Lola Abraham’s 4 goals lift Riverview to dominant win over No. 1 Springdale

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Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 9:36 PM


The Riverview girls soccer team rode a wave of momentum into its Section 1-A clash with unbeaten rival Springdale on Thursday.

The Dynamos came in 6-0 overall and ranked No. 1 by TribLive HSSN, but the homestanding Raiders had won seven in a row.

In front of a large homecoming crowd under the lights at Riverside Park, Riverview (8-1, 5-1) made another statement to the rest of the WPIAL with a 4-0 victory.

Senior standout Lola Abraham scored three first-half goals, and the Raiders didn’t waver in the second half.

“There were definitely nerves coming into this game,” said Abraham, who added her fourth goal of the game late in the second half to give her 31 for the season.

“There was so much going on. It was our one game under the lights, and it was homecoming week. But as a team, we didn’t let any of that distract us. We’ve had this game on our calendar for a while. We worked up to this game through each practice and each game we played so far. This moment is what we’ve been hoping for and preparing for. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Springdale fell into a tie with Riverview and Greensburg Central Catholic (5-1, 5-1) in the section standings.

The Raiders and Dynamos meet again Oct. 16 at Springdale.

“I am so happy for the girls,” Riverview coach Sean Abraham said.

“This might not truly hit me until later tonight when I am away from all of this. The girls have been putting in so much work relentlessly to be ready. They understood how big this game was, but they didn’t let it get to them. They played really well, like I expected them to. To see them execute all that we’ve been working on … as a coach, that is the best thing I could ask for.”

Riverview finished with an 11-7 advantage in shots on goal.

Riverview broke through in the 14th minute. Freshman Catie Hoolahan delivered a throw-in to fellow freshman Mary Quinlan, who then served it across to Abraham. She unleashed a shot from 25 yards for a 1-0 lead.

Abraham made it 2-0 just 1:04 later with a laser from 20 yards.

Springdale registered its first shot on goal 20 minutes into the first half.

Abraham almost made it 3-0 with 11:37 left in the first half as she rang a shot off the left goalpost.

Springdale made a late charge in the waning minutes of the half. Hailey Marchlewski struck a solid free kick from 40 yards with 1:40 until the break. Riverview keeper Ciara Brun bobbled the ball but pulled it in.

Riverview countered and finished with Abraham’s third goal with 56 seconds left in the half off another assist from Quinlan.

Springdale had the better of possession to start the second half and generated five shots on goal and three corner kicks. But the Riverview defense helped keep the Dynamos’ dangerous threats, including juniors Briana Ross and Molly Hurley, in check.

The Dynamos led 5-4 in second-half shots on goal. Brun made five second-half saves to help keep a clean sheet for the Raiders.

“Going into the second half, we acted like the score was 0-0,” Quinlan said.

“We played our hardest. We knew they were going to make a push against us. But we just stuck together and continued to play good defense. We were nervous coming into the game, but we drew a lot energy from all the fans who were there. We just went out there and played our game.”

Riverview hopes to keep the winning going Monday in a rematch at Greensburg Central Catholic, which beat the Raiders in the season opener.

Springdale will try to bounce back at noon Saturday with a nonsection matchup against Aquinas Academy.

“Digging a 3-0 hole at halftime is never easy to get out of,” Dynamos coach Marc Bentley said.

“Giving a player like Lola the space she got in front of the box, you expect her to score. I thought we responded really well in the second half and showed more fight and showed them what we’re all about. Hopefully, that is a little bit of momentum for us going into a challenging stretch of games. But credit Riverview. They deserved to win that game. We just didn’t create enough chances or test their goalkeeper enough.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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