Riverview boys, girls soccer teams show improvement in 2nd half

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Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 11:01 AM


The Riverview girls soccer team lost its first three games of the season and was outscored 30-7.

But coach Sean Abraham said he looked at the positives from those challenging contests against Greensburg Central Catholic, Serra Catholic and Apollo-Ridge in Section 1-A.

He said the girls did as well, and it soon translated into a victory.

The Raiders put it all together to defeat Jeannette, 7-0, on Sept. 20.

“They were really pumped up and excited to get that win,” Abraham said. “They had lost a couple before that and really wanted to experience the feeling of getting a win. We coached them through the early games and told them that if they keep a positive attitude and work hard, wins would come. It was a big step to boost their confidence.”

Riverview was 3-7 overall and in the section after a 5-0 section win at Ligonier Valley on Oct. 7.

Freshman goalkeeper Chiara Brun made seven saves for the shutout, and sophomore standout Lola Abraham tallied four goals and an assist. Freshman Lily Hood scored the other goal for the Raiders.

Coach Abraham said senior night under the lights Sept. 30 was filled with positive energy. After seniors Grace Flanick and Kelsey Mayhood were honored, Riverview went out and topped Ligonier Valley, 7-2.

“The girls were really pumped up and excited to play in front of the student body again and in front of a big crowd for senior recognition,” coach Abraham said.

“There was a lot of electricity in the air, and the girls fed off it.”

Riverview was to wrap up its season with three games, starting with last Thursday’s section matchup against section-leading Springdale. The Dynamos came into the game 10-1 in section play.

The Raiders also were to take on section foe Jeannette on Monday and Aquinas Academy in nonsection play Wednesday.

A nonsection game with Class 2A Valley, originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed. Coach Abraham said he hoped the game with the Vikings, still up in the air as of deadline, would be rescheduled and played.

“The girls really progressed all season,” coach Abraham said. “Being such a young and inexperienced team with players who have never been at this level or have never played soccer before, we did have growing pains at times. There were games where they did things well and they would build off them and also times where they knew they needed to learn to be better.”

Riverview boys

Of the 13 games the Riverview boys soccer team played through a Section 3-A matchup with rival Springdale on Oct. 13, five were decided by two goals or fewer.

While the Raiders didn’t get into the win column in any of those matchups, coach Mickey Namey said the team, with no seniors and only four juniors, has kept up a positive attitude about the present and future of the program.

“This group has been playing for a couple of years together, so they have that bond and are going to stick together, no matter what,” Namey said.

“They’ve faced a lot of bad bounces and other unfortunate circumstances, including some injuries. We had the lead in four games. At one point, nine freshman had seen starting time. The guys know that they have to be able to eliminate and overcome costly mistakes in games. We would give up just three shots in a game, and two of them would be goals. That’s frustrating. But the attitude is good because they know they are playing well.”

The Raiders were to close out section play Friday at home against Winchester Thurston.

Riverview grabbed the lead in a section game with Bishop Canevin on Oct. 9 when freshman Chris O’Toole found fellow freshman Johnny Bertucci for his first goal of the season.

The Crusaders tied it before the half and tallied the winner with less than two minutes left in regulation.

Riverview also suffered a heartbreaker under the lights against section foe Aquinas on Sept. 28.

Aquinas led 2-0 before junior Enzo Lio converted a penalty kick late in the first half, and O’Toole tied it in the final minutes of the second half.

The Raiders tried to get the winner before the end of regulation but were unsuccessful. Aquinas then struck quickly off the kickoff in overtime.

“We had talked about how hard this section is with Winchester Thurston, Eden Christian and Springdale at the top,” Namey said. “I think it was a wake-up call, in a way, for the guys to see what they need to do to improve and get to where these other teams are. With everyone back next year, this season serves as a good foundation.”

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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