to see the ball and set and stand it up,” Perrella said. “I encourage them to stay tighter in the back and if a guy wants to rip from 20 yards out and 25 yards out and they can beat me, then it’s a great shot.”
Perrella commended his team for pushing for a goal in the match.
“I think they did really well,” Perrella said. “Obviously, it helps when we’re putting goals in. It’s a huge burst of energy for me.”
The Riverhounds are now officially in their offseason. Looking back on the season, Brandt noted that he learned “ 267 things that I did not know,” in his first, full season of coaching in the USL.
“I think that’ll benefit me and benefit us in very real ways,” Brandt said.
Meanwhile, Hertzog and the Riverhounds will enjoy the offseason while Brandt works on next season’s game plan.
“Just going to Florida,” Hertzog said, when asked about offseason plans. “Just relaxing. My girlfriend and daughter just flew down today. Just first two, three weeks, just relax. Watch football on Sundays and not have to worry about training on Mondays, so it’ll be good.”
The Riverhounds will return to the pitch around February for preseason training.