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Baby Bulls Eight-Match Unbeaten Streak Snapped by Riverhounds

The New York Red Bulls II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds both came in to this match riding unbeaten streaks of five matches or more.

Red Bulls II came into Wednesday night’s match on an eight-match unbeaten streak, while their opponent, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, were on a five-match unbeaten streak. Wednesday’s match was a meeting of two of the hottest teams in the USL Championship.

The Baby Red Bulls would score first in the 20th minute. Pittsburgh’s goalkeeper tried to pass the ball to one of his midfielders, but his pass was intercepted by Baby Bulls’ midfielder Vincent Bezecourt. Bezecourt passed the ball to Baby Bulls’ striker Tom Barlow, who then finished for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

Pittsburgh earned a corner kick in the 36th minute. Midfielder Kenardo Forbes took the corner kick, which fell to the feet of Pittsburgh defender Joe Greenspan. Greenspan fired a low strike that beat Red Bulls II goalkeeper, Evan Louro and tied the game at one goal apiece.

In the 70th minute, Tom Barlow went in on a breakaway and shot the ball off the goalie’s arm and wide of the net. Soon after, 6-foot, four-inch Preston Kilwien would have a chance to score off a corner-kick. Kilwien headed the ball into the ground just inside the right post, but the Riverhounds’ goalkeeper dove quickly to keep the ball out. Barlow’s breakaway and Kilwien’s header off a corner-kick were the Baby Bulls’ best chances to go ahead in the second half.

In the 84th minute, the Riverhound’s Neco Brett dribbled around a Red Bulls II defender to get in one-on-one with Louro. Brett then fired the ball low to Louro’s left and into the net to put his team in the lead.

The Riverhounds held on for the victory and snapped the Baby Bull’s eight-game unbeaten streak. Goalkeeper Evan Louro had four saves, while the Riverhounds goalkeeper made five saves.

After the game, Red Bulls II defender Preston Kilwien discussed why the Riverhounds’ unique style of offense was difficult for the Baby Bull backline to defend.

“Yeah, it was just you know, their style of play, very defensive and they like to go forward right away, hit the long ball. So, Neco Brett is pretty quick in mind. I think we were just caught sleeping on a few moments and had to put out those fires. It’s part of the job.

Red Bulls II Head Coach John Wolyniec discussed what he hopes his team will take away from this match.

“In some ways it’s a good thing. I mean, certainly we want to win, certainly we want to keep the momentum going. But at the same time, you know, a nice reality check in the middle of a run like that is important and our guys have to recognize that there’s still work to be done.”

The Baby Bulls next two games are on the road, where they will play third-place Nashville SC on August 21 and Swope Park Rangers on August 24.

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Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.
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