The Pittsburgh Riverhounds kicked off their 2016 preseason schedule Saturday evening with a 2-1 win at Penn State University.
South African playmaker Lebo Moloto notched the Hounds’ first goal of the year on the stroke of halftime with a well-controlled volley into the far corner from Stephen Okai’s chip into the penalty area.
Two unsigned players combined to produce the game-winner on 81 minutes. Former Butler University midfielder Caleb Postlewait swung in a cross from the right that 17-year-old Canadian Duwayne Ewart met with a perfectly executed diving header to seal victory.
Hounds head coach Mark Steffens used 19 players during the run-out at PSU’s Holuba Hall indoor practice facility.
“I was really impressed with the guys,” Steffens said. “We have some depth this year and we can interchange players.
“We have a long way to go because there’s not a whole lot of chemistry out there right now, but I think that will develop.”
Former Nittany Lion Corey Hertzog forced PSU goalkeeper Evan Finney into a couple of early saves from an overhead kick and a fizzing 20-yard strike. Jamaican forward Romeo Parkes showed his skill and speed to juggle the ball over Austin Maloney before forcing Finney into another stop.
Penn State canceled out Moloto’s opener eight minutes after the interval when Dayonn Harris battled his way into the Hounds’ penalty box before centering for Canadian forward Aymar Sigue to convert from close range.
Costa Rican goalkeeper Mau Vargas made a huge save to thwart Sigue in a 1-vs-1 breakaway on 69 minutes before Ewart grabbed the Hounds’ late winner.
Highmark Stadium stages its first preseason game of the year next Sunday, March 6, when Ohio State provides the opposition. Admission is free.